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Has Jeff Hardy’s popularity gone downhill since leaving WWE?
Given the fact that TNA Wrestling is watched by far less by than those that watch WWE, I think that’s a fair assessment. However, that doesn’t mean people aren’t still interested in Jeff Hardy. TNA has held Hardy off television to sell Aces and Eights “attack” on him and we get questions every day about his return. When his contract with TNA was up, WWE teased fans by adding him to their Alumni section with photos and videos. He’s still a top guy in this business and should be throughout the duration of his new TNA contract.
Was there any reason why Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Steve Austin left WWE after Wrestlemania XX?
All three had different circumstances. Brock Lesnar hated the WWE travel schedule and wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. He requested his release to do this. WWE granted his release on the condition he would sign a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from working for a competing organization before June 2010. Lesnar signed it and was granted his release after his match at Wrestlemania XX against Goldberg. When the NFL didn’t pan out, Lesnar went to Japan to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. This resulted in a legal battle with WWE due to the non-compete but it was later dismissed after a settlement.
Goldberg wasn’t happy in WWE either and wanted out. He fulfilled his contractual obligations and was “fed up” with backstage politics and the way the company operated. Goldberg didn’t get along with Vince McMahon and stated publicly both he and Lesnar were in a hurry to get out of dodge.
Steve Austin’s contract with WWE was coming up and they were negotiating behind-the-scenes. I don’t have specifics as to what went wrong but they broke down a month after Wrestlemania XX and he let the company.
Goldberg accused WWE of not putting the focus on the Wrestlemania XX bout (with Austin as the special referee) given their impending departures. The New York City crowd was “smartened up” to the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar were leaving and crapped on the match.
What are your opinions on Gorilla Monsoon?
Gorilla Monsoon was a big tough man and a legend in this business. He cleared the way for Jim Ross and is forever remembered by the naming of the Gorilla Position backstage. He was known for being an honest man with Vince McMahon describing him as one of the greatest men he’s ever known. Monsoon is another name that we lost too soon as he died at the age of 62 due to complications from diabetes.
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