Maria Kanellis had her fingerprints all over Ring of Honor’s women’s division before the company went on hiatus in late 2021 ahead of Tony Khan purchasing the company in March of this year.
Before Khan’s purchase of the company, Maria and Bobby Cruise had publicly spoken about their plans for the division after reintroducing the ROH Women’s Championship with one idea being the potential introduction of ROH Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Once it was made official that the company would be returning in a different direction, Maria signed with IMPACT Wrestling.
In a conversation with Will Washington, Righteous Reg, and Phil Lindsey on Grapsody, Maria talked about her future in the wrestling business.
“I’m on a per-appearance deal with them [IMPACT Wrestling] until October 8. It’s so hard to make decisions moving forward because I love what we’re doing in IMPACT and I know the possibilities of where we might go with it and where I might go with it as an individual. Scott D’Amore is a fantastic boss, if I’m not in the Maria Honor No More voice [laughs]. I absolutely love what we’re doing there. When [The Kingdom] won the tag titles, that meant something, especially after losing what, to me, was going to be the next ten years of my life, if not longer, Ring of Honor. I was looking at Ring of Honor like, ‘Okay, this is going to be the next ten to fifteen years of my life. I’m going to run this women’s division. I’m going to transition completely to the other side. I’m going to help with production. I want to move forward with taking over more responsibilities.’ Then it ended, and Scott gave us an opportunity. It’s really hard looking ‘where do I go next?’ I talked to Tony Khan, I talked to Triple H, I talk to Scott all the time. Recently, I talked to WOW [Women of Wrestling]. It’s a very interesting time for me. For me, it’s about creating opportunities for all of the women I’m working with now. Where does that make sense?”Maria Kanellis
The Kingdom (the duo of Matt Taven and Mike Bennet) won the IMPACT Tag Team Championships on the September 1st edition of IMPACT Wrestling. The two were a prominent team in ROH in 2014, but have also been competing around each other since 2008.
Kanellis then went on to explain how she looks at the options ahead of them in their careers, mentioning the possibilities of a return to WWE or a run in AEW.
“Not only that but then there is the heart of me that says when Mike, my husband, went to WWE and it was his ultimate dream to be in WWE. That’s all he talked about. He was a WWE person from the moment I met him. We got to WWE, and it was not the way he wanted it to go. I think, for him, there is still a part of him that thinks there is unfinished business. For me, I don’t know if you guys could see it, but when [The Kingdom] won the tag team titles (in IMPACT), there were tears. They are my boys. Taven married us. I was literally standing with the both of them at my wedding going, ‘you are my husband’s best friend and my friend, and this is my husband, we are family.’ The idea of the two of them walking out at WrestleMania and me managing them. Of course, that thought is in my mind. Then I look at AEW where they have some of the greatest tag teams in the world. Competition-wise, there is that at AEW. The fact that the boys have never gotten in there with FTR. I look at all of these things and go ‘shit.’ Then, where is Ring of Honor going to go? I think it’s an amazing time in wrestling right now.”Maria Kanellis
Maria and her husband, Mike Bennett, both signed with WWE in 2017 before being released by the company in April of 2020.
Currently, Maria, along with being an on-screen regular with IMPACT, has been running Women’s Wrestling Army which is an all women’s promotion that airs on Pro Wrestling TV. It’s uncertain where exactly the pair will end up once their deal with IMPACT is done, but Maria has made it clear that they will certainly give a lot of thought to their options.
H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions