Bryant Burns and Kris White of WrestlingOpinion sat down with former WWE Diva, Playboy Cover girl, co-host of the Mike and Maria in Wonderland Podcast, recording artist, model, actress, and current First Lady of Ring of Honor Maria Kanellis! In this Maria Kanellis interview we discuss Ring of Honor, her WWE run, Nancy Grace, the Bella Twins, and much more!
Over the past decade, Maria has been one of the most successful women in professional wrestling. She was voted the 2009 WWE Diva of the Year, starred in the Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump, has released her own album, Seven Sins, and has been in numerous films. Maria got her start in the inaugural Diva’s Search Competition in 2004, although she did not win she would ultimately be offered a contract with the WWE. She worked for the WWE until 2010, during her time there she worked with huge stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James, and numerous others. Maria is now wrestling for Ring of Honor, where she works very closely with her soon to be husband, Michael Bennett. The two have created numerous memorable moments over the past few years and have become one of the most loved, and hated, groups in the company.
During our interview with Maria we discussed numerous topics such as Total Divas, her run in the WWE, squashing the real life feud between her and the Bella Twins, Nancy Grace’s outlandish comments following the death of The Ultimate Warrior, Ring of Honor, and much more! Here are a few of the highlights from the interview:
On Triple H :
“Anybody that wants to say it is the Yes Movement better also remember who the boss is, and who’s the one making the decisions now. And I think that Triple H doesn’t necessarily get as much credit as he deserves, because he is the one building up that NXT, he’s the one that has made it a hub and place for wrestling to grow and get better and better.”
On CM Punk :
“Punk came in, changed everybody’s mind. Then management started listening. Management went, ‘Oh, he know’s how to get over.’ Because he knows the people, because he’s been working in front of the people for 9 years now.”
On Squashing the Feud with the Bella Twins :
“I actually am done with that part of my life. I talked to Nikki the other day. We’re cool. Like its funny, I don’t think I knew all the facts. I think people were telling me things that weren’t necessarily true. I wanted to be done with it. So, one day I just texted her and was like, ‘hey, I don’t know what happened, but I’m sorry.’ And she responded back and she’s like ‘I understand, you know things happen.’ She was super cool about it. And we’re done with that. Like, I’m an honest person, and when I find out I’m wrong, I’m wrong.”
On Being Stranded on the Side of the Road, and Being Rescued by the Hardy Boyz :
“I got pulled over on the way to a show, and the guy took my car away from me (she did not realize she had a speeding ticket out that had not been paid). Here I was with my rental car and they took it away from me, they said I couldn’t drive. I was like ok, cool. The cop leaves me on the side of the road. Me, my two big bags, and my dog Gemini. Here I am on the side of the road. Here comes the Hardy Boyz! Flying down the highway. I get a phone call, ‘Maria, was that you on the side of the road?’ Yeah, it was me. Matt was on the phone. Matt’s like, ‘We’re coming to get ya!’ I’m like, ‘Ok good!’ Here comes Matt, picks me up, and we keep going. So, The Hardy’s are my angels.”
On Nancy Grace :
“The Nancy Grace’s of the world are so behind of the times. Holy crap. And how can you be so disrespectful? I mean, how can you be so rude? Like, here this man comes on to talk about a friend, and then you’re going to do that to him? I mean she’s just an evil, evil woman.”