And just like that, Mike Kanellis is struggling in SmackDown Live’s lower-card, as it didn’t take long for WWE to seemingly sour on the former ROH and TNA star and his wife, the returning Maria Kanellis. But for the man known in real life as Mike Bennett, it’s truly a “miracle” that he’s got his life straightened out following a three-year battle with painkiller addiction.
In an Instagram post yesterday, Kanellis opened up to his followers and shared a photo which he feels represents his decision to end his prescription drug addiction, a vice he kept quiet about to his friends and family, including his wife. Commenting on the photo, Kanellis admitted that he had been hooked on painkillers for close to three years, having started taking them after he dislocated his kneecap.
While Kanellis, who was competing under his real name, was seemingly enjoying the best run of his pro wrestling career as part of TNA’s roster, he was also at his lowest point in terms of his painkiller use. According to the 32-year-old SmackDown Live Superstar, this was where he “almost lost everything,” and the turning point for him, as he decided to get clean once and for all. And, as he continued, it wouldn’t have happened if it was not for the “strongest, toughest woman” he knows — his wife, Maria Kanellis.
"She has been my rock and my reason for fighting. She has been with me every step of the way and I'll say it again, I would truly be lost without her. It feels so incredibly wonderful to have my life back and to focus on what truly matters."
Since joining the SmackDown Live roster in June, Mike and Maria Kanellis haven't been enjoying the best of runs in the WWE. Mike recently lost a brief feud with the similarly struggling Sami Zayn, and he's one of several wrestlers on the blue brand with nothing to do at SummerSlam. But painkiller addiction might not be the reason for WWE losing interest in the "Power of Love" – according to a recent report from Sportskeeda, Kanellis allegedly spent the two months between his WWE contract signing and his debut looking like "he just sat on the couch" during that downtime. In other words – conditioning issues.
Regardless of WWE's creative stance on Mike and Maria Kanellis, we have to commend the former "Miracle" for being brave enough to admit that prescription drugs once had a hold on him. And while we're hoping WWE does something fast about the lack of direction in the couple's stint with the company, we're hoping, most of all, that Mike stays clean, and that his and Maria's relationship remains strong in the real world.