Maria Kanellis says she and Mike Bennett felt like AEW was the place where they belonged after they had a good conversation with WWE.
Kanellis and Bennett previously worked for WWE; the duo arrived together in 2017 and left the company when they were released in 2020. They then returned to Ring of Honor until the promotion went on hiatus following ROH Final Battle 2021. The duo, alongside Matt Taven, subsequently moved to IMPACT Wrestling in January 2022 and stayed there until their contracts were up in October. The trio, collectively known as The Kingdom, then debuted on the October 14 episode of AEW Rampage Fightful Select previously reported that Kanellis, Bennett, and Taven had contact with WWE before they signed with AEW.
In an interview with Just Alyx, Kanellis was asked about WWE's regime change and whether she'd potentially consider returning to the company. In response, she stated that shaking things up can be beneficial, and she's always had a good personal relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Kanellis noted that she and Bennett talked to WWE when their contracts with IMPACT Wrestling were coming up, but they felt like AEW was the place where they belonged.
"I think it always has to be shaken up. I think if you do things a certain way for a certain number of years, then things do need to change. So shaking things up is always a great thing. I've always had a fantastic relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. They wished me luck and congratulations after both of my children were born and sent us gifts. Giant gifts! Like I'm talking baskets that were humongous. It had rockers and other stuff. My daughter loves her rocker. It's a coyote hollowing at the moon. My daughter's middle name is Moon. They sent all of these gifts for both of the kids. They gave my husband some great advice about parenting. So, on a personal level, we've always liked Stephanie and Triple H. We definitely communicated with Triple H as our contract was coming up with Impact Wrestling. You know, we did that courtesy conversation. It went really well. At the end of the day, I think AEW is the place where we belonged. So we're really happy about the different relationships we have now in so many different companies," Kanellis said.
Kanellis also detailed the process of signing with AEW. She stated that she had been talking to Tony Khan since May, due to her work with the ROH women's division and Women's Wrestling Army. She made it clear that they have enjoyed their time with AEW so far, and they can't wait to do more.
"I've been talking to Tony Khan since May because of Ring of Honor. I've had a really great time conversing back and forth with him about the Ring of Honor Women's division and Women's Wrestling Army. I'm not going to give details on everything, but I will say that we've really enjoyed our time at AEW and we can't wait to do more," Kanellis said.
In the same interview, Kanellis discussed the growth of AEW's women's division. Check out her comments here.
Fightful Select recently reported that Kanellis, Bennett, and Taven are signed full-time to AEW. More information is available here.
Kanellis previously discussed her goals with Women's Wrestling Army. Check out her comments here.