Months after husband-and-wife team Mike and Maria Kanellis reportedly asked to be released from WWE, new reports suggest that the 205 Live stars’ contracts with the company are indeed due to expire in less than a month from now.
In a tweet shared on Monday morning, Maria Kanellis dropped the first hint about how she and her husband only have three weeks remaining on their contracts but did not specify immediately whether or not she was referring to WWE. Although Maria answered a fan’s question and said she was talking about gym memberships, per Wrestling Inc., the outlet added that PWInsider later reported that the 37-year-old valet and wrestler was indeed pertaining to the WWE contracts signed by the couple in 2017.
In a separate report, WrestlingNews.co noted that it had also confirmed the husband-and-wife team’s impending status as free agents “in a few weeks” from now.
Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis made their first WWE appearance as a couple on June 18, 2017, at the company’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view, with Mike taking on his wife’s surname as part of his ring name. Despite getting a lot of exposure on SmackDown Live in the weeks that followed, it wasn’t long before the couple disappeared from TV, with Maria going on maternity leave and Mike entering rehab for his painkiller addiction, as noted by Cultaholic.
Since October 2018, Mike and Maria have mostly appeared on 205 Live, where Mike has settled in as part of WWE’s cruiserweight division. However, the couple also made wrestling headlines in January when it was alleged that they asked to be released from WWE, not long after former Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival were also reported to be planning to leave the company.
Prior to her return to the company in 2017, Maria Kanellis was first introduced to WWE fans in 2004 as one of the finalists in that year’s Diva Search. She then spent the next six years with WWE in a variety of roles before leaving the company in 2010 and establishing herself as an in-ring competitor in Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, per Sportskeeda.
Although it’s not clear whether Mike and Maria Kanellis are willing to re-sign with WWE once their contracts come up, WrestlingNews.co speculated that it won’t be surprising if the company dangles a “better offer” to convince them to stay. But if they choose to leave, the outlet posited that they could return to ROH, Impact, or New Japan, or attract the attention of All Elite Wrestling, which had a successful debut event in Las Vegas on Saturday.