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Mike Bennett, formally Mike Kanellis in WWE, wished he had a run in NXT prior joining the main roster.
In an interview with It’s My Wrestling Podcast, Bennett spoke on host of topics including his return to ROH and the amount of respect he has for Triple H. Bennett also discussed wanting to have an NXT run and missing out.
“Yeah, I think, you know, I think it’s a fair question because at the time, there was only like a handful of us that had skipped NXT,” Bennett said about missing out on time in NXT. “Like, it was me. And Maria, it was AJ, it was The Good Brothers. There wasn’t a tonne of us and a lot of guys who are just as talented as me, if not more talented than me, we’re going to NXT so like, it’s a fair question to ask. But again, it’s one of those things where it was entirely out of my hands and hindsight is always 20/20. I loved working for Triple H. I think he understands wrestling. I think he has his finger on the pulse of what’s popular in wrestling. I think he understands where it’s going more than anyone else in WWE. So I think I would personally have loved learning under him and you know, have him teach me and because all the guys that end up leaving, they’re like Cole and Gargano and Tommaso who talk about it there. They say the best part was learning from Triple H learning from Shawn, having him guide the ship. So I think I would love that and I think it would have been great.”
Bennett went on to talk about ROH and the fact that it was his home, given that it was the company that gave him his first major opportunity.
“It’s my home,” Bennett said of ROH. “It’s always been my home. They gave me my first opportunity, Cary Silkin gave me my first contract when I was just a kid. When I got released, like you said back in April of 2021 the very first person that reached out to me was delirious, who is, as most people know, the head booker at Ring of honor. The message he sent me was just I think it was either a winky emoji or it was a kissy face emoji. And when he sent me that it was one of those where it was like, you know, it’s a scary time no one knows what’s going on. You just lost your job. You don’t have a clue what the hell is gonna happen and to have him who’s the head booker, super busy, has everything on his plate, reach out to me and sort of just be like, Hey, I got you. You know, something’s happening here. For him to reach out and just kind of be like, Hey, I got you and we got you, as me as a person and as a human that just goes a long way to me.”
Bennett was released from WWE, along with his wife Maria, in April of 2020 after WrestleMania 36.