As previously reported, ROH has shockingly decided to take a hiatus for the first quarter of 2022. In addition to the hiatus, the company has stated that it will release all of its in-ring talent and personnel by the end of this year.
Heartbreaking as this announcement was, it came as a huge blow to the women’s division of ROH which was just getting started. Being spearheaded by Board of Directors Maria Kanellis Bennett, the women’s division started growing by having a title tournament over the summer, crowning a brand new champion, and offering new contracts.
While speaking on ROH Strong Podcast, Maria’s husband and ROH talent Mike Bennett recalls how share reacted to the hiatus news.
“She’s Maria. She handles everything like Maria does,” Bennett said.
“I won’t sugarcoat it, she was devastated. This was her dream job, and she said to me not too long before that phone call where everything was told us, she said to me, ‘in my career, this is the happiest that I’ve ever been.’ And I remember thinking that, and I looked at her and I said, ‘because it was what you’re meant to do.’ Maria has done a ton of cool things in her career, but to watch her with those other girls, and to watch everything come together, and to watch her and Bobby Cruise just kind of work together and take something that was pretty much dead in the water, and in a matter of six months make it one of the most talked about things in all of wrestling, it’s a testament to her and Bobby Cruise and the girls that she brought in.“
The ROH women’s division building up was a bright spot in women’s wrestling this year. Bringing in new talents such as Miranda Alize, Max the Impaler, Trish Adora, and ROH Women’s Champion Rok-C had put a lot of eyes on the company. Others such as Willow, Alex Gracia, Laynie Luck, Holidead, Chelsea Green, and NWA Women’s Tag Team Champions The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle) were featured over the past number of months.
Bennett continues, “I think the one thing that I find solace in, and I tell her this all the time, is I was like, ‘this was just the test run for you. Because what you were able to do with what you were handed, and in the short amount of time you were able to do it, is nothing short of a miracle. It was miraculous. I’m blown away.’ And I think the fact that she was able to do it and now build the confidence, and the fact that she’s Maria and there’s nothing that I would ever put in front of her that I don’t think she can accomplish, I truly, and I know this is cliché and I know it’s BS and everyone will say it, but I truly believe she’s only just scratching the surface of what she’s going to do. Yes, she was crushed, she was hurt. But if you know Maria like I know her and Matt knows her, she’s just going to use this as something that pisses her off more, and to keep moving forward and to do something else someone tells her she can’t do.” [h/t – Wrestling Inc.]
The Bennetts have not confirmed where their next move is yet, however, Maria has the tenacity to move forward. Prior to the news breaking about ROH’s hiatus, Maria spoke with Diva Dirt along with Mickie James and Gail Kim for the Tag Me In campaign.
Check back in with Diva Dirt to see what will be next for Maria and the other talents from ROH.