‘I just want to work,’ Mike Kanellis explains why he wants to leave WWE
Things have heated in the WWE as they have been facing a lot of requests regarding wrestlers wanting to leave the company. Ever since the emergence of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), several unhappy wrestlers have left WWE only to pop up in the Tony Khan-backed promotion. To counter this threat, it has been rumoured that Vince McMahon has been tying up superstars many of its top wrestlers with lucrative new multi-year contracts while rejecting release requests from some.
Mike Kanellis had also requested his release from WWE recently but that hasn’t been accepted by the company. He made an appearance on The Smarks & Stripes podcast where he explained why he wanted to leave WWE while and why his request was denied by the organization.
“For me, it was all personal,” Kanellis stated (h/t wrestlinginc for transcript)
“It had nothing to do with the company. Since the minute I got to WWE, they’ve treated me great; they’ve treated my wife great; they’ve treated my daughter great. They’ve treated me great. When I came out and said that I had an addiction, there was no negativity from anybody - it was just constant support.
“And so, for me personally having been almost two-and-a-half years sober, it got to the point where I started reflecting on my past and what I did and it became very hard for me to almost sit and reflect on the fact that I blew four years of my life doing drugs and now I felt like my mind is clear, my head is clear, and I just wanted to work. I just wanted to wrestle. I just want to work. Like, I feel like I could do and have my best matches right now and it’s extremely difficult when there [are] so many people on the roster and you just don’t get that opportunity.”
“I’m not mad at anybody and if WWE called me tomorrow and said, ‘we’re going to put you on TV,’ I’d do it,” Kanellis said. “I’m not mad. I just want to work and I just want to work a lot. I want to be able to go home and tell my daughter that ‘daddy put in the time, daddy put in the effort,’ and it’s incredibly difficult for me to go on social media and preach that you have to work hard,’ ‘you have to work your ass off,’ and then not do it myself. And so, I’m a worker and I’ve always been a worker. And I’m at a point where I just want to work, and work, and work. And I’ll go wherever that opportunity exists.”
Kanellis also explained why he might not be able to get that opportunity to work despite being fit.
“Well, I think, honestly, again, I should go back to it, there [are] so many talented guys on the roster right now,” Kanellis said.
“So I mean, and I’m not saying I’m not and I’m not saying I wouldn’t be a good fit, but what I am saying is if those guys are getting the opportunity and they are doing their job, and they’re successful at it, then they’re not necessarily going to look for next man up because there’s no need. You hope that it’s next many up - you don’t hope that someone goes down [with an injury] - but you hope that you’re ready if someone goes down. But [pro] wrestling right now is just loaded with talent. Like, I see people talking about it. It’s the best I’ve ever seen in any company, on the independents, on any national company, it’s just loaded. Like, everyone is just really friggin’ good right now.”
“As far as [WWE] not giving me my release, I think it’s like anywhere,” Kanellis pondered. “The [New England] Patriots aren’t going to release someone they think the [New York] Jets are going to pick up. And I think we have to think of it like that. It’s not negative - that’s just how it works! It works in sports and it works in [pro] wrestling.”
Recently it was also reported that Sin Cara has demanded to be released from his contract despite signing a new one only a few months ago. Then another WWE superstar asked to leave the company some time ago. PWInsider reported that NXT’s Oney Lorcan requested his release from WWE and he did that at the end of last month. It was also said that WWE did not accepted his request.
Lorcan has been with the WWE since September 2015 and has predominately performed under the NXT brand. Even though fans loved his passion and smash-mouth style of wrestling, WWE has always used him as a stepping stone for other wrestlers. He wrestled at several NXT Takeover events in a tag team with Danny Burch. Lorcan moved to 205 Live recently and even fought for the WWE Cruiserweight title.
Lorcan also changed his Twitter profile from his WWE persona to his former name Biff Busick.