Highspots Presents: Diva Diaries with Maria Kanellis

This was filmed in 2010

The interview was conducted by Michael Bochicchio

It runs at one hour and thirty-eight minutes long


The interview starts with the host congratulating her for doing well on “Celebrity Apprentice.” They talk about that for a while as Maria said she was asked by Trump while she was working with the WWE and it took about 1.5 months as she said it was an exhausting experience as it was six days a week and she was getting up at 4am. She puts over meeting Goldberg and how he was a really nice guy and she was thrown off by Sharon Osbourne referring to her as “tacky,” especially when Sharon was the one who was talking behind her back. She also said that Cyndi Lauper was mean at times. Maria then talks about how she was going to be on “Dancing With the Stars” but there was some “conflicts” that happened there as she talks about how we will be finding out about that. This takes up the first fifteen minutes of the shoot.


She is now asked about how she begun her modeling career at age 14. Maria said she was doing some small gigs and was told at one point while a teenager that she was “too fat” at 5’6 and 110 lbs but she kept fighting and started to do bikini contest at clubs as her mother had to bring her around as she won a few competitions.


Maria talks about being a WWE fan for a long time before even being asked to participate in the “WWE Diva’s Search.” Maria said she loved when the Rock called Jonathan Coachman a “popcorn fart” and even called Coach that herself as she thinks that is how she advanced to the second round. Maria then talks about other girls from the searches that did not win but went on to have careers like Candice Michelle and Michelle McCool, who Maria said is one of the hardest workers she has ever met. She still talks to Candice and mentions how she lives in Los Angeles and is married with a child.


On starting off in OVW, Maria said it was like going to college for her and how there was a lot of great talent there and puts over all the girls. She mentions how a lot of girls there would have a second job training like Beth Phoenix, who worked as a waitress and even served her and her family as Maria said it was ridiculous how the girls from the Independent scene would not get under contract because they were all talented.


Maria said her trainers were Lance Storm and Al Snow for the most part. She also said that Mickie James then Beth Phoenix took over training the women’s classes. Maria said she was respected by everyone except for Jim Cornette, who wrote a long article on her on how she was stupid and knew nothing about wrestling as Maria said Cornette never even spoke more than a sentence to her at that point.


Back to the Diva Search, Maria said the Rock was great and has the presence that can immediately control the room. Maria also said they were told not to interact with the male talent but that they never knew that as the boys all thought they were snobby. Maria said that Randy Orton would make her cry daily because he was so relentless but that they are cool with each other today. Maria said that being a fan had some disadvantages as Michelle McCool and herself were the only ones who really knew about the wrestlers. Maria also talks about how someone dumped an entire bottle of tanning oil into someone’s Louis Vuitton bag.


She puts over Seth Skyfire in OVW and how he should have been on the main roster as he was very talented.


Maria talks about how Paul Heyman was always supportive and helped guide her, even calling her after she got fired.


She then talks about how he kept calling the office to get called up after she was originally told about being a backstage interviewer.


On her segments, Maria said that Vince McMahon was the one who came up with her “dumb” character. She also mentioned how Dave Lagana wrote segments with her as well.


Maria talks about writing thank you notes to the WWE when she was released and how Vince wrote back via email and told her they would not forget about her and for Maria to not forget about the WWE.


She is asked about some of the other women in the WWE. Maria said Trish Stratus taught her a lot and that Trish was great at everything she did. Maria talks about how Trish knocked her filling out after slapping her in the face. Maria said that Torrie Wilson was far too nice for the wrestling business. She was shocked about Christy Hemme’s release, stating she was good at everything she did and worked hard.


On John Laurinaitis, Maria said at times he thought John was great but other times questioned his decisions and did not think he was always looking out for her best interest.


After getting moved to Smackdown, Maria hated it because they edited the shows. She felt that it was where careers went to die for the most part and how there was nothing for her to do on that show.


Maria talked about going back to OVW for training between shows on the main roster and how that lasted for about two years.


She talks about how the women are not getting any time for their matches and how you cannot build a story in three minutes, joking how they give you two minutes to show off your butt and your boobs. Maria then goes into how you cannot get people to care about someone who can only see for a few minutes.


Maria talks about constantly coming up with ideas and how they were shot down. Maria said she pitched ideas to be with Dolph Ziggler then got fired in the midst of a story with Matt Hardy. Maria said she really wanted to be a heel.


Her favorite segment with Santino was when they did a dating show. Maria said that Santino came up with his own character and how he needs his own show.


They now talk about her music career as the host puts over one of her songs, despite not being a big fan of the pop genre. She plugs her songs that are available on iTunes and how she wrote all of the lyrics. Maria also said she put all of her own money into the music. She took vocal lessons after breaking up with CM Punk, stating she would have probably lost her mind if she didnt have something to occupy the time. Maria then said the song “Fantasy” was written while their relationship was falling apart. She also talks about how the WWE wanted the rights to her music as Maria said no as she paid for everything and it was under her name and the WWE getting rights was not going to benefit her as Maria hints that was the reason for her release. She also talks about playing the piano as a child.


On the hardest thing about being a female in wrestling, Maria said its the outside perspective as people expect them to be huge and how they are traveling on their own without a per diem.


Regarding her relationship with CM Punk, Maria said it was hard because they saw each other once a week as she was on RAW and he was on Smackdown as Maria said they had several months of greatness but when they got called up from OVW, it fell apart. She then tells a story before Punk signed with the WWE, they were at a rent-a-car place in Arizona as Maria, who was with Mickie James, told her she was going to marry him as this was before they started dating. She also said that some of the top guys in the locker room were not happy she was dating a guy from the Independent scene as Maria said Punk was smart and funny and why wouldn’t she date him. Punk talks about how they did everything together and how he protected her at a concert from everyone else who was moshing around.


On the rumor of Maria telling all of the Divas in the locker room to keep their hands off of Punk after they broke up, she said that did not happen but she gave Kelly Kelly a hard time for a while because she was told Kelly had instances with Punk but has since dropped that as she learned Kelly is the type of woman where it doesn’t matter “who is with who.” Maria said that the only one who had meeting with the other Divas was Melina over every other man she dated.


She also talked about being a “jealous maniac” while dating Punk and that once Umaga told her that Punk and Kelly Kelly got involved while in Japan during their relationship and that set her off. She also jokes how Carlito would flirt with any girl that had two legs.


Maria never thought that Punk and Lita would work as they are both very moody and how Lita is guarded as when they got angry, they never talked. She now hears rumors that Punk is with Beth but cannot confirm as she is not there anymore.


When asked about the first guy to hit on her while she was in the Divas Search, Maria said it was Muhammed Hassan.


On the Wellness Policy, Maria laughs and talks about how until there is actual healthcare installed, then it doesnt matter. She talks about how can a major corporation get away for having their employees working 250+ days a year and get away with calling them “independent contractors” and if they do not want to give out healthcare then they can at least pay them enough so the talent can afford their own. She then talks about how their pay went down and was told it was due to the economy while their business was way up.


When asked if she will ever go back to the WWE, Maria said she has no hard feelings but does not that much interest going back full-time and being on the road as it is a lot of hard work for little money.



Final Thoughts: I thought that Maria came of well here. I was not a fan of all the Celebrity Apprentice talk but it was relevant towards the interview I suppose. My major gripe was that there was not much talk at all about her actual storylines in the company. They spent more time on her relationship with Punk than that.

However, this interview overall was just not all that exciting. They mainly stuck to a few topics and while going into detail, skipped over many other aspects of her WWE career.

Overall, I did not think this interview was exciting enough to watch. Unless you want some details on her relationship with Punk or how she left the company, I’d skip out on this one.


You can purchase this DVD for $14.99 or download a digital copy for $7.99



Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/17/88

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/10/81

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 7/23/88

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/24/88

Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 7/25/88

Wednesday: PWG All-Star Weekend XII, Night Two 3/5/16

Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD


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