Maria Kanellis Speaks out About Backstage Heat Stories, WWE Return

Sharon GlencrossContributor IApril 16, 2013

photo from
photo from

In an interview with Slam! Wrestling, former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis spoke out about her much-rumored return to America's No. 1 wrestling promotion, as well as addressing the claims that she has heat with many of the other women.

After joining WWE in 2004, Kanellis had a fairly notable run in the company. As Santino Marella's ditzy but good-hearted girlfriend, she became one of the most popular Divas on the roster. Soon after, she landed the prestigious Playboy gig, posing for the April 2008 edition of the magazine and even appearing on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice reality show in 2009.

She was released in 2010 and revealed to WrestlingInc in a 2011 interview that she believed this mainly stemmed from financial issues as well as her willingness to stand up for herself in negotiations.

Talking to Jon Waldman, she said: 

I did get contacted by WWE at the end of January, beginning of February, something like that, and for about a month, I was in talks with WWE...but about a month after, they called back and said they weren't moving forward with the storyline.

Stories later emerged claiming that heat with several current and former Divas had nixed the return. Kelly Kelly and the Bella Twins were the main names thrown out there. 

However, Kanellis was quick to dismiss the claims:

I'm friends with most of the girls, I talk with a lot of them at least once a week if not a couple times a week, so I don't know where that comes from...I'm completely happy with WWE and I believe they're completely happy with me as well, so if that opportunity ever were to arise again and I wasn't locked up on something else, I would love to go back.

She then said that she didn't think Nikki and Brie Bella would be so "immature" to speak out to management against her return. 

Of course, it's indisputable that Kanellis has had issues with some of the girls, even saying to Ringbelles in an interview last week that her remarks toward Kelly Kelly on Afterbuzz TV last year were unfair. She then apologized to the former Divas champion.

So far, neither the Bella Twins nor Kelly have addressed the stories of backstage heat.