Mike Kanellis and Maria Kanellis did not step foot in NXT like so many others that WWE signs into the company. Instead, they were pushed straight to the main roster for a Money In The Bank debut.

While speaking to Smarks And Stripes, Mike Kanellis admitted that he thinks about skipping NXT “a lot.” He wears it like a badge of honor now that he is one of the rare examples of a Superstar skipping NXT. He still can’t help but wonder “what if?”

“I think about this a lot. I always constantly go back and I think to myself, ‘well, had I’d just gone to NXT, maybe things could have been different,’ but then, I think, like, ‘yeah, but they pushed me right to the main roster, which was really cool – there [are] not many guys they did that with.’ Yeah, so I wear that as a badge of honor, where I was like, ‘yeah, maybe I came out and it was cold, and I fell flat on my face,’ but, again, I started – maybe I sound like this friggin’ guru – I don’t know. I don’t really care.”

“I started taking so much personal responsibility and accountability for my actions and some people might say, ‘well, WWE screwed up my debut.’ Maybe, but I look at it as I screwed up. I came to WWE and I was out of shape and I wasn’t prepared. I was addicted to drugs. Maybe they lost faith in my right out of the gate and I had to earn it back. So I wish it went better. Maybe in retrospect I should’ve gone to NXT, but I wasn’t ready period, so I don’t know if NXT would’ve made things any better.”


We will never know how Mike and Maria Kanellis would have done in NXT if WWE wouldn’t have been so eager to debut him on the main roster. He is still with the company even after requesting his WWE release so you never know if Kanellis might eventually receive an opportunity to wrestle for the black and gold brand before his time with WWE is up.

Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote

Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

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