Former WWE Diva and current Ring of Honor star Maria Kanellis has commented on the large number of WWE Divas who have chosen to leave the company and pursue other passions.

In recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of women opt to walk away from the company including Michelle McCool, Gail Kim, the Bella Twins and more.

Speaking to, Maria says she feels that women in WWE are realizing the restrictions imposed on the Divas and are looking to fulfill their passions elsewhere.

She says:

After I left, it was me and then it was Mickie [James]. Soon after Mickie, it was Michelle and she left on her own. Then, soon after than, it was Melina and then Jillian. Maryse just recently left. Then it was the Bella Twins. Gail Kim — oh, my gosh. Maxine… I didn’t really know her I was really there. And, I think that every one of the girls that I’ve mentioned had something else in their life that made them realize that since WWE wasn’t going to allow them the time or the place to do something that they’re passionate about, they were going to go out and fulfill that passion elsewhere.

Mickie had music. Jillian had recently gotten married. Michelle got married. Melina got released, but you go down the list — The Bella Twins have all these opportunities in acting. Maryse has modeling, she been a huge star in Canada. But, you go down the list and WWE could have used all these talents that these girls have and make their product even better. But, they want to ignore that these women are tremendous and can be tremendously successful and use their mainstream impact within the company. I find that extremely stupid.

Who in their right mind does not use the extra eyes that could be on these girls within their own company? It’s an ego trip and I am not a fan of ego trips.

Maria also adds that she feels AJ, who has been in the main event spotlight on Raw recently, has done a “tremendous job”.

Kanellis says she hopes that what “they do with AJ is the same thing they continue to do in the future with other girls.”

Read the full interview here.

Thoughts: I definitely agree with Maria here. With Maxine‘s recent departure adding to the mix, it seems like a lot of women are taking their careers into their own hands after realizing the grass isn’t always greener just because you have a WWE contract. Frankly, I applaud those women for taking the risk. Even women who were fired rather than leaving on their own accord seem to be happy in hindsight — such as Maria.