Yesterday I had the chance to talk to Jeff Hardy, former World Champion wrestler. While Hardy is mostly known for his daredevil antics every Thursday night on TNA’s Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV, Hardy is also an artist and musician. In this Q&A Hardy discusses his Pearl Jam/Stone Temple Pilots fandom, writing his own music, his reactions to reports of TNA being cancelled by SpikeTV, reuniting the Hardy Boyz, his Willow character, working with Sting, his feud with CM Punk, and how he reacted to Vince Russo’s decision to turn him heel in 2010. You can catch the Hardy Boyz vs. the Wolves tonight on SpikeTV at 9PM on TNA’s Destination X show.
The first thing I’ve got to ask, is what’s your reaction to the reports that SpikeTV won’t be renewing their contract with TNA, and all of the crazy stories flying around?
I don’t know, I’m not a social network guy, I don’t even read timelines or tweets. But I’m sure negotiations are – I still have hope. It’s not really my problem, but I hope we remain on Spike, I hope they can work something out. Gosh, I hope 1 or 2 years from now we’re still coming on every Thursday night on Spike. I don’t know, I go to the shows, I do the best I can in the ring. That’s my commitment to the company, is to do what I can do to make the show good. It’s their job to use me in the right fashion. As far as re-signing with Spike, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope we remain.
You’ve gone through a lot of character changes in the last year. How did bringing your Willow character to TNA come about, and when and why did you go back to being Jeff Hardy recently?
Years ago, I think my 2nd year in TNA on this 2nd run, my buddy Shannon Moore and his wife, she’s a phenomenal seamstress, and she made me a Willow mask. We’d thrown the idea around, but my hair was short, so I was like: ‘I need to grow my hair back if I want this to really look right.’ She made the mask, and then some time passed, and then maybe a year and a half or so later, my hair got longer. Jeff Jarrett and I started talking about the possibility of bringing Willow to TNA. I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I was kind of intimidated, but it’s one of those things that when I look back on my career, I’ll be glad I that I did it.
It’s something I would have loved to do years ago, but the timing was never right. WWE never would have went for it. They would never want ‘Jeff Hardy staying covered, because [he’s] this money maker.’ But that’s what’s so cool about TNA being open-minded, they take a few risks, especially with me, and letting me do that. Because instead of that aggressive heel bad guy character that Willow was back in the OMEGA days, I think now that we’ve experimented with it, it can be a more kid friendly type of deal. Because my daughter Ruby just loves Willow, Kurt Angle’s son Kody loves Willow too. When Jeff Hardy came back, I was just starting to see masks in the crowd, it was just getting rolling good.
But then the reason for Jeff Hardy’s return, is obviously because Matt Hardy came back, and naturally we wanted to do some Hardy Boyz tag matches. That’s the big match this week on Destination X, Thursday night at 9PM on SpikeTV, it’s going to be the Wolves and the Hardy Boyz for the World Tag Team Titles. But that’s basically why Willow is not around right now, because the Hardy Boyz have reunited.
When it came to Willow’s character development and promos, was a lot of that just you? Because there was a lot of wild, David Lynch type stuff going on there.
Yeah, they sent a guy out here. I was off in January and February, and I didn’t think they were going to follow through with it, but I got a call around the end of January and they said that wanted to send a guy out to film some vignettes for Willow’s character development. They pretty much left it up to me when it came to how it was going to look, and how I was going to act and talk. Man, that was an exciting time for me, because I’ve never really gotten to do cool vignettes leading up to a big debut. That was awesome for me, sitting there at home and watching the anticipation build for Willow. In my opinion, they were so bizarre and cool.
With all the tattoos I have now, there’s no way it can be the way it was back in the OMEGA days, because it’s obvious it’s Jeff Hardy. But still, leading up to Willow’s debut, I think it went really well, and it was only getting better, especially with the kids beginning to like it. I think now in the future, looking forward, it’s going to be even cooler, the idea I have to interact Willow with Jeff Hardy.