Mike Bennett and Ring of Honor were both happy to extend their working relationship.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Bennett detailed how his negotiation with ROH was perhaps the easiest he has ever had. He and his wife, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, had deals that ran through June 2021, but both parties decided not to wait until the last minute and re-upped with two months to spare.
Bennett appeared in Ring of Honor in November 2020 after being released by WWE the previous April due to "budget constraints" brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mike and Maria had signed new deals with WWE in June 2019 despite reports that they had been unhappy with the way they were being used. Bennett says that's not the case this time around, joking about how re-signing early didn't work out last time but feels very different this time. He said the following:
"I would never do that. That doesn’t sound like me at all. No, this is kind of one of those mutual agreements where it was like we wanted to get something done and—crazy!—they wanted to get something done. We were like, ‘Oh, this is what happens when two people want to work together. Great!’ It wasn’t like trying to pull teeth. So, when we discussed it, like you said, early on it was one of those things where it was like, ‘Hey, you haven’t been here in a while. We’re still in a pandemic. Let’s have a grace period to figure out if we both want to do it.’ I was like, ‘Totally understand.’ I went in. I went balls to the wall. I knew that that’s where I wanted to be, so I was like, ‘I’m just going to commit everything to them to show them that,’ and I think they saw that and they were like, ‘Yeah. You know, we feel the same way.’ So then at that point, we just sat down and this might have been the easiest negotiation I’ve had in my life. Which, at this point in my career, I’m so thankful for."
As for the specifics of the deal, Bennett divulged that it lasts until the end of this year, with a lot of wiggle room for renegotiation. Here is what he said:
"I’ll tell you—so, the length is definitely until the end of this year and most likely an extra year after that. But, there’s a ton of extra wiggle room for renegotiation, for length or whatever. So, like I said, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and I want to be there and they want me there, so I’m willing to go and maneuver around every which way. Because at this point in my career, I’m just gonna to go where I’m happy and Ring of Honor is what’s making me happy at [this] point. So, if they come to me and are like, ‘Hey, we need to hold off on this or we need to do this,’ I’m all on board because I want to be the Ring of Honor guy. That’s kind of where I’m at in my career."
Bennett's roots with the company run deep, having first worked for them in 2008. Right now, Bennett continues to team with longtime partner Matt Taven as the OGK.