Former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis recently appeared on IYH Wrestling Radio with Jack E. Jones and One Inch Biceps to promote her upcoming appearance at the New England Pro Wrestling FanFest. Maria talks about being a wrestler vs. valet, working for ROH and WWE, Sara Del Rey and more. The following highlights were sent in:
* Having now wrestled in both the WWE and Ring of Honor, what is the difference between wrestling the women in the WWE and women on the independent scene?
“It’s a lot more freeing. We always had to stick to a certain time when I was working on television so you really couldn’t try a whole lot. Getting in there and wrestling with some of the new girls or the up-and-comers or girls that have been veterans on the independents is completely different because we have all the time in the world. We can play with the crowd, we can see what works, what doesn’t work, and that’s really fun for me.”
* There were a lot of rumors on the Internet that part of the reason your fiance, Mike Bennett, didn’t go the WWE was because he was with you. Would you care to address that?
“I’ve heard a lot of things, but with wrestling you have to know that everybody might blame it on different reasons. It’s always going to be ‘Oh, it’s because he wasn’t in good enough shape’ or ‘Oh, it’s because he was an independent wrestler’ or ‘Oh, it’s because he has something in his past’, and the truth of the matter is wrestling is all about timing and placement and at the time it wasn’t Mike’s time. It wasn’t his time to go. I’ve been called an albatross, I’ve been called this and that, but at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter. What matters is: ‘Is that what WWE needs right now?’, because if he is what they needed they would take him. And if you look at past history with wrestling, there’s been a lot of guys that came back that had a lot more controversy surrounding them than I have. They always said Stone Cold won’t go back, Rock’s not going to go back, this person’s not going to go back; when they need them, when they want them, they end up going.”
* As a woman in wrestling, what do you think is the most important thing between looks, charisma, and in-ring wrestling, or do you think you have to have that whole complete package?
“I think you have to have something. I don’t think it’s one particular look, I don’t think it’s one particular type of charisma, and I don’t think it’s one particular type of wrestling. I think that there is a place for everything; you just have to be extremely passionate about it. You have to stand out. I think a lot of people thought I would never come back to wrestling, and I think a lot of people thought that I wouldn’t have a place in wrestling and I would just do whatever it was to make money. If that were the case, then I probably would be somewhere else; I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. I’m so very passionate about wrestling, and about being a part of wrestling and making the best product out there, and I think that that is what you need to stick around in this business. You’ll move around. You might go to TNA, you might go to Ring of Honor, you might go to WWE, and each place will expect something different of you, but you have to be passionate about every aspect of wrestling in order to make it.“