The It’s My Wrestling Podcast sent out the following:
In a recent interview with the It’s My Wrestling Podcast, Maria Kanellis-Bennett discussed Ring Of Honor Wrestling’s plans before the company’s recent news, WWE’s Women’s Division, the recent WWE Queen’s Crown Tournament, Donald Trump, Playboy, Paul Heyman and LOTS more.
The interview is available in full at this link, with highlights of the interview below:
What ROH were planning before the decision to release the roster was made: Long term goals are to definitely get tag titles. I think that’s really important. There’s so many great women’s tag teams out there. So that’s one of my goals. We do have a title match at final battle. It’s going to be whoever is the champ against whoever wins these two three way matches. That’s really exciting. There’s been some interaction between the allure and the hex so I don’t know if this is breaking news but I do have to say I’m going to have to have a conversation with Mickie and see if maybe there could be an opportunity for them to have a match because if the allure is getting involved with Chelsea and Chelsea is close with the hex you know, it only seems necessary that we might have a tag tag team title match on our hands. I’m going to put in a call to Mickie over at NWA and see if we can make that happen. Women’s Wednesday, I think we are on week 24 right now, an all women’s show every single Wednesday night at 7pm. Eastern. Beyond the belles, which is our after show. It’s a talk show about women’s wrestling not just for ROH, but women’s wrestling in general. So we’ve had, I think 24 weeks of that right now. People say all women’s wrestling shows don’t work. It’s been working for 24 weeks now.
Experiences with Donald Trump: I will say this. Donald Trump was great on Celebrity Apprentice. He’s a character, he was funny on The Apprentice. Does he belong as the president? No, I don’t want to think about my president every day. I just don’t. I want you know, the president to be doing his job in the White House and only think about him every couple weeks. Like, I don’t want to be thinking about this man every day. Like that’s a problem. You know, it’s it’s one of those things that I want it to just work. I think he was too much of a celebrity in that role. There are certain things we need a little bit more seriousness to whether or not my water is clean is important to me. Whether or not the school systems are good, important to me. I’d like it to be a little bit more serious than that. He came in and did the billionaire vs billionaire thing and be was just a bit of a erm… old man. It was just my job that night, I walked him to the ring like I’ve done 1000 other times. It was a minor interaction but it was fine.
Modelling for Playboy while with WWE: I’ve been a playboy fan for a long time. A long time ago Cindy Crawford had done a shoot for Playboy, it was black and white and I thought it was gorgeous. And I love Kate Moss, and I came from the modelling world. I was a bikini model that wanted to be a runway model wanted, to be an editorial model. So when it came time to do Playboy, I picked out everything I picked out my shoes, I picked out belts that I wore, I picked out the style. I wanted it to be black and white, but they didn’t want black and white at the time. That wasn’t what Hugh Hefner was into at that time for the magazine so that was fine. But I loved it. It was an incredible experience. I never felt like oh, I shouldn’t be doing this. This is too sexy, blah, blah, blah. I didn’t feel like that. I’m an actor. I play different roles. I’ve been the pregnant champ I’ve been the sexy one. I’ve been the ditz. I’ve been the boss lady. I enjoy all of those roles. I was a b**** when I was in impact. My grandmother used to be like why are you so mean to Allie? So like I never looked at it that way.
Would she like to work with AEW women and help the division?: You never know what could happen. Would I love to work with the talented women over there? Of course I would. I mean, I love my division over here. I love their division as well. I think they have a very strong division that just needs time. Right now, I feel like it’s firecrackers with the women’s division. You know you have a match like thunder Rosa against Britt. And it’s like, you’ve got this big match and it’s awesome. And then it’s like, Okay, where is it going? And then you’ve got this match with Ruby and Allie. And it’s like you have these moments and sometime, they’re gonna settle and it’s when you get into that settling phase that it’s like, okay, what are our real characters? Who are they really building, and I’m interested to see it. I think that the girls over there are tremendous. I’ve talked to a few of them. I really feel like the Ruby and Allie match was a moment in time that will be remembered forever just because I got such good ratings.
Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and liking what other companies are doing: It’s an argument that people can have but I love the stuff Becky’s doing. I admire her so much. It makes me work harder in the gym because she looks so fantastic. Like, she is a badass mom. That’s inspirational to everyone. And so I’ll watch what she’s doing. I love what Sasha is doing. I think that Charlotte is tremendous so I will watch them just as much as I will watch Britt I will watch thunder and of course Serena. I will watch women from any company and if I see something I love I send them a text and I’m like, you’re amazing. Like why not? It makes them feel good. It makes me feel good because I was able to watch them have a great match. We’re all so much more connected than people think.
First joining WWE in 04, her original role: So what I wanted to do was be a backstage interviewer. I love Jonathan coachman. I thought he was incredible. I loved his interactions with the rock and I thought he added so much to all of the guys at that time. So that’s the job I wanted. And that’s the job that I thought I would hold for my entire career in WWE. Along the way, of course, they’re like, hey, so do you want to train and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I can figure this out and I can get in there. It’s addictive, that adrenaline rush, thinking you could win. crowd gets behind you. And I lost a lot of matches, but I also was in the ring with some incredible people. And no, that wasn’t necessarily the job that I applied for, but it was a lot of fun.
Queens Crown and issues with WWE booking women: What I’ve seen time and time again is when you don’t have a strong undercard and a strong mid card, you go through these peaks and valleys. And that’s tough. Like, for me, there’s only a few different time limits in a match and none of them are under five minutes. And so like I I don’t think it’s enough. I’m sure of course someone is going to blow through someone from time to time but that just happens, someone’s just more prepared and ready to go. But it shouldn’t happen too often. And when it does, people get sad and they’re not they’re not going to enjoy what they’re watching because they feel bad for the girls. And that’s not a good feeling bad like, Oh, the person I like is losing. Its more like are you kidding me? That’s like, why are they only getting a couple minutes? And you don’t want that reaction. I know why WWE does it. They have their specific talent. That is their upper echelon. They’re the ones that are on the marquees. They’re the ones that are getting the the sponsorships and all of the deals. And they’re the very best that they have but it’s also a building process and it always should be a building process. It’s a never ending story in wrestling. TV shows they’ve got a beginning, middle and end every time. Wrestling is just constant. So you’re constantly building you’re constantly changing.
Learning from Paul Heyman: I worked with Heyman down at Ohio Valley Wrestling, and that’s really the jumping off point of my creativity and wanting to try and book and use, you know, use what I have in my mind of where things can go and how I view wrestling a little bit different than other people. And so that was the beginning and just sitting with him before shows and he’s telling us what’s going to happen throughout the night and going over the scripts and everything. And so we would do that and that was at the very early parts of my career. But I was never afraid to ask questions or to just listen, and as an interviewer I got to interview people like DX and people like Carlito, Ric Flair and the entire gamut of individuals. I was like, I worked with the rock I worked with Stone Cold Steve Austin, I’ve worked with Kurt Angle I’ve worked with Umaga. I worked with everybody. So I didn’t stand there and just go, Oh, I’m gonna turn my brain off, no. I listened and there is a skill to listening.