Even a decade after it took place TNA Victory Road 2011 remains one of the most talked about wrestling pay-per-views in history. With the show’s main event between Jeff Hardy and Sting being one of the most infamous matches of the last 20 years.
TNA, now IMPACT Wrestling, was deep into the Dixie Carter era in 2011, with the likes of Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan and Jeff Hardy enjoying prominent spots with the company.
At Victory Road Jeff Hardy was due to challenge Sting for the TNA World Title, but despite making it to the ring, a visibly impaired Hardy was in no position to compete. The Charismatic Enigma was in the throws of addiction through this period and was struggling to fulfil his commitments with the company.
As the main event was about to begin Eric Bischoff who was working both in font of the camera and behind the scenes, came to the ring to cut a promo to the crowd and call an audible, to the match done as quickly as possible. A visibly unimpressed Sting would pin Hardy in 90 seconds.
Speaking on his 83 Weeks podcast during an episode dedicated to the show, Bischoff recalled the aftermath of the incident, revealing that he wanted Hardy out of the company while Carter was more focussed on helping him.
” She [Dixie Carter] just wanted to help Jeff. I was adamant about not bringing Jeff back. It wasn’t my call, and i’m not even sure if anybody asked me my opinion, but I expressed it anyway because I felt that strongly about it. But Dixie was determined, and that not that she needed me to compromise because I wasn’t in any position of authority, but just because we had a relationship, my advice to her was ‘If you’re gonna bring him back, you at least need to hold him accountable, by making him apologise to every single guy on the roster.’
And that was my idea, not because i wanted to hear it. I didn’t give a f**k, I was done with Jeff Hardy at that time.”
Reflecting further the former WCW President explained the company should never have let things reach the point that they did, and that people looked the other way regarding Jeff’s issues with addiction. Asked things should have been left to get to that point he said:
“No! No. Absolutely not. There was a lot of looking the other way. ”
“It was mostly not having the balls, or the vision or the leadership to make a decision about anything.”
Elsewhere in the episode, Bischoff expressed his sadness for Hardy in the aftermath of the incident, as well as explaining that his own understanding of addiction has shifted in the intervening years, making him much more sympathetic to Hardy’s plight.
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