Axl Rotten Talks Problems With TNA, Flair Tarnishing His Legacy, Matt Hardy's Issues & More

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Rumors about his financial state:

If you say something on the Internet it's got to be true, right? I'm an open book. I don't pull punches. Here's the fact of the matter, I had a great career. I achieved every dream I ever wanted to. The word there is ACHIEVED. I didn't sustain every dream I wanted to. Axl Rotten has been in the main event segment of Monday Night RAW, Axl Rotten has been in the main event segment of SmackDown, Axl Rotten has been in the main event segment of pay-per-views. Now I want every wrestler/fan out there that wants to heckle me to pull out their copy of their WWE Contract signed by John Laurinitis, that guarantees them money for a couple of years; couple hundred thousand dollars, break out the DVD of your appearance on the main event segment on Monday Night Raw ... oh wait a minute, you don't have one? That's right because you didn't achieve that.

I love all these people that talk crap about me and yet they have never been asked to enter a WWE ring, have never had the privilege of being on WCW Saturday night, have never been on SmackDown, have never been asked, who have never shook the hand of Vince McMahon. And yet they still want to heckle me. I find it amusing. I achieved everything I ever wanted in this business. There is an Axl Rotten wrestling figure. I can name 8,000 independent guys who have said crap about me, I haven't seen theirs. I've seen mine. I've seen T-shirts with my picture on it that I didn't make that someone else thought was worth selling, I don't see theirs. So that's my answer to that. Yeah guys, I'm doing great. But i will say this, have I been in trouble financially? Yes, I have. Have I been in trouble physically and emotionally? Yes, I have, but I'm man enough to say it. Have I had a drug problem? You KNOW I have, but I'm man enough to say it. And right now, sitting here today, I'm doing great.

On Matt Hardy:

I'm going to speak from my experience. I'm clean and sober now but let me tell you this. This is a disease of addiction. Its called a disease and anyone who doesn't believe that it's a clinical problem need to understand that it's a disease. Its treatable. It's harmful, it's fatal, there's no cure. People think that being an alcoholic or a drug addict is a choice -- it's not. What happens is once you're pre-disposed to that "drug of choice" that your brain can't turn off, you have a hard time to stop using that drug. It's a pre-disposition for that addiction gene in your family and its by no surprise that those two are brothers. My brothers have that problem too. It's a pre-disposition to that one thing. Once you get that one substance in your body that your brain can't turn off, there's a problem.

I'm not going to sit here and bash those guys, I tell the truth. Now if Matt and Jeff Hardy have the disease of addiction which they may or may not, it's up to THEM to realize they have a problem. And until THEY do, until THEY seek treatment, unfortunately as much as anyone wants to step in and help, no one is going to be able to help anyone until they decide for themselves they want help. If they feel they don't need help, who are we to make them go get it? My point is this... if Matt Hardy believes that Matt Hardy has a drug or alcohol problem, that's up for Matt Hardy to decide.

Unfortunately, I know until i made the decision that, yes, Brian Knighton aka Axl Rotten, has the disease of addiction, and I have to forgive myself for having it, not be angry at myself and know I have to surrender to the fact that I can't do that anymore, that's up to me to do. That's up for Matt and Jeff Hardy to do. I wish them well and if they do have that problem, I pray to God that they seek the help that they need. I just hope that from a clinical point of view that people realize this is nothing to laugh at, this is not something to make fun of. This is serious, and this is deadly. And wait... we're talking about wrestlers ... let's not talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room. I can't tell you how many of my friends, people that I've sat in cars with, been in the ring with are no longer standing next to me right now because of this. Because of addiction, are dead! So let's not act like it doesn't exist. But if these guys have it, it's up to them to help themselves.

Whether or not the wrestling business is to blame for it's superstars addiction problems:

Well first and foremost, the wrestling business only has as much to blame as the performer themself has to blame 'cause we seek it out. It's not Vince McMahon's fault. I'll tell you, Vince McMahon saved my life. If it wasn't for WWE sending me to rehab, I wouldn't be speaking to you right now. I don't know if anyone else can say "they caused my problem" because they didn't. I sought that problem out. I sought out being a professional wrestler, I sought out being on television, i sought out signing autographs. No one made me do it. No one has put a gun to my head and said "I want you to go out there and wrestle!" I chose to do it. And I think anyone else who's done it has chose to do it. If they or I or anyone else couldn't handle the limelight or the spotlight which is a whole other show and its really hard to do, then maybe you need to step back. But I don't think professional wrestling as a business has the blame for anyone's addiction problem. It may not have helped it or stifled it, but it's not to blame.

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