In a very candid interview with The Void website, former WWE wrestler and current TNA star Ken Anderson discussed a wide array of subjects, most notably his firing from the promotion, his less-than-favorable views of certain big name WWE stars and his views on the Jeff Hardy debacle at last year's Victory Road pay-per-view.
Anderson, who has recently returned to TNA after being off television for several months, was asked by writer Mike Shaw about his controversial firing from WWE in May 2009.
The release of the then-"Mr Kennedy" shocked many because the star had only just returned to Monday Night Raw as a babyface after a shoulder injury left him sidelined for several months and was all set to feud with top heel Randy Orton. He even participated in a ten-man tag match in the main event on the show.
It later emerged that Anderson's botching of a suplex onto Orton (who, as the footage shows, was visibly angered after he took the move) during the ten-man match was the final straw for WWE owner Vince McMahon, who had been hearing complaints from other top stars about the wrestler's sloppy and clumsy in-ring work for months prior to that. For the record, Orton would later admit on a post on his official message board that he had told management he was not willing to work with him again after the botched suplex.
Anderson would later indicate in interviews that John Cena was also one of wrestlers responsible, and Bryan Alvarez would note in a later edition of the F4W Newsletter that Cena had in fact went to management several times to complain about his in-ring work. Notably, the star had suffered a torn pectoral muscle in 2007 after a botched hip-toss during a match with Anderson, which may explain where the animosity came from.
Anderson continues to hint at some lingering resentment in this interview when asked about his opinion of Cena's current on-screen character: "Besides some personal burials that have taken place…I’m just not a huge fan."
He then transitioned the point about Cena into a long rant about politics in WWE, saying:
"It’s insane. If you do something wrong, no one will tell you you did something wrong. They’ll smile to your face and say everything’s fine, but…I’m an adult, if I did something wrong, come to me and tell me I did something wrong or am doing something wrong and I will work to change that, but I’m not a mind reader! But over there, it’s just a huge game and you’re constantly being mind-f*****."
Anderson is then asked by Shaw about his opinion on Randy Orton. The two, who were once very good friends, have had a tumultuous relationship since the firing in 2007, with Anderson even publicly gloating after Orton suffered a shoulder injury during 2010's Over The Limit, labelling it "Karma" for getting him fired the previous year.
Here, Anderson softened his stance towards his former friend when asked if Orton had been responsible, admitting he had made mistakes of his own (presumably hinting at his name showing up on the Signature Pharmacy list in 2007, after he had hilariously spent most of the summer defending the company in interviews and blogs against accusations that steroid abuse was rampant in the the industry and insisting the promotion's wellness promotion had sworn him off of steroid use).
"I’ve never said that, I don’t know where it started, it’s the telephone game at its finest. He definitely was the final straw, but by no means did I say he was the reason for me getting fired. I’ve said it time and time again, I was to blame for me being fired. I made the mistakes, I did the things I shouldn’t have done, I said things I shouldn’t have said. And that’s it."
Anderson then went on to explain, "There were certain guys, and there were three or four of them, that were lobbying for a long time [to get rid of me] and he [Vince] finally gave into it and said enough’s enough."
Moving on to TNA, Anderson was also asked questions about the Jeff Hardy incident at last year's Victory Road event, which saw the "Charismatic Enigma" show up for his match with Sting in no condition to perform, leading to one of the shortest main events in wrestling history, as Sting pinned the intoxicated Hardy within a minute of the opening bell.
When asked if he personally had any reluctance about working with Jeff, who was brought back to television a few months ago, due to what happened, Anderson responded that he did not, and felt confident that Hardy had done his best to conquer his problems:
"I don’t have any reluctance. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I haven’t heard from anyone else. The thing, we all love Jeff and care about him, and he did what he did, but you know those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and we all live in glass houses. It just so happens that for most of us, our problems are well hidden, and his were displayed publicly therefore he gets all the heat for it. Jeff really has changed for the better though, and he’s really focused. I hate that people are so quick to pass judgement on him, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet."
Anderson also praised current WWE Champion CM Punk for managing to break out from the rigid and heavily-scripted WWE mold and gaining the freedom to create his own original character:
"At TNA everyone is treated like an adult. You’re not an idiot, and you can think for yourself. At WWE, only certain guys are treated like that. Punk is one of them, Truth is another guy who seems to only be given bullet points as far as his promos go, and in my opinion, those guys are doing tremendous work."
Anderson also discussed his love of video games, action movies, and his favourite opponents in TNA in the in-depth interview which is worth checking out.