In an interview with Al Norton of 411Mania.com, former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis discusses her surprising departure from World Wrestling Entertainment, her new album, her stint on The Celebrity Apprentice, and much more.
Kanellis says she had been in negotiations with WWE regarding her contract for approximately three weeks when they decided to terminate their partnership. She notes being caught off guard by their decision to release her.
“I think I was pretty surprised (laughing),” she said. “It was very shocking. It was the day after my birthday, I had just got done with my taxes, I knew that I was going to go home to pack and get ready for the road that weekend. I had been in talks about my contract for probably three weeks, trying to change a few things just like any human being who holds any job for any amount of time, I wanted things to get better. I was asking for things I thought were very reasonable and apparently negotiations ended and they decided they no longer wanted me.”
Kanellis also discloses her mother’s reaction to her release from WWE, saying she “freaked out” upon learning the news.
“It was a shock at first. I didn’t have time to call my Mom. My Mom called me freaking out because it went up on the internet within a half hour and that’s just common courtesy; you let employees call their friends and family rather than a mass press release that goes out to the entire world and you can’t even call your Mom and tell her, “I’m ok, it’s ok. I’m not freaking out.” She’s worried, saying “oh my God, what are you going to do? How are you going to pay for your house?” If I could have called my Mom I would have been so happy but I didn’t even have time to do that.”
Kanellis then says she found it strange WWE would terminate her contract when she’s about to go on The Celebrity Apprentice to support the Make-A-Wish-Foundation. She then repeatedly asks why WWE would “burn a bridge” with her.
“I think what’s even more strange for WWE and I worked very hard for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, which is the foundation I am supporting throughout the Celebrity Apprentice, so why would they burn that bridge with me,” Maria asked. “I’m not going to burn any bridge with WWE but why would they burn that bridge with me? Maybe they just look at me like they can always make another one but I don’t like to be looked at like a number. I don’t think that anyone should be looked at like a number. Everybody has the right to be an individual and express their needs and I think it’s horrible to send somebody away that has made so many Make A Wish kids happy, done so many things for their reading program. I’ve been to burn units, I’ve been to Iraq five times. Why would they burn that bridge with me?
“I know, they think they’re a big company but I’m a strong spirit and I didn’t like getting my bridge burned.”
Kanellis also reveals whether she’s interested in resuming her career in the squared circle.
“I am still trying to decide. It’s a tough choice for me because I am such a loyal person but beyond that, I have so many dreams and unfortunately I don’t know if I can complete those dreams if I stay on the road wresting. We’ll see. I have my album coming out in April,” Kanellis said. “When it comes to TNA or anyone else, I’m not closing the door. I’m leaving it open for right now and maybe when the dust settles and the whole non-compete thing runs out I’ll be closer to making a decision.”