Mike Bennett might be free to work wherever he wants to but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be able to test the market anytime soon.
Bennett recently spoke with Wrestlezone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard and talked about his WWE release and what his next move might be. Bennett was one of many people released in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which leaves many companies and wrestlers without the option of even running events right now. He says despite the ability to sign where he wants—if there’s a company that would want to sign him, too—it’s still a very difficult time and isn’t sure what wrestling will look like down the line or what his next move is.
“I feel like it’s wait and see because nobody is running shows. If you’re not running shows, how are you going to hire anybody? I think that’s the hardest thing to comprehend. It’s different when you ask for your release in October, because then you can go do the free agency thing or attack the indies hard—you just can’t do anything right now. I’m not saying companies won’t hire [talent], or me or Maria, but I geniunely for the first time have no clue. I don’t know what the industry is going to look like when this is all said and done. I think it’s a very difficult thing to comprehend but that’s the boat we’re in. It’s just a wait and see. When this thing ends, is there even going to be a place to go work? You just don’t know, so it’s very much a wait and see.”
While Bennett hasn’t done anything himself to tease a possible destination, fans have done the work for him, imagining what it would be like to see him reunite with Matt Taven in Ring Of Honor or perhaps a new company. Bennett had been mentioned as a “sure bet” to return to ROH similar to how people have guaranteed The Revival will show up in All Elite Wrestling, and he says that while getting released in the current climate is a bad situation, he’s still flattered that fans hold him in that regard.
“When you get released in a pandemic, it sucks, but the outpouring of support and people saying ‘this company will pick you up in a heartbeat’—that’s nice. It’s very flattering, it’s very nice because I spent three years where my name isn’t as recognizable as when I started with WWE. It’s scary for me because I had this name before I started, but then I spent three years doing almost nothing, so I don’t know what my name value is.
“People always say ‘well you can go here’ and yes, those companies exist but there’s no guarantee that they want me. Do I now have to go and re-prove myself? If that’s the case I’ll go to the indies and hit the ground running. Or, it’s maybe there’s all of these guys right now, but like you said with The Revival — those guys could go work anywhere. They are two of the best guys that I’ve ever been in the ring with. Where do you go now? What do you do?
“I’m sure different companies are looking at [talent] and saying they’d like to bring them in, but when is that time going to be? Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice in this sort of dark and shitty time to have people say you would be great somewhere, or ‘you deserve this’. It’s just nice to read because the wrestling industry can be a very negative industry. The outpouring of support is incredibly nice.”
Check out the full audio interview at the top of this page.