Maria Kanellis is not a fan of Vince McMahon appearing on tonight’s episode of WWE “SmackDown”.
Former WWE star and personality Maria Kanellis took to Twitter to share her displeasure following WWE’s announcement that now-former Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon would be appearing on the 6/17 edition of “SmackDown”.
“Isn’t this disrespectful to the women hurt in this situation? It’s not a joke. WWE’s company culture of fear and abuse of power is not a joke,” Kanellis tweeted.
Kanellis’ comments come after the 76-year-old stepped down as Chairman and CEO of WWE following the allegations that he supplied hush-money payments to a former employee of the company, a matter that is currently being investigated. McMahon’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon was named the interim Chairwoman and CEO of the company, which comes just weeks after she announced that she’d be taking a leave of absence from her duties as WWE’s Chief Brand Officer (CBO). The investigation has reportedly uncovered other non-disclosure agreements by former WWE employees, which claim misconduct by not only McMahon but also Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis. While there’s no word on how many agreements were unearthed by the investigation, the total amount paid in non-disclosure agreements has yet to be determined by the board, but a source noted that it was in the millions.
Meanwhile, Kanellis has been busy during her post-WWE career, most notably running Ring Of Honor’s women’s division before the company was sold to AEW President and CEO, Tony Khan after ROH released all of their talent due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kanellis and her husband, Mike Bennett have been a staple of IMPACT Wrestling programming in 2022 as both are part of the Honor No More faction, which are scheduled to compete at this weekend’s Slammiversary pay-per-view. Kanellis signed with WWE in 2004 after being part of the company’s Diva Search contest and would hold roles both as an in-ring competitor as well as a backstage interviewer before departing the company in 2010. Kanellis would return to WWE in 2017, alongside Mike Bennett but both would be subject to a mass load of cuts stemming from what the company called ‘budget cuts’ during the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020.