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Eric Bischoff on Hulk Hogan’s back problems, Jay Lethal’s TNA release, why Chyna in TNA was a bad idea

During a recent “83 Weeks” podcast on, Eric Bischoff reviewed TNA Sacrifice 2011 and the events leading up to the show.

Bischoff was asked if he knew why Jay Lethal was released from TNA during this time:

“I don’t, and I don’t get it because everybody loved Jay.  The people that worked with Jay loved Jay.  The audience loved Jay.  I’ll speak for myself.  I’ll speak for Hulk Hogan.  We loved Jay.  I don’t know anybody that didn’t think highly of him, first as a person, and secondly, as a professional, because he was great at both.  I was really stunned when they let him go and I don’t know why.  I wasn’t involved in the decision.”

Bischoff addressed whether there was any discussion of putting Hulk Hogan in a match with Mick Foley:

“No.  This was the beginning of a really dark period, physically.  Hulk had been involved with a lot of negative things.  He had a lot of things going on in his life with the divorce and other issues that had nothing to do with wrestling.  He was in a ton of pain.  This was when the back was really starting, before the 17 surgeries.  I think he had a couple by then, by 2011, but physically, when I would show up at the set, oftentimes I would fly into Tampa the night before, stay in a hotel, Hulk would swing by and pick me up or I would meet him at his house and then we would drive together to Orlando for the show .  We would pull up to the soundstage at Disney.  It took Hulk 10 minutes just to get out of the car, so there was no thought of matches at this time.”

Bischoff did not think bringing Chyna into TNA was a good idea:

“Chyna is not here to defend herself, and there’s no reason to speak ill of Chyna, but I think the logic of bringing her in, and this is all Vince Russo to my knowledge.  Maybe Kurt (Angle) had something to do with it.  Maybe Jeff (Jarrett) had something to do with it, I don’t know.  I didn’t.  I’m telling you the way I felt standing outside looking in at the time, I thought it was a bad idea.  Chyna had been going through a lot of personal issues and they were very high profile.  To me, the risk of bringing her in, given all of the things that everybody was aware of on TMZ and the media and everything else, the risk to the business, the advertising business, the damage it could potentially do to the brand, was just a bad choice and she had been out of the game for 10 years.  She wasn’t ready to be in a match.  She wasn’t on her game.  I just felt like the risk completely outweighed the reward, the potential reward.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to for the transcription

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