Born Maria Louise Kanellis in Illinois, the “First Lady of Wrestling” has been in the business for over a decade since placing 5th in the 2004 WWE Diva Search. She trained in OVW under the tutelage of Paul Heyman and eventually made her in-ring debut in early 2005. She was always pushed as the ditzy girl and was even a valet for such talents as Santino Marella and Dolph Ziggler when she wasn’t wrestling. She is a former 2009 WWE Diva of the Year, a Playboy cover model in 2008, and has appeared in numerous magazines and TV programs (including an impressive 5th place stint on Celebrity Apprentice).
Currently, Maria is married to wrestler Mike Bennett and travels the world with him as his valet in The Kingdom (along with Matt Taven and Adam Cole), appearing most notably in promotions like Ring of Honor and New Japan. She wrestles occasionally on the independent circuit while also studying for her degree in Sports, Event and Entertainment Management at Johnson & Wales University, after which she plans to finish her Masters degree.
TRIVIA NOTES: Maria used to date CM Punk (between 2005 and 2007) while they were both in OVW. She has two younger siblings. She made her television debut as a contestant on the reality show Outback Jack before appearing in the 2004 WWE Diva Search. Maria also released an album called Seven Sins on iTunes back in 2010.