TNA Wrestling superstar Jeff Hardy is the company's World Heavyweight Champion.
Hardy is one of TNA's biggest household names thanks to his remarkable success in the WWE. Since joining TNA in 2010, Hardy has been performing at a high level. This is true despite his outside-the-ring issues in 2011. Hardy's latest work helped him get the push he needed to become the heavyweight title holder.
The main question is: Will Hardy's title run actually benefit TNA Wrestling?
In theory, it will benefit TNA in a big way. After all, Hardy is a well-known figure in professional wrestling and could bring plenty of attention wherever he goes. With his status in professional wrestling, TNA should see a boost in its product from ratings to selling more merchandise.
However, not all theories work in reality.
Despite putting the belt on Hardy, TNA should not see much benefit from its decision. This is because its flagship show, Impact! Wrestling, continues to struggle to get more viewership on Thursday nights.
Although Impact! Wrestling has reached new milestones in 2012, including airing live and producing an improved show, TNA has not seen much momentum. This is, in large part, due to its time-slot switch and tough television competition on Thursday night.
All of these factors do not help Hardy's case. In 2010, Hardy turned into a full-fledged heel character and was a vital part of the Immortal fraction as the World Champion.
However, at TNA's Victory Road pay-per-view, Hardy was in no shape to wrestle. He was ultimately put on the shelf for a few months after his struggles caught up with him.
Will a Jeff Hardy title run benefit TNA in the long run?
His comeback story has been inspiring, though, as Hardy returned clean and looked determined to create a magical run in the twilight of his career. Unfortunately, despite a good background story behind his championship run, Hardy winning the title will not create the impact needed for TNA in the long run.
Ex-champion Austin Aries did little to help TNA, either. Although the timing was beyond perfect when TNA ended Bobby Roode's long title reign at the Destination X pay-per-view, the belt switch to Aries was not enough for TNA to elevate to the next level in terms of viewership.
Hardy is in a similar position. TNA's decision to switch the title over to Hardy at the Bound For Glory pay-per-vew came at a decent time. However, in the short term, it has not benefited in ways the company hoped for.
Perhaps a Roode-versus-Hardy angle for the World Championship belt may be the key ingredient TNA is missing.