Mike Bennett’s time in WWE was a mixed affair to put it mildly. Arriving from Ring of Honor with a certain degree of hype, Bennett shockingly bypassed NXT to land straight on WWE’s main roster, alongside wife Maria Kanellis.
However, character mismanagement, addiction issues, and a lack of screen time derailed Bennett’s WWE run, with Mike and Maria released from WWE on ‘black Wednesday’. Now sober and back in ROH, Bennett has opened up on the good and bad of WWE.
Speaking to The Shining Wizards Podcast, Bennett said the following about his WWE run:
“It’s funny man. I took a lot of good things away from there. Everyone always assumes I hated everything about it, and I’m bitter and this and that. It’s the exact opposite. I think people get annoyed because when I get asked the question, I just speak the truth. I don’t try to sugar-coat it and I don’t try to think in my head ‘what should I say so I could eventually go back.’ People ask me a question and I’m brutally honest. Whether that’s good or bad? I think that’s my sobriety talking, but that’s just the way I have been for the past four years. Like, just be honest with it.
“WWE taught me a lot. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of the people I met there, that I adore. I got to wrestle at WrestleMania, I got to be part of one of the biggest wrestling companies in the world and I got to travel the world with that company. It was a lot of fun. I think the biggest thing I took away, which again, some people might take this as a knock – it’s not a knock – going to WWE taught me what I didn’t want in this industry. What I didn’t want to be. It changed my love for what I wanted. It was always WWE or bust.
“I got there and I went, you know what, this isn’t for me. This isn’t what I like, and I think that’s ok. I think that’s a positive to take away from it. In WWE, I grew as a man, I grew as a husband and I got clean and sober. There’s a lot to look at in those last three years that I was there and be like, it wasn’t all bad.
“My biggest frustration was that once I got clean and sober, I wanted to work, and WWE didn’t want me to work. They didn’t want me to do anything. I would push and push, and I’m like I’m not looking for world titles. I’m not even looking for a push. I’m asking you to just put me to work so I can prove to you that I do deserve these things. They just didn’t want to do it.”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.