Maria Kanellis was interviewed on the latest “ROHStrong” podcast. She discussed her return to Ring Of Honor, her husband’s return to the company for a reunion with Matt Taven, her thoughts on the future of the women’s division, whether she plans to wrestle in ROH, working in OVW, Paul Heyman, her time in WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and more.
Maria was asked about the album she put out 10 years ago called “7 Sins” and why she hasn’t continued her singing career: “This is going to surprise people but I was a nervous wreck to perform. It made me really uncomfortable. I still write. I get really uncomfortable in front of crowds singing. I had a few showcases that were set up and I canceled them because I got so nervous. I really enjoyed writing it. I didn’t write the music, I wrote the lyrics. I worked with a few other musicians on it. I had a lot of fun writing it, but performing was not for me.”
Maria shared her thoughts on Paul Heyman: “He is a teacher. He was my mentor for a very long time. He was the person that made me believe that I could write because he believed in me at the time. In recent years, I feel like his legacy hasn’t been upheld as much as it should be because of whatever WWE is doing. The idea he had for Mike and I was great. It could have been amazing but unfortunately, along the way, things get watered down and muddy. I would say he is a mentor, an educator and he’s my friend. I text him randomly and ask him, hey ‘What about this person? What do you think? How can I make this better?’ He is one person that I know if I text him, I will hear back from him within a day. I think one of the tough things is you don’t know all the stuff. Yes, people can be polarizing but you don’t know what the whole story is. I only know what happened to me. I know what Paul told me. I know what was actually thrown at me at the last minute as I’m walking out to the ring. So I don’t know. One of the craziest experiences I ever had wasn’t a promo. I had promos where I was learning my lines as I’m going down to the ring and saying them in my head, like ok, they just told me to say this, don’t say that word. But, it was a match. I got in the ring. Beth said we have 2 minutes. It was supposed to be a match where I was showing something. I was supposed to have a little bit more fire. Beth is piecing this sucker together as we are locking up. Again, who knows with all the stories floating around about Heyman. I know what I know about me and that’s what I’m going to go off of.”
Maria talked about Vince McMahon: “Because a lot of people take a lot of things out of context, I’m going to try and make this very clear to people. Vince McMahon gave me an opportunity and if I am correct, which like I said before, you never know for sure, it was Vince and Kevin Dunn who were the ones who said, yes, bring her back. So I appreciate that. At the time, it was an excellent opportunity. Along the way, I was given incredible opportunities. I was able to travel the world. That was incredible. But at a certain point, people need to change and they need to grow, and grow up, and learn that the world is changing. Even though I appreciate the opportunities I was given in the past, I really wish that Vince would learn and would listen to people. Yes, it worked in the past. That’s great. I’m happy for you that you created an industry. But at a certain point, because you are the pinnacle, the definition of what professional wrestling is, you need to show the world that you can change because that is the only way that this industry gets better. It’s the only way that we can completely move forward. Yes, you have competitors and they are doing a great job, but they do not have the reach. Because Vince McMahon has the reach, he can change a lot of lives, and so, in that way, I think he needs to be more forward looking and less being like the high school football player who says, ‘I had that great play. It was awesome.’ Ok, cool. Let’s move forward. Let’s see what else you got. Are you now a family man and do you really mean it or is that some kind of marketing ploy? There are a lot of things that that company says that they don’t truly believe because if they did, my husband and I would not have been fired this year along with a lot of other wonderful people whether they were employees or professional wrestlers.”