Mike Kanellis, loving husband of Maria Kanellis and formerly “Miracle” Mike Bennett of independent fame, has had an interesting journey to WWE. He’s held championships in New Japan, Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, and is now riling up fans by sheer virtue of being a guy in love. At least he has probably the best entrance theme in all of wrestling. (Sorry, Bobby Roode.)
While most wrestling fans don’t really know a lot about Kanellis’ personal life other than “married to Maria” (and honestly, most WWE fans don’t really know a whole lot about his pro wrestling career, either), and although he hasn’t had much to do since debuting straight on the WWE main roster other than trade wins with Sami Zayn, he recently took to Instagram to talk about a very personal issue he’s been struggling to overcome: an addiction to prescription medication.
View this post on Instagram
This picture was taken this year. It symbolizes my decision to get clean from an addiction to prescription drugs. A problem I kept hidden from my wife, my family, my friends, everyone. It has haunted me for almost 3 years, ever since I dislocated my knee cap. It really started to spiral out of control this past year and a half. I almost lost everything. Finally I decided I couldn't keep hurting my wife or myself this way and I was going to get my life back. This picture was my way of making my beautiful wife laugh, during one of the most difficult times in our life. Without her, I would be lost. She is the strongest, toughest woman I know. 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. Life has never been better, and everyday is a blessing. I wanted to write this as a symbol of hope, to anyone who is battling addiction. It can strike anybody, in any place, at any time. It does not discriminate. It can and will take everything from you. If you are struggling, please don't give up hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you are not alone. I have your back. #thereisalwayshope
Painkiller addictions used to seem like they were standard issue when it came to pro wrestlers and former professional wrestlers, but the epidemic seems to have decreased in regularity and severity in recent years. Kanellis opening up is a stark and necessary reminder that it is still very much an issue among those who have to put their bodies on the line every night for the entertainment of the fans.
Raw general manager Kurt Angle spent a lot of time this year talking about his own struggles with prescription medication and painkillers, so Kanellis is certainly not alone in recovery within WWE. We hope he has a good support system in place and wish him all the best in his mission to stay clean.