“The WWF, fearing Kerry’s suicide (and a HUGE public relations nightmare) decided to take the title off him and then that way, if he killed himself, they wouldn’t look bad. What great guys, huh? ” I’m sorry, but what else would you have wanted them to do, exactly? Keep the belt on him and risk him killing himself while still the champion in the middle of a house show/TV taping run where he’d have been second from the top of the card (or close to it)? It’s not as if there wasn’t anyone else to put the belt on who was just as over as he was (if not more so), so what would their incentive have been to keep the second most important title in the company on someone they knew was troubled?
Sure; it would’ve been great if they told him “Okay; you can take time off to go deal with your problems and come back when you’re mentally and physically stable” but let’s be real- that wasn’t going to happen. He had dates to fulfill where I’m sure he was already advertised on house show cards. When guys are expected to work through physical problems; they expected him to work through his problems too just like anyone else. They essentially made the best decision they could for themselves at the time- take the belt off him but still keep him on the road doing mid card matches to get the most out of him for the money they were paying him. In retrospect, they probably should have just released him in 1990 and let him become someone else’s liability, but hindsight is 20/20. I’m not sure how he lasted two more years in the company before they decided that enough was enough.
They should have done more than 4 seconds of due diligence and never hired him in the first place. Bringing in someone who was already known to be a drug-addled headcase (with a foot missing from a related motorcycle accident to boot, pardon the pun) and then putting him into the #2 position in the company was reckless at best and gross negligence at worst. It’s not like his history was any secret to anyone in the industry, and it’s not like he had any serious name value left by that point. Signing him and then basically throwing him to the coked-up locker room to fend for himself was stupid and arrogant on their part and probably accelerated Kerry’s downfall. It was one thing if they were gonna get him help, but to bring him in with a giant push and then suddenly realize, holy shit, this might have been a bad move, better get the title off him before he kills himself and we look bad? C’mon. He never should have been signed, let alone made into a champion.