Mike Bennett Comments On Working For ROH During Their “Reboot”, Talks Addiction Issues


During a recent appearance on the Shining Wizards Podcast, Mike Bennett commented on working in ROH during its ongoing “reboot,” his past addiction issues, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the ROH reboot: “It’s really cool for me because I feel what Ring of Honor is doing and doing well is not trying to do too much. They have a main focus, and that main focus is, believe it or not, professional wrestling. We are focused on actual wrestling and then sprinkling in a few things here and there. It’s focused on pure wrestling, so you have the pure division. Then you got RUSH as the world champion, so then you have luchador style up there mixed with the pure division mixed with strong style. It’s like a collection of every style of wrestling mixed into one, focused on the fact that all of this is pro wrestling. And then you can sprinkle in The Kingdom vs. The Righteous which is a little bit more entertainment side of professional wrestling. And then you have the new group of Violence Unlimited where you can sprinkle in the violent aspect of professional wrestling. But at the core, Ring of Honor right now is focusing on being professional wrestling, which is a sport.”

On Ian Riccaboni & Caprice Coleman: “I feel like I need to say this, because I think this is what adds so much to our product. It’s the commentary. The commentary is so pivotal to what we do. I was watching the Pay Per View the other night and I was sitting there thinking to myself that it’s not just a seasoning on the product. It is so pivotal to what we’re trying to get across and I feel like if you took away Ian or you took away Caprice, we wouldn’t get the same feeling or the same message across, which is that this is an actual sport with two competitors, and at the end of the day winning and losing means something and it has consequences.”

On The OGK: “This is no secret, and I think I’ll tell anyone who listens to me, Taven is my best friend in the ring, outside the ring, on TV, and in real life. He’s my best friend. So being able to go back to the company that I love and also doing it with your best friend, who I’ve been able to travel the world with and have all these experiences with, it’s the best. He was always there when I was going through all the trouble with WWE. When I was sick and tired and bored and frustrated and this and that, so he knows the struggle. To have someone like that who is just as excited for me as I am for him, it’s just awesome. I don’t have enough nice things to say about him and us coming back as The Kingdom.”

On his WWE experience: “It’s funny man. I took a lot of good things away from there. Despite what people think, like everyone always assumes I hated everything about it, and I’m bitter and this and that. It’s the exact opposite. I think people get annoyed because when I get asked the question, I just speak the truth. I don’t try to sugar coat it. I don’t try to think in my head “what should I say so I could eventually go back.” People ask me a question. I’m brutally honest. Whether that’s good or bad. I think that’s my sobriety talking, but that’s just the way I have been for the past four years. Like, just be honest with it. WWE taught me a lot. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of the people I met there, I adore. I still have friends there. I got to wrestle at WrestleMania. That was really cool. I got to be part of one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world. I got to travel the world with that company. I got to do European tours. It was a lot of fun. I think the biggest thing I took away, which again, some people might take this as a knock – it’s not a knock – going to WWE taught me what I didn’t want in this industry. What I didn’t want to be. It changed my love for what I wanted. It was always WWE or bust. I got there and I went, you know what, this isn’t for me. This isn’t what I like. And I think that’s ok. And I think that’s a positive to take away from it. In WWE, I grew as a man. I grew as a husband. I got clean and sober. There’s a lot to look at in those last three years that I was there and be like, it wasn’t all bad. My biggest frustration was that once I got clean and sober, I wanted to work, and WWE didn’t want me to work. They didn’t want me to do anything. I would push and push, and I’m like I’m not looking for world titles. I’m not even looking for a push. I’m asking you to just put me to work so I can prove to you that I do deserve these things. They just didn’t want to do it.”

On whether AEW was a possibility: “You know, they didn’t reach out to me. Wrestling is very like “brother, brother.” You talk to some people. You put out feelers. Everything was always put out there, but nothing was ever like attacked. Because, I think always in my head, with Taven, it was always Ring of Honor. I never really wanted to go anywhere else. You obviously, if you’re a businessman, and a smart businessman, you put everything out to everybody because you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. But you know, when I got fired, one of the first people to reach out to me was Delirious, where he just sent me a winky emoji on Twitter. And Maria was laughing. She’s like, “wrestlers are so weird.” Like what business does that? It was just one of those “Hey I got ya,” you know? That always meant a lot to me because Delirious, he took over the book when I first started in ROH, so me and him have always had a very good relationship, and it’s always meant a lot to me. So when I got that, it was just kind of like “I got you pal,” which meant a lot to me at that moment considering what was going on and what we were going through. So it was one of these things where I was going to put out these feelers, but I know where I’m going and I know where I want to go, so it wasn’t really like attacking anything head on.”

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