Ring of Honor wrestler Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis recently sat down for an interview with Wrestling Inc.’s Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily to discuss a variety of topics. During the interview Hausman asked Bennett and Kanellis what the ROH backstage environment is like as they prepare to open back up to fans.
“You know what? I think the vibe is just pure excitement,” shared Bennett.
“PARTY!” screamed an enthusiastic Maria.
“PARTY!” responded Bennett.
“Yeah, I think that’s the feeling,” said Bennett once again. “During this pandemic, in front of no fans, it’s been cool. Ring of Honor has always been like the Ring of Honor locker room that is just this tight-knit family. Now you’re going to start throwing in fans. Just the drive and motivation of these guys and girls in this locker room when there were no fans. [I’m sure] someone is probably going to set themselves on fire and blow up the ring during these matches because everyone is just so jazzed up for it.”
Hausman then went on to ask Bennett what it has been like seeing Maria help overhaul and improve Ring of Honor’s new Women’s Division.
“It’s been really cool [to watch her do this],” shared Bennett. “We’ve been together for 10 years and from the minute we started dating she has talked about wanting a job like this and wanting a role like this. And now that she has actually been given it and she’s been given so much freedom and she’s been allowed to do pretty much whatever she wants. It’s been really cool to watch.”
Bennett admitted that Maria’s job does have its drawbacks, as he gets to spend much less time with her.
“It is a double-edged sword though,” admitted Bennett. “The more she’s working, and she doesn’t go half-assed at anything, so I’m seeing her way less than I used to. And that means my daddy duties have been way more than they used to. But I will gladly play second-fiddle right now so she can do this. Because this is her ultimate dream job, this is something she wants to do. It’s really cool that Ring of Honor has given her that opportunity.
“Because it’s one of those things that, I went to them and I was like, ‘I want to do this Pure division stuff.’ And they had the trust in me, and with Maria they have so much trust in her, where they’re giving her so much freedom, and so much trust to build this division the way she sees it in her vision.”
Bennett then went on to say that when he signed with Ring of Honor, that the company actually pitched bringing in both Bennett and Kanellis as separate talents.
“And another thing that I think is really cool with Ring of Honor is that when we signed, they purposely made it a point to say, ‘We’re gonna showcase you guys as two separate talents,’” recalled Bennett. “We’ve done the thing, and we’ve done Mike and Maria, and we’ve done the Kingdom together. And Delirious was very adamant about being [like] ‘No, I want Mike Bennett and then I want Maria Kanellis, doing their own thing.’ And that went a long way with me.”
Bennett and Kanellis also discuss which current free agents they want to see in Ring of Honor. Kanellis already had an answer instantly, but Bennett had a longer list of talents.
“Heidi, Heidi, Heidi,” exclaimed Maria.
Heidi Lovelace is the name that Ruby Riott wrestled under on the independents prior to signing with the WWE. She recently announced her new name would be Ruby Soho, after getting permission to do so by RANCID.
“There are so many people,” said Bennett. “Maria wants Ruby Riott. I would love Anthony Greene [formerly known as August Grey in the WWE] to come over to Ring of Honor. I think the absolute world of him. But, you know, even guys like Buddy Murphy I think would kill it at Ring of Honor. I would love to see Rowan, who got released when we got released. I would love to see him come over. I would love to see Aiden English come over. I would love to see The Iiconics come over.
“There’s just so much talent that got released, that my mind can’t even comprehend. I would literally take all of them and be like, ‘Yes, you could make our show better, please come make our show better.’ But if I had to pick one person, I would pick Anthony Greene. Because I think the absolute world of him.”
“You know what? I just want [Ruby Riott],” stated Kanellis. “Whether her name is Ruby Soho, or Heidi Lovelace, or Ruby Riott, I just think she’s incredible.”
You can follow Maria on Twitter @MariaKanellis.
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