It’s really no surprise that WWE won’t release Mike Kanellis given their self-proclaimed war with AEW.
Vince McMahon has raided other promotions for years, signing their top talent “for the future.” Most likely, it’s to keep them from helping rival promotions from growing into a threat. It’s smart business in many ways, and when a talented superstar wants to walk a few months after signing a contract, it makes sense to keep them close and try to work it out.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Loyalty is everything
According to a source in #WWE, Mike Bennett is not currently expected to be granted his release. I’m told he’ll get the “Lio Rush treatment” until he decides to “play nice.”
— Brad Shepard of ProSportsExtra.com (@TheBradShepard) October 20, 2019
As many fans know, loyalty means everything to Vince McMahon. If you give your all and stay loyal to him and the WWE, he’ll be a staunch supporter and friend through thick and thin. Cross him, and you just grabbed the grizzly bear’s cub.
By going public with his request, much like Luke Harper previously did, can easily be looked at like a violation of one’s loyalty to him and the company. McMahon’s response would be to teach him a lesson.
According to Brad Shepard, not only won’t Mike Kanellis (real name Mike Bennett) get his release, but he’ll get the “Lio Rush” treatment” until he learns to “play nice.”
Interesting note, on the Bennett’s joint twitter account back in June, they retweeted the AEW announcing a new title and said they were watching.
Mike and Marie have been in WWE’s doghouse for a while
Shortly after signing their new contract with WWE, Mike and Maria became pregnant.
It’s a time to celebrate, right? Not according to some rumors coming from the WWE camp. The whole pregnancy storyline could’ve been meant to bury them.
According to Mike Johnson of PW Insider, “There are a lot of people in the company who theorized with me that the entire thing was scripted, as their way to get back at Maria and Mike. They signed a deal, she got pregnant right away, back on TV in a minor role, WWE finally signs them to a new contract, and let’s face it they are at the bottom of the ladder in the company.”
He went on to say,
“They invest in them, in what some people believe is a new 5-year deal, and they are pregnant again. Some people have definitely raised their eyebrows, sometimes you don’t plan things out, that happens it’s life, but some people in that company have definitely raised their eyebrows to me going ‘really? are you kidding me?’”
It takes two to tango (yeah, I know. Poor taste), and Mike and Maria had previously spoken out how they didn’t like their role in the company. Now, with her out to prepare for the birth of their child, Mike put in timeout, the WWE is sitting there watching their money being wasted on what they could perceive as a purposeful act on the Bennett’s part.
Truth of it is, had McMahon released Mike, he could save some of that money. It begs the question of whether he’s actually looking out for them, attempting to keep talent from going to a rival (AEW), or just being vindictive because he’s feels betrayed?
It could be all of those or none of them as Mike not being released is strictly a rumor that’s currently circulating. Who knows, he may be set free any minute and allowed to ply his wares elsewhere.
Time will tell.