ring of honor pco mike bennett matt taven vincent maria
Photo Credit: IMPACT Wrestling

Maria Kanellis-Bennett Is Having Fun With Her Return To IMPACT, Being A Manager Again

Maria Kanellis-Bennett, formerly known as “The First Lady of Ring of Honor”, is back in IMPACT Wrestling, and she hasn’t come alone.

Alongside former ROH stars Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, Vincent, and PCO, she is at the forefront of Honor No More, a group of invaders that is wreaking havoc in IMPACT. But just as the faction is waging war with stars like Josh Alexander and Chris Sabin, it is also keeping the ROH brand alive and well during the promotion’s hiatus.

In an interview with WrestleZone, Kanellis-Bennett discussed her return to on-screen prominence with IMPACT and described how it’s a “blessing.” She also called it a “humbling experience” to see the way that fans are still excited about her at this stage in her career.

“It’s humbling because I think that every year now is like, it’s time that I haven’t purchased,” said Kanellis-Bennett. “It’s like I just keep going with this career and it’s all a blessing at this point. It’s a blessing to have people talk about it, it’s a blessing that people were even excited to see me heading out there at this point. And we have a lot of years in the ring, in the group.

“So it’s like, from Mike, who was 21 years and Taven who has somewhere around 15-ish, I think, and Vincent, and PCO has a million, so it’s like you just have a lot of years in this group and so to come out there and get the response that we did, it was like okay, you know, it’s a humbling thing experience, it really is.”

Kanellis-Bennett made sporadic appearances on-screen in ROH; during her time there, she mostly focused her efforts on her vital role in rebuilding the women’s division. But now that she’s back in front of the camera, “The First Lady of Professional Wrestling” is clearly enjoying herself

“It’s funny, in wrestling, it’s always how do you get out of it, you know, how do wrestlers get out of it? And when I hold that microphone, I think to myself, I could be here forever,” said Kanellis-Bennett. “So it’s like, I love that feeling, and to be able to come out and make a statement and be surrounded with such talented people, it’s fun.”

Kanellis-Bennett then emphasized her previous comments that her days as a wrestler are behind her, but she remains very passionate about her role as a manager. She also made it clear that she enjoys helping the next generation however she can.

“[With wrestling,] that feeling has left my body,” said Kanellis-Bennett. “But managing, it hasn’t. And helping the next generation, it hasn’t. Whatever I can do to do those two things, and if I could do them simultaneously, perfect. I don’t belong wrestling but I really do enjoy holding a microphone and holding a pencil, so that’s my ideal world.”

As for Honor No More, Kanellis-Bennett stated that the group’s current goal is to build up everyone’s distinct personality. She also emphasized how it’s important that each member of the group has a voice as the stable continues to find its footing in IMPACT.

“Right now it’s all about building up Honor No More, making everyone’s presence known, everyone has a voice in this,” said Kanellis-Bennett. “Mike Bennett, he’s been fighting pure style wrestling for the past few months, up to almost a year. You have Matt Taven, who’s a former champion. You have Vincent, who’s real crazy and chaotic sometimes. Then you have PCO who isn’t afraid of death, he’s not human. So it’s about building everyone’s story up right now, making sure everybody has a voice in the group.”

Fans have naturally linked Honor No More with ROH; some saw the stable’s shocking IMPACT debut as a promising sign for ROH’s future as it became all too easy to dream about an all-out storyline war between the two promotions. When asked about the way Honor No More has been generating buzz for ROH, Kanellis-Bennett noted that the response to the stable has been “incredible”. While she stated that she’s not in the loop about her former employer’s plans for the future, she wished the company the best in its planned return in April and beyond.

“The response that has been achieved because of Honor No More and showing up at IMPACT has been incredible,” said Kanellis-Bennett. “It’s been such great buzz for the company, and so I hope only good things for Ring of Honor.”

Honor No More will battle Team IMPACT at No Surrender on February 19 in a high-stakes match: if Kanellis-Bennett’s allies win, they can stay in IMPACT, but they’ll be forced to leave the company if they lose.