Eck's Files: Kudos To Maria Kanellis-Bennett For Doing The Right Thing; Who Is Rocco? Vita VonStarr Speaks

By Kevin Eck

ROH Board of Directors member Maria Kanellis-Bennett should be applauded for putting aside her personal feelings and granting Vita VonStarr’s request to be in the ROH Women’s World Title Tournament.

Kanellis-Bennett certainly has reason to dislike VonStarr, who has gotten physically involved in multiple matches involving Kanellis-Bennett’s husband, Mike Bennett.

But instead of being spiteful and excluding VonStarr from the tournament, Kanellis-Bennett simply warned The Righteous member that she will lose her “ticket to gold” if she interferes in any men’s matches going forward.

I think that’s fair. Hopefully, VonStarr can mind her own business, because I believe she’s worthy of a berth in the tournament based on her strong showing in defeat against former Women of Honor World Champion Sumie Sakai in her ROH in-ring debut last month. 


On a side note, Kanellis-Bennett is going to have to make a difficult decision regarding Max The Impaler.

Max was impressive in two Women’s Division Wednesday matches but had yet to receive a “ticket to gold.” Apparently tired of waiting, Max made a statement by laying out four competitors and the timekeeper after this week’s Women’s Division Wednesday match.

Should Kanellis-Bennett remove Max from consideration for the tournament because of the unprovoked and heinous attack? Or, if Kanellis-Bennett decides Max belongs in the tournament, should she give Max a warning similar to the one she gave VonStarr?

I’m in favor of the latter because I think Max absolutely deserves to be in the tournament.


Another interesting development with Max is that it appears an alliance has been formed with Amy Rose. If that’s the case, perhaps Rose can negotiate a deal to get Max into the tournament.



Speaking of VonStarr, she was my guest on the latest episode of the "ROHStrong Podcast,” which drops Monday morning on and most podcast platforms.

Von Starr talked about receiving her “ticket to gold;” her match against Sakai and their history together; working in the circus as an aerialist; her background in skateboarding and snowboarding; her love of metal music and horror movies, and much more.


You’ve probably seen Rocco’s commercials on the past several episodes of “ROH Week By Week” on YouTube. On the latest show, Rocco interrupted Quinn McKay’s interview with Fred Yehi and made his sales pitch to Yehi.

“I can see great things in your future, but even greater if I am in your corner,” Rocco said to Yehi, who didn’t seem the least bit interested.


So just who is this Rocco? 

I went right to the man himself and asked him what he’s all about.

“Right now in ROH there is a glaring opportunity for someone to bring a brilliant tactician and strategist ringside, as no one really does so,” Rocco said. “Honor is great for those who want it, but money is better for those who need it. In such a competitive atmosphere, why wouldn’t you take every advantage possible to make sure your hand gets raised at the end of the night?

“With Rocco in your corner, two eyes can watch your back while your two eyes are focused up front. It's all about working smart, not hard! It’s an easy decision and a fast lane to the top!” 

I did some digging on Rocco and found out that he learned the ropes of the pro wrestling business at the ROH Dojo and has appeared as a manager on Future of Honor shows.

I also was told by multiple sources that Rocco has “connections.”

“Mee, a guy sounds a little Italian and all of a sudden he’s got multiple guys on retainer that can break kneecaps!” Rocco said. “I mean, of course I do, but that doesn’t do anything to negate the hurt caused by this perpetual stereotype.”


Dates have been announced for two upcoming Survival of the Fittest qualifying matches.

Bandido versus Bateman goes down on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” the weekend of June 19, and Rhett Titus versus Danhausen takes place on “ROH Week By Week” on Tuesday, June 22.

As previously announced, the qualifying match between Dak Draper and Eli Isom is on this weekend’s episode of ROH TV, and the qualifier between Violence Unlimited’s Chris Dickinson and Shane Taylor Promotions’ O’Shay Edwards is set for “ROH Week By Week” on Tuesday.


The winners of these four bouts will join Demonic Flamita and Brian Johnson in the Survival of the Fittest six-way elimination final for a shot at the ROH World Championship.


This weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” is headlined by an ROH World Tag Team Title Pure Rules Match that pits champions Titus and Tracy Williams of The Foundation against Dragon Lee and Kenny King of La Faccion Ingobernable.

The main event on the following weekend’s show is a Triple Threat Match for the ROH World Television Title between champion Tony Deppen of Violence Unlimited, Lee, and Williams.


Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong!

Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining Eck’s Files appears every Friday.