Mike Bennett Says WWE Is “Shooting Themselves In The Foot” With RETRIBUTION

Sep 28, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck


Wrestling Inc. – Mike Bennett Interview

Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman

Audio Link – https://audioboom.com/posts/7693050-tribal-chief-roman-reigns-dominates-jey-uso-wwe-clash-fallout-feat-mike-bennett

On if he feels bad for the RETRIBUTION members and the WWE creative they are being given:

Yeah, I do because, first of all, everyone that’s in RETRIBUTION is fantastic. They’re unbelievable talents, and I know Dijak from the Northeast and Mia Yim I worked with over at Impact and I think the world of her. And Shane Thorne, I just think is the best, but it’s like, I just don’t know what else to say when I see the fact that they have this cool idea of these group of people that are sick of the way the company’s working.

But then they are just shooting themselves in the foot. They don’t take little pieces and think them through. They don’t think the fact that these guys want to destroy WWE, but we’re going to give them a contract and sign them?

Even if you erase the fact that I have a wrestling mind and just look at it from a simple perspective of just a normal person watching this, like if I was trying to destroy the NFL, Roger Goodell is not going to give me a contract, or Robert Kraft is not going to sign me to the Patriots because I’m trying to destroy the NFL.

On the RETRIBUTION members’ names that fans are making fun of:

They backed themselves into a corner, and I hope they can find a way out of it, but they have an uphill battle with those names. Now names don’t mean crap. They don’t. I get it. If you’re talented enough, you can overcome the name, but it’s incredibly difficult. It’s already an uphill battle, and on top of that, they’re dealing with bad booking decisions on top of bad names.

So it’s tough, and this isn’t me crapping on WWE. This is just tough. It’s difficult, and I love the fact that Shane Thorne is Slapjack because I’m going to give him so much crap next time I see him and just keep calling him Slapjack, but I can do that because I took the name Mike Kanellis, so he can throw it right back in my face.

On what it’s like for talent when they want to question the bad booking they are given by WWE creative:

So it usually trickles down in the sense that everyone knows that’s being passed the information about what you’re doing, it’s bad. So it starts at the top. So it starts with boss man and he makes the call, and then it gets passed to the writers, who then pass it to the agents, who then pass it to the wrestlers, or sometimes the writers go right to the wrestlers or whatever.

But you know instantly when it’s bad because the writers go, ‘we tried to fix this, but this is what he really wants,’ or the agents go, ‘let me go talk to him.’ Then the agents come back, and they go, ‘nope, he’s dead set on this.’ So it’s usually like a trickle-down of ‘yep, we know it’s crap, but we’re giving it to this guy’ and then you get it, and it’s basically, everyone’s just like, ‘sorry, make the most of it.’ And so, then you take it.

On dealing the pregnancy storyline WWE gave he and his wife Maria Kanellis:

I mean for me, when we were doing that storyline, I just looked at it. I was like, ‘alright, I know this isn’t really good, but if I can make something out of this, if I can make this entertaining, I was up for the challenge.’ And a lot of the guys and girls, they’re up for the challenge, but they also wish they’re like, ‘why are we doing this? We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

Like we could make this good, but instead, we have to try to figure out how to make it good when we know it’s bad.’ As opposed to just giving us something good that we can make great, they give you something bad and they’re like, ‘try to make something good out of this’ which is just a backwards way to try to do things.

On when he knew WWE had ruined him creatively:

And so, there’s so much pride in the talent that I think they try to make the most of it, but there are certain times where I mean, when we were doing that stuff where Ricochet beat me in a matter of seconds. And then Rusev came out, like we knew instantly, I was like, ‘this is terrible,’ and ‘this is just going to bury me. And we basically said in the production meeting, we’re like, ‘I will do this as long as this isn’t the end of it,’ and of course, that was the end of it and that was what eventually led to me being like, ‘alright, I’m ready to go because there’s no coming back from what you guys just did to me,’ but yet you try to make the most of it.

You try to compromise with them, but at the end of the day, if the boss says that’s it, that’s it, and you just go, ‘alright, what am I going to do?’ And some guys can just keep riding the train and be like, ‘this is fine’ and other guys, like myself, I had enough, and I was like, ‘this isn’t fun for me anymore. I don’t want to do it.’

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