Ring of Honor star Mike Bennett has revealed that AEW didn’t reach out to him following his departure from WWE in April 2020.
Appearing on the Shining Wizards podcast, Mike Bennett initially praised his current employers, saying that they keep things simple and that has improved their product.
“It’s really cool for me because I feel what Ring of Honor is doing and doing well is not trying to do too much,” Bennet said. “They have a main focus, and that main focus is, believe it or not, professional wrestling. We are focused on actual wrestling and then sprinkling in a few things here and there. It’s focused on pure wrestling, so you have the pure division. Then you got Rush as the world champion, so then you have luchador style up there mixed with the pure division mixed with strong style. It’s like a collection of every style of wrestling mixed into one, focused on the fact that all of this is pro wrestling.
“And then you can sprinkle in The Kingdom vs. The Righteous which is a little bit more entertainment side of professional wrestling. And then you have the new group of Violence Unlimited where you can sprinkle in the violent aspect of professional wrestling. But at the core, Ring of Honor right now is focusing on being professional wrestling, which is a sport.”
Mike Bennett went on to praise the ROH commentary team, as well as revelling in the reunion with teammate in The Kingdom, Matt Tavern. Commenting that he “doesn’t have enough things to say” about his partner.
The former WWE Superstar was then asked about whether AEW had made contact after he had left WWE, but he revealed that no one had reached out.
“You know, they didn’t reach out to me,” Bennett said. “Wrestling is very like ‘brother, brother.’ You talk to some people, you put out feelers. Everything was always put out there, but nothing was ever like attacked. I think always in my head, with Taven, it was always Ring of Honor. I never really wanted to go anywhere else. You obviously, if you’re a businessman, and a smart businessman, you put everything out to everybody because you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.
“But you know, when I got fired, one of the first people to reach out to me was Delirious. He just sent me a winky emoji on Twitter. It was just one of those ‘Hey I got ya,” you know?’ That always meant a lot to me because Delirious took over the book when I first started in ROH. We have always had a very good relationship, and it’s always meant a lot to me. So when I got that, it was just kind of like ‘I got you pal.’ It was one of these things where I was going to put out these feelers, but I know where I’m going and I know where I want to go. So it wasn’t really like attacking anything head on.”
In a recent interview, Bennett also recalled upsetting John Cena when he was working as an extra for WWE in 2007. Bennett wound up using a taunt in a match very similar to Cena’s ‘Can’t See Me’ gesture, something which didn’t sit well with the 16-time champion.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.