Ex-WWE star Maria Kanellis reveals why kissing John Cena wasn’t as ‘sexy’ as you’d think

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Maria Kanellis has opened up on her wrestling kisses and explained why they aren’t as epic as they might seem.

The former WWE and Ring of Honor star – who has left the latter alongside her husband Mike Bennett as the promotion is on hiatus amid a change of direction – locked lips with the likes of John Cena and Snoop Dogg during her time in Vince McMahon’s company.

Noting how her family understand she’s simply doing a job on screen, whatever the role, she exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘Yeah, for sure – they understand! They appreciate the fact that it’s still a job.

‘I’ve kissed people along the way on television and everybody is always like, “Oh, you kissed him!” It is the most awkward experience of your life! It’s not like this, “Oh, this is lovely” – no, it is awkward!

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‘There’s a camera, there’s a producer, there’s your writer, then there’s makeup artists out there sometimes watching to make sure your hair’s in the right position as you’re kissing this person.

‘It’s like, “Oh no,can you turn your face a little bit” – and eventually you’re kissing the side of their face. There’s hot lights and you’re wearing, “I’m sorry, I smell”, tanner – it’s not sexy!’


Maria noted her husband Mike also understands the situation, before remembering what it took to even pull off dancing skits with the likes of Shelton Benjamin.

‘When I worked with Shelton and we were dancing together on the side of the apron – OK fine, except for the fact that he was covered in sweat from not only himself but from other men,’ she laughed.

‘I’m trying not to fall off the apron, meanwhile also trying to pay attention to what’s going on around me so I don’t get knocked off the side. It’s not that sexy!’

There was plenty of criticism from fans over the creative direction WWE took with Mike and Maria during their run with the company – which ended in April 2020 – but Maria admitted across the board, she’s always been able to separate her real life from her on-screen persona.


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