Chris Jerich revealed on a recent edition of his 'Talk Is Jericho' podcast, the reaction of Vince McMahon to the death of Umaga in a discussion with former WWE creative writer Court Bauer.
"Ekkie and I got on the phone and we just figured out the Umaga character, kind of tipping our hat towards the past, but very forward, future centered, and that to me was probably the highlight.
He was just an awesome guy. It was awesome to see him breakout. And what a big first splash with [Ric] Flair, and he did stuff with [John] Cena, and we needed a big main event attraction.
I also was involved with creating other monsters like The Great Khali and guys like that."
"I vividly remember when [Umaga] passed away.
We were in Saudi Arabia. Not Saudi Arabia, sorry, Iraq, doing the Tribute To The Troops. And I remember how legit sad Vince was about it because, at the time, I think they had let [Umaga] go because he wouldn’t go to rehab and I remember Vince really saying, like, ‘I tried. I did not want this to happen. I couldn’t do anything. Like, if you’re not going to do it on your own, there’s nothing we can do.’
But, he was, like, legit torn up about it because I think Ekkie, in [McMahon’s] mind, had so much more he could have done if he hadn’t fallen into those traps that happen to so many of the brothers over the years."
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