When Barbarian and Warlord left the NWA while in the midst of a high profile feud against the Road Warriors, a lot of people were puzzled. It was later discovered that the Powers of Pain had backstage heat with the company because they did not want to work a series of scaffold matches.
During the 1970s, the King of Tonga chose five teenagers to go study sumo in Japan. One of the lucky ones was Sione Vailahi, who would someday become known as the Barbarian in the NWA and WWE. The training would provide him a little boost as a professional wrestler.
"I don't think you have to be a Mensa member to figure out that it had an influence on decisions that were made. I was working with the developmental kids in NXT and enjoying that, and got called in for that job. It was a very unique night, to say the least. Ric Flair was coming off maybe the most traumatic time of his life. Reid Flair had recently died of a drug overdose. In hindsight, it might not have been the most timely booking, to get him in that environment. And then you can look at the other side and say maybe it's a good thing to get him out around friends. As it worked out, you'd probably lean more to the former than the latter. But here's the deal. I was conductor of a runaway train. I was supposed to keep it on the tracks and that didn't happen. So I don't have any issues taking responsibility. Did I envision that it would help facilitate my exit? No. But I could see the thinking behind it."
- Jim Ross