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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Consequences Of Jeff Hardy's Actions
July 15, 2005 by Andrew Medsker


In the summer of 2004, former WWE superstar Jeff Hardy inked a deal with TNA Wrestling, a move which caused some raised eyebrows in the world of professional wrestling. For one thing, TNA was not a widely known federation (at the time), and for another, Hardy had attributed his release as a way for him to pursue his passion of becoming a "rock-n-roll" star. Not surprisingly, his return, first in the ROH and then to TNA itself, was not met with the greatest enthusiasm from his former fans, who thought he had turned his back to them when he left the business of pro wrestling.

What was surprising, however, was the renewed dedication with which he returned to action. Despite having not been in a ring for more than an entire year, after a time, Hardy was able to shake off the rust and continue to give his old fans a reason to love him again. Even his toughest critics had to admit he was well on his way to making "a Judas Priest-style" comeback. The higher-ups at TNA gave him a major push as well, although the moves they made may not have been the most well thought out. Having him wrestle AJ Styles in a dream match-up for the X-division title, and then have not one, but two NWA Heavyweight title shots, and lose each one of them made Hardy look like a prima donna looking for a handout. If TNA intended to make him into the next big babyface, they had the exact opposite effect. Hardy steadily lost popularity with all but his most loyal fans, and thus was bumped down the card, engaging in an odd feud with the monster Abyss, which teased with the idea of another title shot but ultimately succeeded in landing Hardy on the receiving end of some vicious beatings.

So when Abyss was busy actually chasing the real prize, Jeff Hardy was stuck in what appeared to be a no win situation: on one hand, if in the unlikely event he was given another shot, it would only appear to come in the form of a handout; on the other hand, staying out of the title race would leave him stuck in the "abyss", sinking lower and lower on the card until he faded into obscurity. Enter the Raven.

What began as a simple request refusal on Impact escalated in a match many fans had been waiting for, but thought could never happen: Jeff Hardy taking on Raven in not only a Table match, but a Table Cage match at Lockdown. The match was fantastic, both competitors were able to put each other over in the fans eyes, and a rematch was scheduled for the next PPV, Hard Justice. It was to be Hardy versus Raven, this time in a match of Raven's own making. A House of Fun match, in which nobody was likely to walk out of it happy except the fans. So they waited, and waited, and finally May 15 rolled around, and to everyone's surprise, Jeff Hardy no-showed.

No one knew what had happened, although they knew that the match would have to continue, so they thrust Sean Waltman onto the card and offered no explanation, except to say that Hardy would be suspended until further notice. The King of the Mountain match, of which many thought was better than the first, took off with five competitors instead of six. The fans of the Enigmatic One were left shocked and disappointed, once again.

So now, it seems, Hardy's future as a main-eventer has been put in jeopardy, and he has no one to blame but himself.

It was thought that after Slammiversery Hardy would be brought back in a potential Hardy Boyz reunion, another fan fantasy, with the release of his brother Matt from WWE, and that maybe he could be forgiven and welcomed back. As of this writing, however, Matt Hardy has appeared on WWE's RAW, and is currently working shows in the ROH. So, TNA must decide what to do with the, in both the good and bad sense of the word, unpredictable superstar. Granted, he has proven himself to be wavering in his commitment to the wrestling business, but he has also proven that he can electrify the crowds like no other, whether it be with his unique style, his unique finisher the Swanton Bomb, or his unique desire to leap off of tall objects onto his opponent, and thus, deserves to be given that much credit.

So the questions that must be asked is simply this: " What will the ultimate consequences of Hardy's actions be"" "Will his return spark forgiveness, or ignite angry"", and finally " When will the next time be when the Enigma himself graces the squared circle with his presence""

by Andrew Medsker ..


Kyle Dunham wrote:
Okay when I first saw the Hardyz, I saw them being choke slammed in Kane's early days in the WWE. I had no idea that they would become this entertaining. Jeff with his high risk ability to like you said jump off tall things, and Matt, well with everything else. The match at Wrestle Mania 16 was something novel and un heard or seen of. I couldn't believe the things they were doing. Than when the draft came along and they split up, everything went down hill. Matt had a good long stride with the Version One but well, we all know what happened. Jeff joined TNA, and I thought this was a little weird. I think the Hardyz will only have success if they are a team. They have yet to prove them selves in singles competition. Jeff disappearances have left me at a loss for words. I'm surprised they haven't fired him. But he makes them a lot of money I suppose. The "Charismatic Enigma" has yet to prove himself to anyone in TNA. Yet the title shots he gets all the time. If he didn't disappear all the time, he would be NWA champ in my opinion. I hope the Hardyz have a reunion in TNA, maybe that will knock some sense in him. I guarantee if they did, AMW wouldn't be the so called 'best team in TNA history.'
Tayljew wrote:
The writer of this piece for whatever reason seems to be a bitter person in my view. Overall he may have brought out some points that in all positions may be true but lets not overlook that Jeff Hardy did a lot for the business. Some of the same people that slam him now are slamming him over one simple thing and that is they are upset he was let go from the WWE and cannot seem to adjust to it. People will always be hard on Jeff Hardy and most of them are because of one thing. He is not in the WWE anymore. His release came as a shock to the wrestling world and his release was actually one of the first that was done in the WWE based on backstage issues from what everyone says. People continually put Jeff Hardy in a position to where he seems to not care about the business. This is the same man that risked life and limb for the very fans that seem to forget how many injuires, concussions and all of that the man has suffered just to go out there night after night and give his all for people who slam him when they never want to admit one thing. The thing that needs to be examined is who was really at fault for Jeff leaving the WWE" Was it he or was it the writers who at the time had more interest in pushing the big guys anyway and now STILL fail to realize that its not the size but the wrestling that does it. The WWE STILL is trying to push no talent guys like Heidenreich and what gets me is that he is still on the WWE roster while guys like the dudley's have been let go" GOD is there anyone sane in the WWE" People saw Jeff Hardy as a WWE wrestler and they loved him there. He isn't anymore so stop attacking the man already. We forgave Eddie with all of his problems outside of the WWE why not Jeff Hardy" We forgave even the WWE for the horrible angle of Sgt. Slaughter turning on America and even accepted Slaughter back after all that. We even forgave Hulk Hogan after trying to destroy a man with a semi running into a ambulance. Need I go on" We even forgave Stone Cold Steve Austin for his televised problems with Debra and nobody talks about it anymore so why not lay off Jeff. Who knows why Jeff did not show" I think people want to paint a picture of the man as being an undedicated bore but some people in wrestling will never be satisfied no matter what you do. Jeff Hardy is one of those people that is easy to pick on because in a lot of cases he never strikes back. Through the whole situation where he went to TNA I never really saw many comments or read interviews. The man wants to wrestle, mind his own business and I think that other people should as well. He may have made a mistake but anything could have happened. Without the information as to WHY I think the article written to blast him was out of place. Don't write it without the proper facts to back it up. I myself may not have all of my points straight because I am not a historian myself. Yet, one thing I do know, it was Jeff Hardy who was part of making the ladder match famous, it was Jeff Hardy who was one of the people who got fans interested in high flying styles once again. It was Jeff Hardy who STILL to this day will be remembered for doing that dive off that ladder and at the time I don' t think anybody had risked it. It was guys like Jeff Hardy who paved the way for guys like AJ Styles in the first place and through his exposure in the WWE made a mark that made promoters reconsider the size of men and what they could do. He won't get credit for that. Jeff Hardy won't get credit for being the original master of the swanton dive either but I give him credit. Overall, I just think that regardless of what Jeff Hardy does or has not done, give him the one thing the wrestling fans find it hard to give him. A little respect.

Thanks Jeff for everything you have done and continue to do and I pray you don't hurt yourself for those who don't appreciate your work. I will be darned if I haven't and I won't forget the good times and the bad. Bless you man.
Mike Kevorkian wrote:
Really well written, nailed it on the head. I've been a huge Jeff Hardy fan for years. I never realized his popularity was sinking, seeing as I was a hardcore fan, but I can definitly understand it. I was extremely confused when he didn't compete at Hard Justice and you nailed the mood surrounding him now. Great article!
Dogg721899774 wrote:
why is the blue hell are you all dissing Jeff" he has done his best to entertain you all and you just insult him. just give the guy a break and so what if he got suspended by TNA" it doesn't mean that he is a bad bloke now does it" if u ask me i think Jeff should quit TNA & return to the WWE & help out Matt with the Edge/Lita storyline now i'm a huge fan of both the WWE & TNA products and with TNA getting the tv deal that they deserve i think they could become full-time competetor's for the WWE but i want Jeff to return to the WWE because like it or not Jeff belong's in the WWE, for example if Jeff was to return to the WWE live on Monday Night RAW and interfered in a match with Matt & Edge he could "Swanton Bomb" or Twist Of Fate" Edge and help Matt win. Jeff Hardy will return to the WWE because he is needed and he is wanted in the WWE. "holla holla holla!!"
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