Mike Bennett is back in Ring of Honor after what was a frustrating run for him in WWE where he was told upfront that Vince McMahon did not see anything in him.
Debuting at WWE Money in the Bank in 2017, Mike Kanellis had finally debuted in WWE after spending years in Ring of Honor, IMPACT, and the overall independent wrestling scene. Using his wife's maiden name, Mike was portrayed as a lovesick puppy and although he would win his debut against Sami Zayn, Mike Kanellis was soon not used on WWE television.
Ultimately, outside of a brief angle in 2019 where he was verbally belittled by his wife, Mike Kanellis did not get a lot of airtime on WWE television. Both Mike and Maria were let go from WWE on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020, right as their family was growing, but for Mike Bennett, this was seen as a chance at freedom.
Now, Mike Bennett is back in Ring of Honor and once again teaming with Matt Taven. Speaking with Steve Muehlhausen of Sporting News, Bennett discusses how happy he is to be back in ROH, saying that the last time he was this happy was when he was “The Miracle” in IMPACT Wrestling.
"Probably in IMPACT. We did a segment in IMPACT, it was a wedding segment with Allie, Braxton, and Maria. That was probably the last time I actually enjoyed working, believe it or not. That was probably like almost four years ago, where I was genuinely happy enjoying myself. I loved my time over at IMPACT. So I had a good time going there. But the last three years at WWE, I just wasn't happy. It's not a knock on WWE, they have a culture there. That's how they run their business. Some people work jobs that they hate all the time and it's just they come to an agreement that I'm just not happy here and some people are and some people are not. It just happened that this place isn’t for me. I don't like how it functions. It doesn't meet my values."
Mike Bennett also shares his reaction to being told that Vince McMahon didn't see anything in what he brought to the table.
“It was very mind-boggling to me because I was like, ‘I don't understand you’. I had been told straight up by people in the office that said Vince just doesn't see anything in you. I said, ‘Okay, that's fine. That's fair. That's his company. But if he doesn't see anything in me, and he doesn't think he can make money off of me, then why am I still here? Why not let me go’? It just never logically made sense to me. If you think someone's a talent, and you think they're gonna make you money, and they want to go. you go, ‘I don't want you going anywhere else, because I don't want you to make money because I want to make money off you.
"But Vince, that straight up told people, he didn't see anything in me. So if that's the case, then what are you keeping me for vengeance and or spite? It never logically made sense to me. I had asked for my release a couple of times privately. And I was told no. The third time I said, ‘I don't care anymore. I'll still show up to work but make it abundantly clear I don't want to be here anymore. Because of the power of social media, I'm going to use it, and until I made it public on Twitter. They sent me home after that, which is fine. I (would) never not show up. I always showed up and did my job. Then after sitting at home for like four or five months, then they brought me back down to NXT. I still showed up and did that. At that point, I think I just kind of accepted it. I was like, ‘Alright, if they're gonna have sour grapes and if it's just gonna be vengeful and spiteful, I'll just come and make the most of it for the next five years and, and then we'll see where it goes from there’. But in my head, I was never like, ‘I'm not going to show up’ because my parents didn't raise me that way. It's not in my blood. I just couldn't do that. So I would always show up. It wasn't a happy place for me to be."
Thanks to Steve Muehlhausen for sending along the above quotes.
Currently, Mike Bennett is sidelined with a fractured ankle, learn more about that here.