Maria Kanellis is excited about what Ring of Honor will - and can - become.
In December 2020, Maria Kanellis became the leader of the ROH Women's Division, shining a spotlight on a division that hadn't been utilized much throughout the promotion's history. Sadly, Kanellis, along with countless others were released from their ROH contracts in October 2021 when the company announced that they were going on hiatus to re-imagine the product.
On the March 2 episode of AEW Dynamite, Tony Khan revealed that he had purchased Ring of Honor. Since then, the only show presented under the ROH banner was the April 1 Supercard of Honor which was already in the works prior to the sale.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), Maria shared that she has spoken with Tony Khan and believes they will talk again when ROH relaunches.
"I’m a very honest person, so I will answer this honestly. We did have a conversation and it went very well. It was a good thirty-minute, maybe forty-five-minute, conversation. So it wasn’t a short call. He gave me a good amount of his time and I appreciate that greatly. He said he was open to different ideas moving forward for Ring of Honor. So when Ring of Honor or if Ring of Honor makes its re-debut, I’m sure that we’ll have another conversation. I’m really excited for what Ring of Honor will become, to have a different platform that people will be able to see how great Ring of Honor really can be. The talent that comes out of there is like you just know, you know that the talent, when it comes out of Ring of Honor, is going to be something special. So I’m excited for it to re-debut," she said.
Tony Khan recently announced that Ring of Honor will hold its next pay-per-view event, Death Before Dishonor on July 23 from the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. Click here to learn more.
In January 2022, Maria made her return to IMPACT Wrestling after nearly five years away. She, along with fellow ROH talents Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, PCO, Kenny King, and Vincent would form the villainous faction, Honor No More. She revealed to Fightful that she still has a few more months remaining on her deal with the promotion.
"I don’t talk about me as a talent. That’s just not going to happen. I think it’s better that way. Me as a talent is like a different person... I always say, ‘That’s the person on camera and then there’s the other person, that’s me, that’s the mom and wants to produce.’ So I don’t cross that bridge. When I’m talking with Tony about representing the women’s division, whether it’s human resources or producing talent, that’s totally separate from me being a talent. I am signed with IMPACT for a few more months. I love what we’re doing and we have big things planned, too," Maria said.
She continued on to discuss the work IMPACT is doing right now and how much she is enjoying it. Specifically, she cited a segment from the June 23 episode of IMPACT during which Mike Bennett took control of the camera while the rest of the faction explained how Scott D'Amore and IMPACT "screwed them over" at Slammiversary.
"It’s unfortunate that more people don’t watch IMPACT. What we just did last night was one of the coolest segments I’ve seen in wrestling in a while. Because with Mike taking the camera—and this will be the producer side of me talking about what I did on screen as talent—but with Taven grabbing the camera and bringing it close and the cuts back and forth showing Mike holding the camera, that was really cool. So it was Vincent’s idea originally to grab the camera, but he had something to say on the actual show. So I said, ‘Well, can we still grab the camera someway?’ and then it ended up being Mike. Then I said, ‘I’m gonna get in the ring about the same time as Mike. Is there any way Mike can pan up me and then I can draw the camera.’ So that’s how that camera all came to play. I love what we’re doing because we can have that influence on doing it. It brings those two sides of me together a little bit in being this managerial role. We’ve got champions in every single person we have on the team. So I’m super excited," she said.
Speaking of Scott D'Amore, Maria would call him one of the best bosses she has ever worked for, highlighting his ability to bring people together.
"Scott’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever worked for. Great guy, willing to listen, brings people together. I mean, seeing all the different bosses of IMPACT in one photo was so cool—with Dixie and Ed and Billy—that was just a really cool photo. That’s what he does. He brings people together. So, yeah, it’s an interesting time in my life right now," Maria shared.
On July 1 at IMPACT Against All Odds, Honor No More is set to face The Good Brothers, Heath, James Storm, and Chris Harris in a 10-Man Tag Team Match. The updated card for the event can be seen here.
Maria and Bobby Cruise currently run Women's Wrestling Army, a project they took on after ROH announced its hiatus and their future was uncertain following Tony Khan purchasing the company. WWA will hold their next set of tapings on July 8 and 9 in Chicago. To view their new timeslot on Pro Wrestling TV, click here.