Mike Bennett -- formerly Mike Kanellis in WWE -- was interviewed for the latest edition of Hannibal TV. As reported by Sportskeeda, he discussed his time in WWE during the conversation, and he opened up about how officials punish performers who don't agree to bad storyline ideas.
Bennett was portrayed in a negative light on WWE television, which led to him requesting his release in 2019, though he wasn't let go until earlier this year. He lost most of his matches and was involved in an emasculation angle with his wife Maria, which wasn't well-received by fans.
The former superstar revealed that rejecting these types of polarizing storylines would have resulted in quiet repercussions. According to Bennett, everyone is entitled to turn down a pitch, but doing so tends to result in them being taken off television.
"They won't formally tell you you're punished. They will just stop using you. And you'll hear it through the grapevine because that's how it works. People will come to you and be like 'Boss is p***ed that you said this or boss is p***ed that you did that'. No one ever comes to you face to face like an actual human being or an adult and is like 'this is the issue, you should go talk to the boss about it.'"
Bennett went on to compare the company to "high school," and reiterated that performers are informally punished by management if they don't take what's offered to them.
During the same conversation, Bennett also recalled how performers must precisely stick to scripts in Vince McMahon's promotion, according to Sportskeeda. He said that the chairman wants things done a certain way, and adding some personal touches leads to superstars getting into trouble. Bennett said that the product is designed to cater to McMahon's taste, and every move the wrestlers make is to impress him as opposed to fans. According to the former 24/7 Champion, the chairman's tastes can change on a weekly basis.
Bennett and Maria were both released from the promotion back in April as part of the mass cutbacks to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As The Inquisitr documented, Bennett revealed that they both expected to be let go. He described his tenure in the company as "fun" at the time, though his latest comments suggest that he had some negative experiences.
Bennett has been competing on the independent scene since then, including an NWA Championship match against Nick Aldis.