Mike Bennett along with his wife Maria Kanellis were among the WWE talent who were given their release last Wednesday as part of the coronavirus pandemic-related budget cuts.
Bennett spoke with WrestleTalk about his departure from the company and the timing of it considering his wife is currently pregnant.
So, I mean in the sense that in my head it was always like if there is going to be releases, it’s probably going to be me and probably going to be my wife, just because my wife has been out on maternity leave and they were doing anything with me. I had already asked for my release in the past, but we did work things out after that. I didn’t want it to happen during a pandemic. I think that’s a hard thing to explain to people, not to go off topic, but there are a lot of people who are like “well he did ask his release”, which I did, but my wife never did and I want to get that clear, my wife was happy to stay there. But it’s like, you thinking’s the back of your head, yes I did ask for my release, but no one wants to be released in the middle of a pandemic. You ask for your release when you think you can go and do other things. I asked for my release because I wasn’t working and I wanted to work.
Bennett also explained how exactly he found out that he was being released which came after Vince McMahon held a call with some in the WWE.
We got a video sent to us from the boss telling us they were going to start laying people off and they would call you if you were one of them. When we got that video I looked at Maria and was like “oh yeah, let’s get ready” Kind of jokingly I was like “its us, it’s going to happen” We both kinda knew it and then an hour later we got a call from Mark Corano who is Head of Talent relations, he was another guy who was super good to me,and I have nothing bad to say. It was one of the things I said to him on the phone, “I wish went a little bit different than it did, but I’m not going to yell and scream at you because you guys gave me a fun three years and then they called my wife. They are not going to tell me to tell my wife. Mark has known my wife longer than he has known me. He adores my wife and she adores him.We both kinda knew it was happening but there’s always that small hope in the back of my head where I was like “just release one of us. Just hold on to someone else.
There is never a good time to lose your job but during a pandemic when you cannot wrestle and while your wife is pregnant has to be tough. Still, Bennett seems upbeat about everything and it will be interesting to see where he lands in the future.
Bennett also talks about overcoming addiction and dealing with Vince McMahon in the interview which you can read or watch here.