Maria Kanellis saw the fruits of some of her labor pay off on Tuesday night. Former Ring Of Honor Women’s World Champion Roxanne Perez (fka Rok-C) defeated Tiffany Stratton in the finals of the first-ever WWE NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Perez was central to the ROH Women’s Division during Kanellis’s time running it, eventually becoming the ROH Women’s Champion, and Kanellis sent a short but sweet message to her former division ace.

Maria Kanellis made the ROH Women’s Division her personal project in 2021, and under her leadership, the once-maligned Women of Honor division transformed into one of the company’s highlights in 2021. That standout era was centered on the young upstart now known as Roxanne Perez in WWE NXT.

During Maria’s tenure, Perez won the ROH Women’s World Championship Tournament, which led to a 119-day run with the title that lasted until the end of the Sinclair Broadcast era. During this reign, she also won Female Wrestler of the Year and Best New Star in ROH’s Year-End Awards. Had Maria, Perez, and the rest of the ROH roster not been released before the originally scheduled hiatus, who knows how far Maria would’ve taken Perez as the franchise face of the division?

Roxanne lost the ROH Women’s World Championship to Deonna Purrazzo not long before news broke of Perez’s signing with WWE. Bittersweet as it must be, Maria appears thrilled that a major company has seen in Perez what Kanellis saw. Her young junior now has the opportunity to “cash in” an NXT Women’s Championship match at any time of her choosing.

Since leaving ROH, Maria has been alongside her husband Mike Bennett in IMPACT Wrestling, where he is a part of the Honor No More faction of disgruntled former-ROH talent.

While Maria has yet to be involved in Tony Khan’s fledgling Ring Of Honor revival, she is open to working with them. Tony Khan had been in contact before April’s Supercard of Honor, and the two parties were trying to find the time to “get on the phone and discuss things further.”

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