Maria Kanellis Talks 'The Forbidden Door'; Calls Her Current Position In ROH 'The Most Fulfilling'

Maria Kanellis says she has never been more fulfilled at any point in her career than she is right now as part of the board of directors for Ring of Honor.

Professional wrestling is currently experiencing a boom period with many names exploring free agency and talents finding their comfort zone and their own voice regardless of seniority in the industry.

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Maria Kanellis, who was released by WWE in 2020 amid the early days of the global pandemic, now tells Cageside Seats' Shakiel Mahjouri that she has never experienced anything that has given her more fulfillment in professional wrestling than what she is doing today.

"This is it. This is the most fulfilling,” she begins. “There have been several moments, but some of these Tickets to Gold, they didn’t have a clue they were getting the Ticket to Gold or going to be in the tournament. When I jumped up on Willow after her match, she had no clue that this was happening and so just that feeling of like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is my dream and now someone’s giving me a chance at my dream.’ That’s the most fulfilling thing I can do. That’s something I can be proud of. I think that the women we’ve had in the tournament have been fantastic. The matches are incredible. I can’t wait for everybody to see them.”

Right now, all of the excitement in professional wrestling seems to be building around working relationships between many different promotions.

Currently, there is no direct working relationship between Ring of Honor and any promotions, but Maria Kanellis is excited for more doors to be broken down and does not rule out a potential working relationship in the future, noting that Chelsea Green is currently working for Ring of Honor, IMPACT Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Alliance.

“Not at the moment right now,” she says of an AEW-ROH working agreement. “But that’s not to say that it can’t happen. I recently had a conversation with Thunder Rosa. I was trying to bring her in for the tournament. It didn’t work out just because of everything that she’s doing right now. But we have been having conversations with NWA. As soon as we have a champion, I think we’re going to move forward with some stuff there. IMPACT, of course, is an option. Deonna Purrazzo used to be with Ring of Honor. We have Chelsea [Green] now and Chelsea is kind of doing both. So as much as I hate calling it the Forbidden Door — because as a woman this is the wrong name for it [she laughs] — options are open. We’ll put it that way."

“More opportunities, equal more opportunities. That’s my thought process on it. If we can have wrestlers that not only work for us but work for several other companies, that’s more exposure for Ring of Honor,” Kanellis adds. “For me, that’s across the board with all of our talent. I hope, male or female, they can make as big of a name for themselves as they can, no matter what that show is.”

There is one week to go until NWA EmPowerrr, but Ring of Honor will present Glory by Honor across two nights on Friday, August 20, and Saturday, August 21. You can learn more about Glory by Honor at this link.

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