Although the past year has been a tough time for former ROH Tag Team and Impact Wrestling X Division Champion Mike “Kanellis” Bennett, it has also been a year of transforming both mentally and physically. After having an impressive run in Ring of Honor as the leader of The Kingdom faction, Bennett was brought in by Impact Wrestling as The Miracle, and immediately picked up impressive wins against names such as EC3, Jeff Hardy, James Storm, and Drew Galloway.
Despite Bennett clearly being in line for a major push, his path derailed for a number of months before his departure. Bennett still garnered enough interest to be not only be signed to WWE, but immediately sent to the main roster.
Bennett made his WWE debut at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in a segment with his wife Maria. To play on Maria being formerly a popular name in WWE, Mike showed his love for her and introduced himself as Mike Kanellis. This gimmick was virtually dead on arrival. In fact, the only singles win Kanellis has was against Sami Zayn on the July 18, 2017 episode of SmackDown Live.
His win-loss record and physical condition reflected someone who was not who he used to be. In August, Maria Kanellis provided an update that Mike started rehab the month before.
“July 15th was the beginning of the first week of my husband’s recovery from prescription drugs. That was the hardest week of my life,” said Maria. She added, “Mike wanted to quit. Now, as we move forward even though the road is hard. It’s the right road.” This week, he posted a startling before and after picture of his physical transformation.
The photo is captioned, “Put in the work when no one is watching.”
Over the past several months, Mike Kanellis has posted several other updates of his physical transformation to get back in shape. Although he has not appeared on SmackDown Live this year, Kanellis has competed in several WWE Live events, losing to Tye Dillinger, Zack Ryder, and multi-person tag matches.