Free Agency Outlook: Mike and Maria Bennett

Despite signing new long term contracts with WWE just last year, The Miracle Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis were released by the company last month. Neither of them had many opportunities during their run to show their total value. Shortly after re-signing, the duo entered into a “cuckhold” type storyline on RAW where they announced Maria was pregnant and that Mike wasn’t the father because he wasn’t “man enough” or some bullshit. It was awful. Mike publicly asked for his release quickly after that. He was denied up until the Pandemic hit and most companies shut down at which time the company was nice enough to release him.

Mike has a lot of charisma and is a really good wrestler and has a desire to ply his craft in the ring. The Mike and Maria act was fun in ROH and NJPW and while it didn’t last very long, they had a nice little run in Impact as well. So where could they end up?

Most Likely: Ring of Honor

Mike Bennett competed here in ROH from 2008-2015. This is where he had his best matches and his most success. This seems like a perfect fit considering he is putting a premium on being able to have good matches again. If that’s his goal this is the perfect place to do it. Plus it doesn’t hurt that good friend and former tag team partner Matt Taven is a top star here.

There is money in a reunion for the duo as well as an eventual split and feud. Taven and Bennett are former ROH tag team champions and even held the IWGP Tag Team Titles by beating Gallows and Anderson. Bennett never held singles gold in the company and I bet that still haunts him as he had multiple opportunities at the TV title but never quite got there. Maria, fresh off her initial WWE run really grew as a performer during her time with ROH and essentially rebuilt her career there. The ROH relationship with New Japan would likely open the door for them to work dates in Japan once the world opens up too.

Probable: IMPACT Wrestling

With Impact looking to make some moves and grow their company, they could definitely kick the tires on the couple. They shine as characters, have great promos, and understand the art of storytelling, which the company values. Also doesn’t hurt that Bennett is very good in the ring. Their initial Impact run came in the dying days of the Dixie Carter/John Gaburick era and was not anything special, although he did capture X-Division gold during his run. While I would expect them to sign with ROH, I wouldn’t count out IMPACT here.

Possible: AEW & MLW

I almost considered making AEW as unlikely because Their roster is already stacked with star power, but can you really have too many good workers with charisma? They would not be a game changer for them by any means, but they would be a huge upgrade over an act like Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. I don’t see them signing here as I am sure they would like to be pushed, but I would not completely rule it out either.

I added MLW to this category because I have been following Court Bauer long enough to know that he would love to have a guy like Bennett. He checks all the boxes. They have paid guys like Tom Lawlor and Mo Lawal pretty good and they may end up losing Davy Boy Smith Jr to free agency later this year. MLW also has a working relationship with Dragon Gate and AAA which would feed Bennett’s itch to have good matches.

Longshot: NWA

I keep leaving NWA on the short end of the stick in these but fear not Powerrr fans, there’s a couple guys I could see signing here. The Bennetts could sign here, and I know they worked with Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana in the past, but they might be out of their price range. Good news for NWA is they have a working relationship with ROH which would mean they could get some dates on them.

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