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Maria Kanellis Reveals Original Plans For WWE Run In 2017

Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett

Maria Kanellis-Bennett made her name in WWE performing in a variety of roles from 2004 until she left the company in February 2010.

Following her departure from WWE, Maria appeared for numerous promotions around the world, later alongside her partner Mike Bennett. The pair married in 2014 and following a stint in TNA they signed for WWE in the spring of 2017.

Kanellis has since said that the two were “doomed from the start,” adding they were “dead in the water” after two weeks.

Speaking to the Dropkick Podcast, Kanellis revealed that the original plan called for Mike to have a run as a singles wrestler. The former TNA Knockouts Champion went on to explain that she feels those plans were changed after she announced she was pregnant and Mike detailed his struggles with addiction.

“But the plan was to build Mike as a singles wrestler. Somewhere along the way, and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with him coming out with his addiction and then me announcing that I was pregnant, I think they just kind of took a step back from us and everything they wanted to do with us. But I say this to Mike all the time, that the second week we were there, we were already dead in the water.”

However, the couple were eventually given a storyline, which saw Maria being ashamed of her husband and putting him down for losing matches. The angle mysteriously never received any kind off pay-off on television, but Kanellis revealed that the planned story would see the couple split on screen with Mike being built as a babyface.

“So it was supposed to be this storyline where I was just berating him the whole time,” Maria said. “I was still on the road while pregnant, and then it was going to be Mike turning on me. It was supposed to be, ‘I’m sick of your s–t lady, I’m gonna do this on my own.’ Then I was gonna go on maternity leave, and then he was gonna have this singles run and use all the things he had been though. You know, dating an evil woman and having this addiction and all this stuff. He was going to use it as a babyface and to really start getting some wins and get the ball rolling.

Then of course that ended as well, but you know some of our segments were like the highest rated during RAW, and I don’t think Vince liked it, [and he] didn’t understand Breezango either. You hear all these stories of how he doesn’t get it and I’m sorry you didn’t get it but the fans enjoyed it.”

During the interview, Kanellis also reserved special praise for Paul Heyman. She recalled how he “gave me an opportunity to grow,” before commenting on his great wrestling mind.

The couple were released by WWE in April 2020 as part of the company’s cost cutting measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The husband and wife team have since returned to ROH, where they enjoyed a run of success almost a decade previously.