Maria first appeared in the WWE as a ditzy locker room reporter in November of 2004 at the age of 22. She asked inappropriate, irrelevant or otherwise odd questions and giggled frequently to the amusement or irritation of her subjects. She began appearing in lingerie and fantasy oriented wrestling matches, but at one point Trish Stratus slapped her so hard that a filling legitimately popped loose from her tooth. After she asked RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff whether he believed he would fired soon he put her in a match against Kurt Angle during which she was flattened with an Angle Slam. She testified against Eric Bischoff during his on-air trial before judge Mick Foley and led to his being fired from RAW for inappropriate conduct. She continued along a similar path for three years, occasionally being used as a sexual interest for male wrestlers, such as the time she began stammering and John Cena grabbed her for a kiss to calm her nerves. She continued to wrestle occasionally but more to provide sexy entertainment than classical wrestling. She also began doing the Kiss Cam segments where she encouraged audience members to get friendly for the television cameras.
In June 2007 Maria became involved with Santino Marella. After Marella angered “Stone Cold” Steve Austin by belittling the movie The Condemned, Austin knocked Santino and Maria both down with a fire hose spouting beer. The pair broke up after Ashley Massaro convinced Maria to pose for Playboy and Marella strenuously objected. But Marella sought revenge by leading WWE Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix and Melina to a win at Wrestlemania XXIV over Maria and Ashley Massaro. After the match Maria kissed master-of-ceremonies Snoop Dogg as a final dig at Marella. She went on to feud with Michelle McCool for the WWE Divas Championship on Smackdown.
Maria Francis Louise Kanellis, born February 25, 1982 in Ottawa, Illinois, was a tomboy growing up. She loved playing basketball, volleyball and softball. While a student at Northern Illinois University, Kanellis rejected an offer to do Playboy at 19 years old. Instead she became a contestant on the reality series Outback Jack, in which beautiful women vied for the affections of a former underwear model while living in the Australian Outback. Later that same year she competed in the RAW Diva Search. She finished fifth but made a lasting impression after giving a fellow contestant the middle finger upon being eliminated and was soon hired to a developmental contract. While in Ohio Valley Wrestling Kanellis began dating fellow prospect CM Punk and they remained together after being called up to the WWE. They’ve since separated. Kanellis has two younger siblings and initially refused to appear in Playboy out of respect for her little sister, who was still in high school. She eventually agreed, wearing an outfit that she designed and made herself.
In 2010, Kanellis became a contestant on the NBC reality competition The Celebrity Apprentice. She came in fifth place, getting eliminated for her offensive behavior toward fellow contestant Curtis Stone. Later that year, she embarked on a music career and released her debut album Sevin Sins.
2011: Swallow: The Series (TV series) - Vicki
2010: Mother Hen (short) - Kelly
2010: The Celebrity Apprentice - Contestant
2010: Cubed (TV series) - Maria Kanellis
2008-2010: WWE Smackdown! (TV series) - Maria
2005-2009: WWF Raw (TV series) - Maria Kanellis
2009: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2010 (Video Game) - Maria (voice)
2009: WWE Superstars (TV series) - Maria
2009: The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania (TV movie) - Maria
2008: WWE Tribute for the Troops (TV movie) - Maria
2008: WWE Armageddon (TV movie) - Maria
2008: Survivor Series (TV movie) - Maria
2008: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 (Video Game) - Maria (voice)
2008: WWE Cyber Sunday (TV movie) - Maria
2008: Summerslam (TV movie) - Maria
2008: WWE No Way Out (TV movie) - Maria
2006: WWE Great American Bash (TV movie) - Maria