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Maria Kanellis on Paul Heyman Being a Mentor To Her, Vince McMahon & Why He Needs to Listen More

January 12, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Maria Kanellis ROH The Experience

Maria Kanellis had a lot to say about how much Paul Heyman was a mentor to her, and why Vince McMahon needs to listen more and move forward on the latest ROHStrong podcast. Kanellis was the guest on last week’s episode and did word association with Kevin Eck. McMahon and Heyman were two of the subjects, and you can see highlights and the full audio below:

Maria Kanellis on Paul Heyman: “[He’s a] teacher. He was my mentor for a very long time. He’s the person that made me believe that I could write, because he believed in me at the time. In recent years, I feel like his legacy hasn’t been upheld as much as it should be, because of whatever WWE is doing. Who knows? The idea he had for Mike and I was great. It could have been amazing. But unfortunately, along the way, things get watered down and muddy. And so yeah, I would say mentor, educator, and he’s my friend. I text him randomly and ask him, hey ‘What about this person? What do you think? How can I make this better?’ He is one person that I know if I text him, I will hear back from him within a day.”

Maria Kanellis on Heyman’s polarizing reputation: I think one of the tough things is you don’t know all the stuff. I mean like yes, people can be polarizing. But you don’t know what the whole story is. And I only know what happened to me. I know what Paul told me, I know what was actually thrown at me last minute as I’m walking out to the ring. So I don’t know. ”

On Vince McMahon: “Okay, so. Because a lot of people take a lot of things out of context, I’m going to try and make this very clear to people. Vince McMahon gave me an opportunity. And if I am correct — which like I said before, you never know for sure — it was Vince and Kevin Dunn who were the ones who said, ‘Yes, bring her back.’ So I appreciate that. At the time, it was an excellent opportunity. Along the way, I was given incredible opportunities. I was able to travel the world, that was incredible.

“But at a certain point, people need to change and they need to grow, and grow up, and learn that the world is changing. And so even though I appreciate the opportunities I was given in the past, I really wish that Vince would learn and would listen to people. It’s the same thing: yes, it worked in the past. That’s great. I’m happy for you; you created an industry. Good on you. But at a certain point, because you are the pinnacle. The definition of what professional wrestling is. You need to show the world that you can change, because that is the only way that this industry gets better. It’s the only way that we can completely move forward. Yes, you have competitors, and they are doing a great job. But they do not have the reach. And because Vince McMahon has the reach, he can change a lot of lives.

“And so in that way, I think he needs to be more forward-looking and less being like the high school football player who was like, ‘I had that great play. It was awesome.’ Okay, cool. Let’s move forward. Let’s see what else you got. Are you now a family man? And do you really mean it, or is that some kind of marketing ploy? There are a lot of things that that company says that they don’t truly believe. Because if they did, my husband and I would not have been fired this year. Along with a lot of other wonderful people whether they were employees or professional wrestlers. So yes. I don’t know if that is a good statement or not, but I think that sums it up.”

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