Details on How Umaga’s Release is Similar to Jeff Hardy’s in 2003

– WWE’s announcement today saying Eddie Fatu (a/k/a Umaga) had been released from his contract for his second violation of the company’s Wellness Program and his subsequent refusal to attend a rehabilitation facility is quite similar to a past termination the company made a few years ago.

After showing up late for several WWE events and demonstrating a deterioration in his in-ring performance, Jeff Hardy’s last match during his prior stint in the company was on March 24, 2003. Hardy soon failed a drug test and after refusing to go into drug rehabilitation, he was subsequently fired from the company.

When Jeff Hardy re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in August 2006, WWE.com noted in their article regarding his return to the company that his demise during his prior stint was as a result of a “poisonous drug dependency.”

“He was plagued by an addiction to pain killers and methamphetamine (crystal meth), a highly addictive stimulant,” WWE.com wrote.

The WWE website later spoke with Hardy to get his thoughts on what led to his demise during his prior stint in the company. Talking honestly about his release from WWE in 2003, at the time, Jeff said he wasn’t as focused on where he’s been, but rather, where he’s going.

“I didn’t need [rehab],” Jeff told WWE.com adamantly. “When I was released from WWE, it wasn’t just about demons or demonic metaphors that relate to drug use. I failed numerous drug tests because I just didn’t care…didn’t care to wrestle anymore. A sense of me believes that it might have just been a way out [of wrestling],” he added. “That’s in the past, and that’s forgotten about. I’m in a positive place now…and that’s what motivates me.”

Interestingly, the initial article regarding his return to the company was quickly altered to remove the references to his addiction for pain killers and crystal meth.

The original article read: “For this unique athlete, it has been a turbulent, arduous road back to WWE. In 2003, just as Hardy began to make his ascent to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment, he came crashing down as a result of a poisonous drug dependency. He was plagued by an addiction to pain killers and methamphetamine (crystal meth), a highly addictive stimulant. After showing up late for several WWE events and demonstrating a deterioration in his in-ring performance, Hardy’s last match in WWE was on March 24, 2003. In May of that year, Hardy failed a drug test and after refusing to go into drug rehabilitation, he was subsequently fired from WWE.”

It was later changed to: “For this unique athlete, it has been a turbulent, arduous road back to WWE. In 2003, just as Hardy began to make his ascent to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment, he came crashing down, reportedly because of a drug dependency. After showing up late for several WWE events and demonstrating a deterioration in his in-ring performance, Hardy’s last match in WWE was on March 24, 2003. In May of that year, after refusing to go into drug rehabilitation, Hardy was subsequently released from WWE.”

In another interesting and very possible similarity, there is a good chance Umaga will wind up in TNA Wrestling like Hardy did following his drug-related termination from WWE as there is said to be interest in “The Samoan Bulldozer.” Umaga has history with the promotion as he made a few appearances for TNA in late 2003 following his initial release from WWE a few months prior.

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