The card for Battleground is pretty stacked:

  • Jinder Mahal vs. Rany Orton in a Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Title
  • The New Day vs. The Usos for the Tag Titles
  • John Cena vs. Rusev in a Flag Match
  • Kevin Owens vs. A.J. Styles for the US Title
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. “Mr. Money in the Bank” Baron Corbin
  • Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Natalia vs. Lana in an Elimination Match to determine who faces Naomi for the Smackdown Live Women’s Title at Summerslam.

In the build-up for the show, Smackdown featured matches designed to build hype. Mahal also brought the “Punjabi Prison” with him.

But lost in the shuffle is the WWE in-ring debut of one of the most celebrated independent wrestlers. Mike Kanellis, the husband of WWE Diva Maria Kanellis made his debut against Sami Zayn. Zayn fell backward into a feud against the Kanellis family when he kept interrupting their interviews and promos.

Who is Mike Kanellis?

Kanellis, whose real name and name on the indie was Mike Bennett is a 15-year veteran. He got his start wrestling in the Northeast before breaking into Ring of Honor, New Japan, and most recently for Impact Wrestling where he is a former X-Division champion.

Kanellis’ style is very geared perfectly towards WWE. He’s a big guy who does all the little things right and doesn’t get caught up in pointless flashy moves.

I’ve been a fan of Kanellis for a while. I’m glad that after years of work he finally got his chance to shine in WWE. Let’s hope he and WWE can take full advantage of it!

Kanellis was able to win his debut, too!

Are you a fan of Mike Kanellis and his wife? Share your thoughts.

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