Mike Kanellis made headlines back in October when he put out a statement on social media announcing that he had requested his release from WWE. Both he and his wife, Maria Kanellis, had signed new five-year contracts with the company mere months earlier, but he stated that he was miserable in his current position and wanted to be happy with the remaining years of his in-ring career. WWE denied Kanellis' request, and the former Ring of Honor star hasn't been seen on company programming since then. Shortly after his statement dropped some fans wondered if WWE's storyline for Kanellis, in which he was portrayed as a "beta male" while Maria teased other wrestlers being the real father of his unborn child, was what led to his public request.
However Kanellis shot down that idea while recently appearing on the Swings & Mrs. podcast.
"My only issue was it didn't go anywhere," he said regarding the storyline. "And if I'm going to do a storyline like that, I'd like for it to go somewhere. I think all the fans would like that too. There should be a payoff. There should be something happens where you can say 'yeah' or 'boo'. Because there wasn't a payoff, it's like, what was the point?
"I don't mind thinking outside the box. I don't mind embarrassing myself, I mean, I wrestle in underwear for a living," he continued. "I really don't care. So If they're like 'you have to be emasculated by my wife' I'm like, fine, I don't care. I really don't. It's just a fake storyline, it's wrestling."
The storyline resulted in Kanellis taking television losses to the likes of Seth Rollins and Ricochet, while also laying down for Maria to take the WWE 24/7 Championship from him.
Kanellis is far from the only wrestler to ask for their release in recent months, though almost all of their public requests have been denied. Triple H talked about wrestlers asking for their releases via social media during a recent media conference call.
"If you have an issue, talk to us," Hunter said. "If you think 'oh, I'm gonna go put that on the media' that's not a way to go about doing your business. If I had a complaint with a talent, I don't go on Twitter and complain to them, I speak to them. So I've never understood that process.
"But there's a silliness to it, to me there's a maturity issue of it's not how you handle business," he later added. "Anybody that's out there that is serious about it that's talking on the internet, that ain't the place to do it. We all have phones, we all have cell phones, you handle your business like a professional. Everybody likes to think we don't stick to the word and everybody likes to say professional wrestlers, the key word in front of that — professional. That's what we're trying to change about the business and make people more professional."