Mike Bennett is the latest wrestling star to offer his response to controversial comments The Undertaker made when he called the current wrestling product “soft.”
Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, The Undertaker was discussing the differences in wrestling as he saw it now compared to when he broke into the business over 30 years ago. Several stars and legends of the business have responded to these comments including Drew McIntyre, Roman Reigns, and Mick Foley.
Mike Bennett, who competed in WWE as Mike Kanellis, was speaking on the Wrestling With Awareness podcast when he offered his response to the WWE legend’s comments.
“You know, so first and foremost, I have the utmost respect for Undertaker. I always have and he was one of my favorites growing up. He was nothing but kind to me anytime I interacted. I didn’t interact with him a lot at WWE, but every time I did, he was great. My issue is, his problems seem to come at the talent and say that it was their fault that the product is soft. I can promise you that the talent has zero input on the product that gets put out. They get told what to do, if they go off-script they get yelled at, or they get punished. It’s not the talent.”
“The talent has always been ready and willing to do whatever is asked of them. And most of the talent has had far more success on the independents. Doing what they normally do, than when they get to WWE and they get watered down. They get told to do this, and do that, and do this. I do, I understand where Undertaker’s coming from. It’s just, from what I see it as it’s just a generation gap. It’s a difference. We as the professional wrestlers of my generation, look out for each other, we have each other’s backs. We understand when the company’s trying to screw us or not screw us or this and that, and I don’t think the guys are soft.”
Bennett continued, noting the difference in in-ring styles between generations of wrestlers:
“Not for nothing, but some of the matches these guys have, I don’t think the guys back then could keep up and I don’t think they could get hit as hard. I don’t think they could handle it because some of these matches that you see in New Japan, or you see in Ring of Honor, or you see in AEW, some of these matches you see like, Eddie Kingston have. These guys are beating the crap out of each other because they are tough.”
“And I don’t think the guys are soft and… like my wife is very close with Michelle McCool and having that interaction there, I don’t think Undertaker was trying to be disrespectful. I think it’s just a generational thing. I think it’s his mindset of, ‘Well, this is the way we did it. They’re not doing it this way so it must be wrong’ as opposed to someone like Mick Foley, who’s adapting and understanding the way professional wrestling is evolving. Or someone like Edge, who’s helped out so many of the younger guys and understands where wrestling is evolving. So, I don’t think it was a disrespectful thing from Undertaker. I just think it was a generational gap and not understanding this generation of professional wrestlers.”
Mike Bennett currently competes for Ring of Honor. He has most recently been teaming with former ‘Kingdom’ team-mate Matt Taven as ‘The OGK.’
Credit: Wrestling With Awareness
h/t Wrestling Inc. for the transcription