Maria Kanellis is the latest professional wrestler to be the victim of a photo hack.
On March 21st, a number of explicit photos that appear to be of Kanellis were posted online. This comes after explicit photos of WWE superstar Paige also spread across the Internet without her consent.
Kanellis is married to Mike Bennett, another professional wrestler. Here’s what you need to know about their relationship.
1. They Met at a Wrestling Show When They Were Both in Relationships
In a 2015 interview, Mike Bennett explained that he and Maria Kanellis first met at a Northeast Wrestling show, but at the time they were both in relationships.
“We felt a connection but at the time we were both with other people,” he said. “A few months later when our situations had changed, we started DM’ing each other on Twitter. She was in Philadelphia and asked me to come see her. It took me nine hours to get there because I got caught up in New York traffic. But we hung out and just hit it off.”0
Bennett and Kanellis were both in Ring of Honor together from 2011 through 2015.
2. They Went out to TGI Fridays Together After First Meeting
Maria Kanellis said in an interview that in their first conversation backstage at that wrestling show, she asked Bennett if he worked for Ring of Honor, and he asked her, “Do you want some of this old pizza?”
Kanellis went on to say that they subsequently went out to eat at TGI Fridays, and one of their first encounters involved cheese sticks.
“So he was sitting across from me,” Kanellis said. “He gets his appetizer which were cheese sticks—and he is eating them with a fork and knife. I was like, ‘Who eats cheese sticks with a fork and knife?’ And he had no words. He just sat there. No words.”
Bennett said that he was trying to impress Kanellis by eating fancy but that his plan “really backfired.”
3. Maria Previously Dated CM Punk
Before she was with Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis dated CM Punk.
Punk and Kanellis met while they were both working with Ohio Valley Wrestling. The two dated from 2005 through 2007. In a 2014 interview, Kanellis praised Punk’s work ethic, saying he worked incredibly hard to get where he is today.
“He’s the example you use when you talk about independent wrestlers who come to WWE,” she said. “He was the first in that transition. He came from the independents and made a name for himself in WWE. He’s already done the work and doesn’t need to do anything else in his career to solidify the statement he has made. He changed wrestling forever because he showed that some dirty, stinky wrestler from Chicago can become a famous superstar.”
Kanellis also said that fans still chant CM Punk at her but that she doesn’t mind this at all.
4. They Were Married in 2014
Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett were married in October 2014.
According to Pro Wrestling Insider, the wedding took place in Chicago, Illinois.
Kanellis and Bennett are raising a son, Austin, who is Bennett’s from a previous relationship.
5. They Recently Left Impact Wrestling
Earlier this month, Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett both left Impact Wrestling.
Kanellis had said the previous year that she would soon be retiring from wrestling altogether. She is earning a Bachelor’s degree in May 2017 and will then be pursuing a Master’s degree.
“It will be an interesting next couple months,” she said on Twitter in October 2016. “What I know is I am leaving wrestling soon. I’m not exactly sure when but that’s why I went back to school. I am done in May with my bachelors. And then, I’m on to my masters degree. Eventually everyone must realize that the road never changes until you change roads.”