Cageside Seats’ Shakiel Mahjouri got the chance to speak with Maria Kanellis for a new interview. Here are some of the highlights:
The situation that stopped Maria’s spark to compete in-ring at Wrestlemania 35:
“It was the whole day,” she explains. “It used to be that when you got to the building at WrestleMania, you knew exactly where your family was going to go. You were able to show them why you’ve been away all year. Why you haven’t been coming home. Why you missed Christmas or Thanksgiving or birthdays, whatever. You were able to really just give your family a VIP treatment. And they didn’t have that. It was all about the sponsors. They had their area and then whatever else. But for the wrestlers themselves, there was no place for our families to go. I was like, I don’t like this. I don’t like this attitude towards my family. My daughter was actually stuck outside with my mother-in-law and my nanny for 45 minutes before I was able to even get them into the building because it was so far away to get security down there. What ended up happening is my the person doing my makeup had to go and get my family.
“It made me sad to think that wrestlers were no longer the ones that were special. It was the sponsors and the free giveaways to the VIPs. They all had rooms. But the talent’s family, the families that have sacrificed the most, had nowhere to go. And then when they did get in the building, they didn’t have a backstage area. They had seats like up in the stands and they couldn’t even really see that well. It was cold and there was just nowhere for them to go. I want to give all the fans such a great experience throughout the entire year, but for my family, I want to give them that VIP treatment at WrestleMania and I wasn’t able to.”
What family means to her:
“I always had the same kind of perspective. Family is always first, always first. It didn’t matter when I would come home. If I was just in the main event on RAW, I would come home if my parents needed something. I remember one time pushing a car in my heels after getting home. My dad needed help with one of his old Mopars because he restores old cars,” she explains. “My family never treated me like I was special. I was just their daughter. So family has always come first. I’ve just gotten a lot more vocal about that.”
Her first departure from WWE:
“The reason I was fired the first time from WWE was because I asked for too much. I asked for more money. I asked to be paid as much as the guys were being paid. So really, my views haven’t changed that much. What’s changed is the way I put information out there now. I have a lot bigger platform now with Twitter and Instagram and all these things than I did the first time around with just Twitter.”