Mike Kanellis: Where Art Thou?
After opening up about overcoming personal demons, why aren’t we seeing much of “The Miracle” on television yet again?
The possibility of being given time off
In a WWE exclusive interview with Renee Young, Mike Kanellis opened up about battling a painkiller addiction prior to him signing with the WWE. Whether it was a lingering injury or just cleaning up his system, not only has Kanellis fallen off the radar just as quick as he debuted on the main roster.
Whether injury or addiction, the man once known as “The Miracle” took a huge dip when it came to his in-ring performances with the company. His short feud with Sami Zayn showed promise, having worked together in small indie shows in the past, but it all ended as quickly as Kanellis’ jump to the main roster.
Though he told Renee Young his time off was spent recuperating, it isn’t clear what WWE’s plans for Kanellis are. The “power of love” gimmick he had with his wife Maria failed to impress the WWE Universe and they certainly won’t be separated from each other on a singles standpoint for the time being.
There is also the possibility of him being allowed to take the time off with his pregnant wife as the couple is expecting a baby in the coming months. The only question here is, isn’t The Miz in the same situation? Because we certainly still see him on TV every Monday night, right?
The possibility of being repackaged
Even though being separated to go on a singles run isn’t imminent for the time being, there is the possibility that “The Power of Love” gimmick would be replaced with something more serious to be put in major storylines. Hardcore wrestling fans who follow the couple’s working the indies and also on Impact Wrestling would remember that though the two had an obnoxious gimmick, Mike was a strong wrestler in spite of that.
As important as a gimmick is to a wrestler, the character of Mike Kanellis (or Mike Bennett if you are an indie mark) revolved around his cockiness that was backed up with good performances or help from his wife at ringside. Since the motivational love speakers gimmick is not connecting with the WWE Universe, creative has to think of new ways to get him over as soon as possible.
It’s either that or the WWE Universe is not ready for the “Power of Love” on the big stage just yet and it needs seasoning down in NXT. Just because you already had a main roster stint, it doesn’t mean you can’t go back down to uplift WWE’s developmental brand. Just as Drew McIntyre, who went from being a former Intercontinental Champion to being released to returning to become the new NXT Champion.
The possibility of lost trust
Unlike WWE legends and some current stars who had a brush with the WWE Wellness Policy, Mike Kanellis brought his addiction to the WWE way before he has established any name for himself on the bigger stage. Having such personal demons early into a WWE career makes you more expendable than guys like Eddie Guerrero, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, or even Jeff Hardy, who had to be let go on numerous occasions.
Once you make the main roster, Vince McMahon still has most of the say regarding who to push and who to bury. Triple H could have vouched for him had he either spent time in NXT or been there in the first place but since he went straight up the main roster, it is less likely we see him get involved in a significant storyline.
How to find “Mike Kanellis” once again
Since we talked about NXT, former indie stars, particularly with the Ring of Honor promotion have been building up a powerful stable as of late. With Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly creating the Undisputed Era, they have been tearing down the NXT roster from the tag teams to the top stars.
The trio has been trying to recruit Roderick Strong to join the fold but with him being all “Roddy vs the World,” it is unlikely the Messiah of the Backbreaker joins and this is where Mike Kanellis comes in. The three can play it like they tired of trying to convince Strong that another guy stepped up in Mike Kanellis.
Monday Night Raw is stacked while SmackDown Live is making up for lost time with some superstars such as Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara which makes a storyline for Kanellis less likely. In NXT, Kanellis could see more exposure with either the aforementioned team up with the Undisputed Era or him and Maria taking the “Power of Love” to the NXT Universe first.
205 Live provides another intriguing scenario as its “more on wrestling” content might just be a more comfortable environment for Kanellis. The show is picking up steam with characters such as Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak while “pure wrestlers” like Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander are finding their charisma.
NXT and 205 Live are the best options right now for Kanellis. Whether it’s cutting out his wife’s last name and taking his own or cutting his weight down to 205 lbs, one thing is for sure, and that is the WWE or NXT Universe definitely believes in “Miracles”.