Maria Kanellis responded to a fan tweet yesterday morning to confirm what plans were in place for her pregnancy storyline on RAW. Before the couple disappeared off of TV, there was a question as to who the father of Maria’s child was. According to her, the plan was for Mike to be the father after all as part of a face turn that would have included a “story about recovery from addiction and motivation.”
My husband. He was supposed to turn face. And do a story about recovery from addiction and motivation. But… that’s just too good. Too real. Too honest. And of course I was supposed to remain the bad guy. 😘 until I came back from maternity leave. Baby face momma!! https://t.co/XAlaxD869x
— MariaKanellisBennett (@MariaLKanellis) June 28, 2020
Maria also claims that she was supposed to remain a heel until she returned from maternity leave. This jives with what Mike Bennett told us back in May during an interview:
“Personally, my story of sobriety and overcoming addiction can help people. I didn’t want to use it as a “storyline” to push myself. I wanted it to be where WWE could use it and say ‘this is where he started and look how he turned his life around’ and just use it as a feel-good story. I never wanted to exploit it, I just wanted to use it to help people.”
Mike also said the original idea was to leave him in a better position as an on-air character since they knew Maria was eventually going on maternity leave. Despite the sudden end to the storyline and lack of a resolution, Bennett says he really enjoyed the segments and had fun with them—at least until they realized there was no payoff. He says he takes everything in stride and storytelling can help change his character rather quickly, but he realized portraying a whipped guy if his wife wouldn’t be around was not going to help him in the long run.
“I had a blast with it. The stuff we did with the 24/7 title, I was enjoying it. That scene with R-Truth and Carmella in the doctor’s office—we couldn’t get through the takes because we were laughing so much, it was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wrestling is supposed to be fun. It stopped being fun when there wasn’t a payoff and then you’re like ‘you just made me look like a fool for 4-5 weeks…’ and now I’m in the same spot I was before where I’m just ‘Maria’s husband’ and that’s what my character is.
That’s a character that nobody wants to see, especially if Maria’s out on maternity leave, so everything up until the point where [it changed to Rusev and Lana] I enjoyed. I don’t think I love wrestling and every aspect of it but I don’t take myself too seriously, because at the end of the day I’m still a man. I’m a grown-ass man that gets to fake fight for a living. I don’t take myself seriously, it’s not worth it.”
All this matches the other soap opera adjacent storylines that Paul Heyman was bringing to the product, although it seems like someone above Heyman put the kibosh on the whole thing once the long term plans came to light. A shame all around.