Former WWE Superstar, Mike Bennett revealed all about his three years in WWE including what his boss, Vince McMahon thought about him, on The Walkway to Fight Club podcast.
“I just wasn’t happy. It’s not a knock on WWE, they have a culture there. That’s how they run their business. Some people work jobs that they hate all the time. And it’s just they come to an agreement that I’m just not happy here and some people are and some people are not. It just happened that this place isn’t for me. I don’t like how it functions. It doesn’t meet my values.”
On how McMahon viewed his abilities, Bennett explained:
“I had been told straight up by people in the office that said Vince just doesn’t see anything in you. I said, ‘Okay, that’s fine. That’s fair. That’s it, his company. But if he doesn’t see anything in me, and he doesn’t think he can make money off of me, then why am I still here? Why not let me go?’ It just never logically made sense to me. If you think someone’s a talent, and you think they’re gonna make you money, and they want to go, you go, ‘I don’t want you going anywhere else, because I don’t want you to make money because I want to make money off you.’
Bennett worked for WWE between 2017 and 2020, after celebrated tenures in Ring of Honor, New Japan and TNA. However, his three year stint was almost entirely unmemorable. His most high profile storyline was also his most infamous and demeaning.
In the summer of 2019, Bennett was repeatedly mocked on-screen by his own wife, Maria Kanellis after she revealed she was pregnant. Kanellis berated Bennett’s manhood and even claimed that he wasn’t the father of their unborn child. The humiliating storyline was quickly dropped and both Bennett and his wife disappeared from television.
Bennett revealed that he asked for his WWE release three times and was turned down on each occasion:
“The third time I said, ‘I don’t care anymore. I’ll still show up to work but make it abundantly clear I don’t want to be here anymore.’ Because of the power of social media, I’m going to use it and until I made it public on Twitter, they sent me home after that, which is fine. I’d never not show up. I always showed up and did my job.”
The 35-year-old added:
“Then after sitting at home for like four or five months, then they brought me back down to NXT. I still showed up and did that. At that point, I think I just kind of accepted it. I was like, ‘Alright, if they’re gonna have sour grapes and if it’s just gonna be vengeful and spiteful, I’ll just come and make the most of it for the next five years and, and then we’ll see where it goes from there.’ But in my head, I was never like, ‘I’m not not going to show up’ because my parents didn’t raise me that way. It’s not in my blood. I just couldn’t do that. So, I would always show up. It wasn’t a happy place for me to be.”
Bennett and Kanellis were finally released from their WWE deals in April 2020. Bennett returned to Ring of Honor in November.
h/t to Wrestling Inc. for transcription