Mike Kanellis Bennett Talks about the Emasculation Angle with Maria
Speaking on the Swing & Mrs. podcast with Cody and Jennifer Decker, Mike Kanellis explained why he asked for his release and why it had nothing to do with his emasculation angle on Raw. There’s been a lot of speculation that the angle, which saw Maria mocking Mike and essentially cuckolding him, was part of why Kanellis publicly asked for his release in October. Kanellis said that the whole storyline didn’t bother him and explained that he just felt stuck at a time when he wants to wrestle the best matches he can now that he’s clean and sober.
Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:
On whether the angle caused him to want to leave the company: “You know, the angle itself never bothered me. Because I tell people this and I just was doing a podcast recently, and I’ll say this and I’m sure people are gonna yell at me. But it’s a fake television show. It’s not real. My name’s not really Mike Kanellis. Yes, I really am married to Maria Kanellis, but at the end of the day I am playing a role on a television show, it’s the same thing if Mike Bennett played ‘Serial Killer #1’ on Law & Order, you know? It doesn’t reflect who I am as a person, so I don’t mind trying to be different. I don’t mind thinking outside the box.”
On what he didn’t like about the angle: “My only issue was it didn’t go anywhere. And if I’m going to do a storyline like that, I’d like for it to go somewhere. I think the fans would like for it to go somewhere, there should be a payoff. There should be something that happens so you can either say ‘Yay’ or ‘Boo.’ But for me, the fact that it just stopped and then moved [to Rusev and Lana], it’s like, ‘Well, what was the point of all of that?’ I don’t mind trying something new, I don’t mind thinking outside the box. I don’t mind embarrassing myself on television, I wrestle in underwear for a living. I really don’t care. If they’re like, ‘Oh, you have to be emasculated by your wife,’ I’m like, ‘Fine.’ I don’t care, I really don’t. At the end of the day, I’m still a performer, I’m still a wrestler. And if the next day, they could be like, ‘All right, we’re gonna make you the toughest man on the planet.’ Okay. Again, it’s just a fake storyline, it’s fake wrestling. It’s just, I get offended when it doesn’t go anywhere, because I think that takes away from what we’re trying to do, and what we’re trying to build.”
On the reason for his public request for a release: “I just – I felt stuck. I felt stuck in the sense that I’m just at a point now where — and like I was saying earlier, I feel clear headed and clear minded. And that has to do with being two and a half years sober. And I don’t want to live with regret, and I don’t want to be that person that was like ‘Well, you spent four to five years of your life being addicted to drugs in your late 20s and early 30s when you could have been going out and having these killer matches.’ Because my work did suffer. And I know a lot of people have said, ‘Oh, well you were having really good matches.’ I think I was having good matches, but I want to know what I can do now that I’m not beholden to a prescription drug. I want to see what clear-headed, clean, sober Mike Bennett can do now that he’s 100% focused and 100% wants to go, and go all out and have these type of matches. And maybe it’s an ego thing, I don’t know. But to me, it’s always been this personal drive. I’ve never thought people considered me one of the best wrestlers in the world. And I want to at least give an attempt to prove that I can be that wrestler.”
On his appreciation for WWE: “And I feel like, because — and again, I’ve said this before. I’m not mad at WWE. I don’t hate WWE. They treated me wonderfully, they still treat me wonderfully. When I came out with my addiction, they didn’t judge me. When my wife said she was pregnant, they were like, ‘Great.’ They’ve taken care of us, they’ve done everything they need to do. They’ve been great to her and my daughter. I have nothing but love for the people in that company. It’s just personal, I just want to go and wrestle, and wrestle a lot until I can’t anymore, and figure it out from there.”