Maria Kanellis Competes in Women's Royal Rumble Amid Release Request Reports

For the first time since late October, Maria Kanellis competed in a WWE ring on Sunday night as [...]

For the first time since late October, Maria Kanellis competed in a WWE ring on Sunday night as one of the 30 competitors in the Women's Royal Rumble match.

Kanellis was the subject of numerous reports in recent weeks, as Pro Wrestling Sheet originally reported that both she and her husband Mike Kanellis had asked WWE for their releases.

"Sources tell us the Kanellis' have been unhappy with the way they've been used in WWE for awhile and finally made the decision a few weeks ago to request their releases," Ryan Satin reported.

Shortly afterwards, Kanellis responded to a fan on Twitter when asked about the report by writing "Everyone thinks they know everything. Hahahahaha.... it's social media not an autobiography." She then gave a series of tweets fact-checking various stories about Mike recently dealing with addiction.

During the Rumble match Kanellis attempted to form an alliance with Alicia Fox, which appeared to work at first until Maria grabbed Fox's captain's hat and stomped it with her boot. Fox eliminated Kanellis moments later.

The minutes of the match saw Lana come out as the No. 28 entrant, but due to the leg injury she suffered in the pre-show match involving Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura she was only able to limp about halfway down the entrance ramp. Nia Jax came out at 29 and blasted Lana with a shoulder tackle on her way to the ring, rendering Lana unable to compete. Becky Lynch then ran out and argued with Fit Finlay to have her take Lana's place, and was eventually officially added to the match.

The final three came down to Lynch, Jax and Charlotte Flair. The two SmackDown stars were able to use some teamwork to eliminate Jax, but she responded by knocking Lynch off the steel steps and hurting her leg in the process. Flair then went to work viciously attacking Lynch's injured leg, but "The Man" was eventually able to eliminate "The Queen."

Other results from Sunday's Royal Rumble event included Brock Lesnar forcing Finn Balor to tap out to a kimura submission, Daniel Bryan keeping hold of his WWE Championship thanks to interference from a returning Erick Rowan and Ronda Rousey pinning Sasha Banks to retain her Raw Women's Championship.

The event closed out with the Men's Royal Rumble match, which saw Jax appear once again as the surprise final entrant after attacking R-Truth from behind. Seth Rollins wound up winning the match by last eliminating Braun Strowman.