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Maria Kanellis On Jim Cornette Disliking Her, Says Playing Her Character Was a ‘Shield’ Backstage In WWE

September 16, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Maria Kanellis ROH The Experience Image Credit: ROH

Maria Kanellis was known early in her career for her “ditzy” character in WWE, and she recalled how playing that character seemed to lead to Jim Cornette’s dislike of her. Kanellis spoke with Interviews With James for a new interview and talked about Cornette’s dislike of her in WWE, though she pointed out that things came “full circle” for her when he brought her into ROH.

She also talked about how playing the character “full-time” shielded her in some ways against the chaos backstage in WWE, and you can see a couple of highlights below:

On Jim Cornette disliking her in OVW: “Cornette hated me. I don’t know if he did an interview or what, but he talked about how I was dumb and I didn’t know who anybody was. At the time I was a huge fan, I was not not dumb. I just — I was given a character and I tried to play it to the best of my ability. And yeah, he just didn’t like me.

“But then he brought me in to Ring of Honor. So like, whatever, full circle. Thanks for the job! So I have no ill words to speak about that particular time, it just — you know, Paul Heyman was a great mentor and Jim Cornette, well he just didn’t like me.”

On playing her WWE character ‘full-time’: “In a lot of ways, I liked playing my character pretty much full-time. Because at that time, there was a lot of sexism, there was a lot of things that were kind of flying around. And if I was the dumb girl, then people kind of left me alone. And for me, it was almost like some shield against everyone else and their crazy. So yeah, a lot of people believed it.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Interviews With James with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.