wrestling / News

Mike Kanellis On What AEW’s Launch Means For Wrestling: ‘It’s An Awesome Time in Wrestling’

May 18, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Mike Kanellis AEW

– Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast, 205 Live star Mike Kanellis said that he’s excited to see what AEW’s launch means for wrestling. Kanellis was asked about Jim Ross’s claim that WWE paid an undercard talent $500,000 after they requested to leave the company, just to keep them from going elsewhere. Highlights are below:

On if he’s heard anything regarding the rumors: “I can’t say that I haven’t or I have, but what I will tell you is that I know that competition is good for anything. Any competition always, always, always brings out the best in any business. And I for one, having been doing this for very, very long time, and when I started it was not the best time to get into wrestling. I am super-excited to see what the wrestling business is going to look like five years from now. Hell, even two years from now. Because I think it’s gonna be awesome, I honestly do. It’s just, I have so many friends that I get to text every other day and be like, ‘Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations.’ And coming from the era when I started, and it was literally like, if you were an indie guy you were blacklisted everywhere you go, it’s awesome now. There’s tons of places. Even guys that don’t sign contracts are making pretty decent money just hustling out on the independent scene. You know, I think for me, it’s like the possibilities are endless. So I’m just excited. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen to me in five years. Hell, even two years. Because it’s just an awesome time in wrestling. I think you can attest to that being a big fan. I’m just as big a fan as anybody. I watch every single company, because I just love wrestling. So I’m just excited to see what’s gonna happen.”

On whether there’s been buzz backstage over AEW’s announcement with TNT: “To be purely honest, I haven’t been backstage since everything’s been announced, because they’re over in the UK and I’ve been home. So the last time I was actually on the road was for my match against Tozawa [on 205 Live]. So you know, to be brutally honest I just haven’t been backstage. I mean, you’d have to live under a rock not to know anything, but yeah … I honestly don’t know. I’ve been busy with dad duty.”

In the full interview, Kanellis talks about going public with his addiction issues, how he ended up on 205 Live and why he’s enjoying it so much, his Cruiserweight Championship goals, how AEW’s launch is good for business, his memories from The Kingdom and more.

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Introduction (0:00)
On working with Akira Tozawa and their No DQ match (0:57)
On his WWE run stalling and how he ended up getting put on 205 Live (3:34)
On having more creative freedom on 205 Live (5:28)
On if he has Tony Nese and the Cruiserweight Title in his sights (6:30)
Whether he’s hoping to transition back to Raw or Smackdown (7:42)
On going public about his opioid addiction (9:55)
On whether he’d rather be on Raw or Smackdown (15:17)
On rumors that WWE is offering talent big money to keep them away from AEW and how AEW’s launch affects the business (16:25)
On his friendship with Adam Cole and Cole’s recent NXT run (19:50)
On his memories of being part of The Kingdom in ROH (21:27)
On his advice for people dealing with addiction (22:48)
On his hopes for a WWE action figure (25:25)

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