If you look at the roster of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling, you see that many of them are WWE alumni. Among the best known on that list are Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, Devon, Chavo Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, Mickie James and Gail Kim.
But Hardy, currently the TNA World Champion, says TNA should not be considered a rest home for wrestlers who flamed out in WWE. In an interview with MichiganLive.com and reported by WrestleZone.com, Hardy says TNA offers wrestlers and fans something different from WWE:
So people who get tired and bored with the WWE—I’ve been there, I understand—there’s an alternative and something else to watch. For special wrestlers, there’s somewhere else to go—as long as you’re not brainwashed by that WWE mentality. There’s other worlds out there; it’s OK to switch around.
In the interview, Hardy acknowledges that TNA may never get as big as WWE “but the cool thing about TNA is that we are the alternative.”
Hardy was in WWF/E from 1998 to 2002 and again from 2006 to 2009. As the Hardy Boyz, Jeff and brother Matt won the World Tag Team Championship six times.
As a solo wrestler, Hardy held the World Heavyweight Championship twice, the WWE Championship once and the Intercontinental Championship four times. He also is a three-time Hardcore Champion and won the Light Heavyweight and European championships once each.
Would you like to see Jeff Hardy come back to WWE?
In TNA, he is a three-time World champion.
Hardy’s issues with drugs and alcohol are well-documented.
According to his Wikipedia page, Hardy’s first departure from WWE was due to his drug abuse and refusal to attend rehab. In 2011, he served 10 days in jail, was fined $100,000 and put on 30 months’ probation after pleading guilty to trafficking and possession charges.
Hardy’s current TNA contract expires this month, but he has tried to debunk rumors that he is mulling a return to WWE.
TNA currently is in the midst of a United Kingdom tour, but Hardy is not there because his past legal trouble forbade him to travel outside the United States. That sparked some criticism that TNA should have considered removing the title belt from Hardy prior to the trip so that the company’s World champion could go abroad.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.