is an American professional wrestler, valet, actress and singer currently signed to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the ring name Maria, where she is the current TNA Knockouts Champion in her first reign.She is best known for her time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Ring of Honor (ROH) as the valet of her real-life husband Mike Bennett.Kanellis's career began as a contestant on the reality show Outback Jack in 2004.
Kanellis began competing in the ring as a wrestler in 2005.
She also posed for the April 2008 cover of Playboy magazine, which was incorporated into a storyline on Raw.
She released her debut album Sevin Sins on April 13, 2010 on i Tunes.
Kanellis grew up with an interest in playing sports, particularly volleyball, basketball, and softball.
She graduated from Ottawa Township High School in 2000, before spending some time as a student at Northern Illinois University. In 2005, Maria began wrestling more matches, and was defeated in her first official match on the January 10, 2005 episode of Raw by Christy Hemme in a Lingerie Pillow Fight.
On November 14, Maria competed in a non-title Diva Battle Royal at the Eddie Guerrero tribute Raw show.
Maria stood by herself for most of the match, only getting involved when she saw the opportunity to eliminate a competitor, and ultimately eliminated both Jillian Hall and Victoria.
She was one of the last three women left in the match, but was eliminated by both Melina and Trish Stratus.
On the November 28 episode of Raw, Maria interviewed then-Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, and asked him whether or not he thought he was going to be fired.
He then booked her in a match with Kurt Angle out of spite, and Maria was laid out with the Angle Slam.
As Mick Foley questioned her, she answered, "Last week Bischoff abused his power in a way that was both malicious and capricious, and it's this rash of discourse that ultimately led to a locker room of disdain and mutiny, and it should be grounds for his immediate dismissal." Afterwards, she was attacked and stripped of her clothes by Vince's Devils (Victoria, Torrie Wilson, and Candice Michelle), but she was saved by Ashley Massaro.