Why Mike Kanellis asked for his WWE release
Submitted by Aaron Rift on 11/27/2019 at 10:40 AM

Mike Kanellis recently appeared on the Smarks and Stripes podcast and here are the highlights courtesy of

On why he asked for his release: ďYeah, and me and you have talked about this on a personal level and weíve been friends for a long time. But for me, it was all personal. It had nothing to do with the company. Since the minute I got to WWE, they treated me great. Theyíve treated my wife great, theyíve treated my daughter great, theyíve treated me great. You know, when I came out and said I had an addiction, there was no negativity from anybody, just constant support. And so, or me personally, having been almost two and a half years sober, it got to the point where I started reflecting on my past and what I did. And it became very hard for me to almost sit and reflect on the fact that I blew four years of my life doing drugs. And now, I felt like my mind was clear, my head was clear, and I just wanted to work. I just want to wrestle, I just want to work. Like, I feel like I could do and have my best matches right now. And itís extremely difficult when there are so many people on the roster, and you just donít get that opportunity. And like I said, everybody wants to come at me negatively and say Iím mad; Iím not mad at anybody. Like, Iím genuinely not. And if WWE called me tomorrow and was like, ĎWeíre going to put you on TV,í Iíd do it. Iím not mad. I just want to work, and I just want to work a lot. I want to be able to go home and tell my daughter that, you know, Daddy put in the time, Daddy put in the effort. Itís incredibly difficult for me to go on social media and preach, ĎYou have to work hard, you have to work your ass off,í and then not do it myself. And so, Iím a worker, Iíve always been a worker. And now Iím at the point where I just want to work and work and work. And Iíll go wherever that opportunity exists.Ē

On why he hasnít received the opportunity: ďWell I think honestly ó again, I just go back to it. There are so many talented guys on the roster right now. So I mean, and Iím not saying Iím not, and Iím not saying that I wouldnít be a good fit. What Iím saying is, if those guys are getting the opportunity and doing their job and theyíre successful at it, then theyíre wonít going to necessarily look for Ďnext man up.í Thereís no need. You hope itís next man up when ó you know, you donít hope that someone goes down, but you hope that youíre ready if someone goes down. But I just ó wrestling right now is loaded with talent. I keep hearing people talk about it. Itís the best Iíve ever seen in any company, on independents, on any national company, itís just loaded. Everyoneís just really frigginí good right now. And I just think my opportunity hasnít existed. And you know, Iím 34; I have 10 or 12 years left in me. So I donít want to waste them.Ē

On why WWE hasnít granted the release: ďAs far as not giving me my release, I think itís like anywhere. Like, the Patriots arenít going to trade or release a player that they think the Jets are going to pick up. And I think we have to think of it like that. Itís not a negative, itís just how it works. It works in sports, it works in wrestling.Ē

On Triple H saying on the NXT media call that talent publicly asking for releases should be professionals: ďYou know, honestly [I donít think about it] a whole lot. Because I get it. You know, I have a brand. He has a brand. Again, I have no negativity or animosity. And thatís kind of where my life has pushed me, I get it. And I also think we live in a different time. I think we live in a social media time that we all have to adapt to, that wasnít necessarily there in the past. And I think companies in general, and CEOs and anyone are learning that there is a power in social media that wasnít there before. And so, I get it. Iím not mad. I have a great relationship with Triple H. I talk to him. Iíve brought up my issues. I get it. So I understand why people might be upset, but me personally, I got too much going on. It doesnít bother me.Ē

On what his plan is from here: ďSo people keep asking me this, and I get it. But personally, again, I go back to personal accountability. If WWE were to call me tomorrow and say, ĎWeíre gonna put you on TV and we want to work you,í great. Iíll show up and Iíll do my job. If they say, ĎNope, you signed five years, youíre going to sit at home.í Okay, cool. I own that, and then Iíll figure out something else to do with my life. Iím not going to sit here and say, ĎOh well, just do this and do that.í It doesnít do me any good. And thatís why Iíve started doing like motivational speaking, and going to indy shows and talking to the guys in the locker room. Because if Iím not going to do anything, Iím going to give back. Iím gonna do whatever I can to help younger guys out, because I can worry all day, I can sit on my couch. Or I can just go and be active. So again, it just comes down to accountability.Ē

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