was first seen in the
2004 Raw Diva Search contest
later signed by the WWE despite not winning. On November
1st, 2004 on RAW, Maria made her debut as a RAW backstage
announcer. Throughout 2005 she continued to be an announcer,
as well as participating in numerous match-ups and contests.
These included, a Lingerie Pillow fight against Christy
Hemme on January 10th 2005's edition of Raw, and a Diva
Fashion show on February 7th's edition.
Throughout the year, Maria Kanellis continued to train
in the WWE's Development camp; OVW, and participated
on November 1st, 2005, on the Taboo Tuesday Pay Per
View event in a Fulfill Your Fantasy Divas Battle Royal.
In 2006, she kicked of the year at the New Years Revolution
Pay per View on January 8, 2006, participating in a
Bra & Panties Gauntlet Match. She then continue to get
physical, participating in tag matches, and even being
defeated in a Women's Title match by WWE Women's Champion;
Mickie James and participating in a Women's Title Tournament
after Trish Stratus
retired, losing to Lita on
October 30, 2006. She later participated in a #1 Contenders
Diva Battle Royal for the WWE Women's Championship (November
27, 2006 - Raw). The next week she suffered at the hands
of Victoria in a one on one match up (December 4, 2006
- RAW ).
The Highlight of the year for her was going to Iraq
participating in the WWE Tribute to the Troops however
the highlight for fans that year took place on October
10, 2006 in an ECW "Extreme Strip Poker" segment where
she had a naked catfight with Candice Michelle.
In June of 2007, the Santino Marella and Maria Kanellis
era began as their onscreen romance began to shape in
various segments. As their romance took center stage,
with Santino playing a jealous boyfriend the majority
of the time. She continued to Wrestle in the Women's
Division, which included August 26, 2007 at SummerSlam
where she participated in a #1 Contenders Battle Royal
and November 18, 2007 at Survivor Series where she,
Mickie, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool and Kelly beat
Beth, Melina Perez, Jillian Hall, Victoria and Layla.
In late 2007 Playboy rumors began and in January of
2008 the WWE began to promote her Playboy spread. Tension
between her and Santino escalated to an all time high,
as he opposed her choice to want to do Playboy. This
all led to a Playboy "BunnyMania" match being booked
for Wrestlingmania 24.
On March 30, 2008 at WrestleMania 24, Beth Phoenix and
Melina Perez defeated her and Ashley Massaro in the
BunnyMania Lumberjill Match. The MC of the match was
rapper Snoop Dogg, who clotheslined Santino Marella
and french kissed her. The conclusion of her storyline
with Santino came the next day on March 31, 2008 during
RAW, as she defeated Santino in a No-DQ match with help
from all of the WWE Divas who attacked Santino. Earlier
in the show, he made disparaging remarks towards the
WWE Women, which was the motivation for their attack.