â€śRing of Honorâ€ť is one of wrestling’s top organizations and it features Providence residents Mike Bennett and his wife Maria Kanellis.
Ring of Honor Wrestling, is the number one wrestling company, we are the best at what we do and that’s wrestling. We are sports based, we are a company that is high impact and the guys put their bodies on the line every single night, but it’s fantastic and entertaining to watch,” said Maria Kannellis of Ring of Honor.
“I like to consider it the alternative to what you see every Monday night, or Thursday night now. It’s not sports entertainment, it’s actual wrestling. It’s bringing wrestling back to what people miss. When I was growing up it was all about watching two guys beat each other up. There was a good guy and there was a bad guy and it was enjoyable it was good versus evil. Somewhere along the line we lost that and I think “Ring of Honor” is what is bringing that back,” said wrestler Mike Bennett.
Wrestling fans may remember Maria from her days at WWE where she was one of the original Divas.
“I was in WWE for 5 and a-half years, after that I went on to do Celebrity Apprentice, I had a year that I was not working for any major wrestling organizations. Then I met this guy and he kind of brought me in to “Ring of Honor” wrestling and I’ve been there ever since,” said Maria.
And that’s not where the local ties end. Mike Bennett is originally from Carver, Mass, but got his start in wrestling right here in Rhode Island.
“I actually started training in Pawtucket, Bob Evans who in “Ring of Honor” was my trainer on TV was actually my trainer in real life. We mixed it in my story line and I started when I was 15. From there from 15 up until I think I was 25 or 25, I traveled up and down the coast going to different independent wrestling companies trying to get my name out there. Then finally I did a tryout with “Ring of Honor” and they liked me and gave me a shot,” said Bennett.
Mike and Maria now live in Providence and when they aren’t traveling the world doing their wrestling. Maria is majoring in Sports Entertainment and event management at Johnson and Wales University.
You can watch the show â€śRing of Honor,â€ť every weekend on NBC 10 following Saturday Night Live at 1 a.m