WWE Superstar and former Impact Wrestling/Ring Of Honor performer Mike Kanellis (aka Mike “The Prodigy” Bennett) recently appeared as a guest on “E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness” with WWE Hall Of Famer Edge and former WWE World Champion Christian. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
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On being offered a contract to return to Impact Wrestling but being unsure about whether or not he wanted to remain with the promotion: “We had finished up our contracts with TNA, but we were still working there. The way I was raised in the [pro] wrestling business, it’s once you decide to leave, you leave the right way, so we wanted to make sure that we would tie up any loose ends and storylines, which we did. Maria did the whole wedding angle and I was kind of slowly pushed off TV and just doing that stuff with her, so I could help those people do what they needed to do, so I was just kind of in the background in that storyline because that’s just what I believe in. So we promised that we would finish up and at that point we were in between contracts. TNA had offered us to stay and they were offering us a pretty good amount of money. And at that point, I didn’t know if I wanted to stay.”
On reaching out to Paul Heyman for advice and being told to contact Triple H: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do because I was in that weird position where I want to take care of my wife and my family, but there’s still that itch, so I actually reached out to Paul Heyman and he actually was like, ‘yeah, I think you should reach out to Triple H and talk to him and see what he says.’ And so, I did. I sent him an email. And asked him what was… I said, ‘I was done with TNA and this and that and blah, blah, blah.'”
On HHH’s response to him and being contacted by William Regal: “He emailed me back and he was really nice about everything and he was like, ‘alright,’ he was like, ‘I’ll have someone be in touch with you.’ And I’m so used to… I’m kind of jaded in [pro] wrestling, just through everything, so hearing that, he was really nice, so that was great. The most I took out of it was, ‘wow, that was really great – he was really nice about everything. Cool.’ And I was like, ‘but, if I don’t hear from anybody, I’m not going to be surprised.’ But a week later, or maybe, yeah, a couple of weeks later, I don’t know, Regal called me and they offered me a contract and I was just kind of blown away. I was just kind of like, ‘holy cow!’ I think it was like the end of January or so and I was just blown away. I remember looking at Maria and I was like, ‘yeah, they offered’ and she was like, ‘oh, well, what is it? Is it NXT?’ And I was like, ‘no, they want to bring us right up to the main roster’ and she was like, ‘holy cow!’ And I was like, ‘well, we’ve got to take it.’ And so we had to reach back out to TNA and be like, ‘oh, we’re going to go in a different direction.’ It’s this weird dynamic because you want to keep everything a secret and quiet, which is impossible to do in the [pro] wrestling business nowadays.”
On nearly resigning with Impact Wrestling until Kevin Owens advised them to wait a week: “We had talked to TNA and we were actually really close to re-signing and it was like maybe a, maybe a week before we re-signed where Kevin Owens reached out to us and he was like, ‘what are you guys doing? I heard you are re-signing with TNA. I don’t think you should do that. That’s a stupid idea. You should come here.’ And we were like, ‘well, we’re going to re-sign’ and he said, ‘I think you should wait off a week or so.’ And when we saw him the first time at TV, he was like, ‘aren’t you glad you listened to me?’ because he actually put the brakes on us re-signing with TNA. And we waited and that’s when Regal had called.”
On waiting a few months to make their debuts at WWE Money In The Bank: “Right around the end of March is when we officially signed our deal with WWE and we were just ecstatic. And then it was, ‘alright’ and we waited until they were ready for us. It felt like 10 years. You’re sitting there and in theory it’s lovely. I’ve been wrestling for 15, 16 years and in theory it’s great, ‘oh, I’ll have three months to sit at home and relax.’ But after 2 weeks, me, and Maria, and the dogs were all ready to kill each other. So yeah, it’s in your blood. You’re born to move, and go, and be on the road and wrestle.” Kanellis added, “we’re better on the road than we are at home together. If we’re at home too long together, that’s when we argue and fight. When we’re on the road, and it’s stressful, and we’re going through security, and have to find hotels and rental cars and where we’re going to eat, nothing. No problem. Smooth as can be.”
Check out the complete episode of E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness featuring the Mike Kanellis interview at Art19.com.