Maria Kanellis Reacts To WWE Turning Her Pregnancy Into A Storyline, More


During the latest edition of “The Wrassingh Show”, ROH Superstar Maria Kanellis commented on WWE turning her real-life pregnancy into a storyline in 2019, whether she thought it was being done as a punishment, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On WWE squandering opportunities with her and Mike Bennett: “Do I think it’s a missed opportunity? Of course! Of course! You had someone like my husband, who can wrestle anybody and be this amazing heel or amazing face, has this tremendous story of recovery and just a positive outlook. [Mike] will do and work his ass off and they didn’t use it. Then you have somebody like me that ‘okay, I could be a baby face, I could be a heel. Do you need me to wrestle? Do you need me commentate? Do you want me to announce? How about manage somebody? Do you want me to, you know do the tango and juggle? I will figure it out!’ And like, they didn’t want to use me either so it was a great three years of taking a reprieve from working you know like. I don’t know. I don’t know what the thought process was!”

On trying to talk with Vince McMahon about storylines: “That’s what you try and do, but it doesn’t always work that way either. There’s a lot of stories that they tell you like, ‘oh we’re gonna have you work with this person and this person and it’s gonna be great,’ and then it doesn’t happen, ‘Oh! we’re going to have you work with so and so and this is going to be great!’ And it doesn’t happen. They just string you along and it’s like, ‘I’m getting older and my face is starting to go like this and it’s just not, it just wasn’t a great experience. For me, it was fine! Like for me, I became 24/7 champ! I was the first pregnant 24/7 champ, like I was able to still maintain some semblance of me and my strength. My poor husband was used as a pawn and they were just like, ‘here you’re now, the fool!’ Like it was just not, it wasn’t very respectful at all.”

On her thoughts on WWE making her pregnancy a storyline: “We were fine with it at first because we thought it was going somewhere. Like we thought it was going to be, I was going to be the pregnant champ and then he was going to take it off me and then he was going to go on this run of winning matches and like really starting to solidify his place in WWE. But then, for some reason, it just all stopped short. It’s very confusing to me and he was supposed to turn on me into this big baby face, I was gonna go away as like the crazy pregnant lady and that was fine for me. And then I was gonna come back and sometime around WrestleMania and be like I’m sorry, I was just crazy because I was pregnant and that was cool with me because I thought it was funny. I thought Mike could have a singles run but just didn’t happen.”

On the theory that pregnancy storyline was done to them as a punishment by WWE: “There are several falsehoods with that. First and foremost, I didn’t know I was pregnant when I signed with WWE so I couldn’t have told them. When I came out with the fact that I was pregnant on live television, I was probably only about eight and a half to nine weeks pregnant, so like, I did not know when I signed. Also, I had talked to WWE about having another baby because when we were in contract negotiations, I gave them two different options. I was like ‘okay, you guys can either sign me to like a legacy, paid per appearance deal, which is less money, less appearances and you can just keep me under contract and I will have a baby, and I’ll do less because I was gonna get pregnant. Or you can sign me to the full time deal but I’m planning on having another baby and I’m getting to be almost 40 so it’s going to happen soon.’ So, they had options – they could have signed me either way. There actually was a third option, which was bring me in as like a producer/writer and keep me backstage. Then even the farther along I was pregnant, I could keep coming until a certain time when my doctor said no more flights. But then I could have come back earlier too.”

On how WWE handled the situation: “They didn’t accept that option. What they decided to do was to bring me in full-time full talent contract and that was their decision, not mine. I gave them the other options, so if it was a way of getting back at me, I’m sorry that talent relations didn’t inform WWE of what our family planning was but at the end of the day, it really is none of their business. If anything, pregnancy is a disability in the United States, it’s considered disability so federally, it should be treated as an injury in an independent contract so that doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I didn’t have to tell them what my family planning was, but I did! WWE could’ve chosen to fire me, they could have signed me to a paid per appearance deal, a lesser contract, a producer/writer deal or even working down in NXT, or they could have signed me to a full-time deal. They chose to sign me to a full-time deal. So whether or not the information was relayed from talent relations to Vince McMahon or the management, I don’t know. Maybe it was a punishment but at the same time like that’s not my fault.”

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