Wrestling News

Maria Kanellis On Paul Heyman – “He Gave Me An Opportunity To Grow”

Maria Kanellis

Maria Kanellis has opened up about one man that she felt gave her the opportunity to grow as a performer in wrestling – Paul Heyman.

Speaking on The DropKick podcast, Kanellis was discussing her time in WWE and how Paul Heyman influenced her career.

Kanellis explained:

“Paul gave me an opportunity to grow, which is incredible and that’s why he has such a great mind for the industry. He’s willing to listen to what the talent wants to create, so being able to do that was incredible.”

Kanellis worked with Heyman during their time at Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was WWE’s developmental territory at the time.

Kanellis then continued:

“I think that the biggest thing with Paul has always been that wrestling is not based on a thousand different moments. It’s not a thousand different storylines or like your legacy isn’t built of a thousand things. Sometimes it’s just built off of one thing.”

A former IMPACT Wrestling Knockout Champion, Kanellis was part of WWE’s first televised Diva Search in 2004. Maria would then become a backstage interviewer for WWE as well as competing in the ring. Upon leaving WWE in 2010 Kanellis would begin accompanying her husband Mike Bennett to the ring in Ring of Honor. Kanellis would then continue to accompany Bennett and compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling and IMPACT Wrestling. The couple returned to WWE in the summer of 2017 with Mike Bennett defeating Sami Zayn in his debut for the company.

Maria Kanellis discussed much from her career in a wide ranging interview. The face of Ring of Honor’s fan engagement initiative ‘The Experience’ Kanellis also discussed a possible future in AEW.

Credit: The DropKick podcast