The Complicated Enigma

Rich WilcockContributor IJanuary 21, 2010

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 18:  Wrestler Jeff Hardy attends the WWE and USA Network help U.S Marine Corp Toys for Tots Foundation event at the NBC Experience store on December 18, 2007 in New York City.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Ever since I was young I admired the Hardy Boys. They were daredevils, true and honest kids who loved Wrestling. They took the bumps and the knocks because they wanted the breaks, they wanted to be stars. As all good passionate Wrestlers should.

Of course, The Hardy’s were the pin up boys of the Attitude era, mainly because of their daredevil stunts and edgy appearance, but time and fashion moved on and we saw one of the biggest and most successful tag teams split up. Which was necessary at the time. The Hardy’s had gone as far as they could as a team and needed the split. But it left WWE in the biggest quandry. What should they do with them. Well, they did nothing with them for at least five years. Absolutely bubkiss.

From this, Jeff’s career had been, no only dogged by controversy, but  pretty much floundering. WWE grew frustrated with his tardiness and poor ring performance. It was from here that Jeff’s drug use began to become apparent and his unreliability due to it come to the fore. It left WWE with little option, they had to release him, and so on April 22 2003, he was released from his contract with WWE.

The path he took was to TNA, then a fledgling promotion will big goals. He was, you could say, alittle bit of a disappointment in TNA. He frustrated management there by no-showing events, especially during his feud with Raven, no showing two tapings and a PPV. Hardy’s heart clearly wasn’t in it. He left in 2005 under little fan-fare.

It seemed, from that disastrous run with TNA, Hardy would tread the boards on the Indy circuit until he just couldn’t be bothered anymore. Alas, his career took a surprising twists when he went back to WWE. This time, the fanfare was right behind him.

Promos and high flying stunts, mixed together with a clear and new direction saw Hardy slowly turn into a top baby face. Obviously, this was definitely a slow burner, he had a feud with John Morrison and a Hardy Boyz reunion to contend with before he received a meaningful push. But a push it was, and it was because Hardy’s hard work and opportunism had delivered it to him. Hardy was in vogue again, the pin-up boy for the tortured soul.

To add a twist to the story, Hardy then took time off  “to heal” which equated to a month off because he had failed his first drug test and defaulted the wellness program. This was a blow. Hardy, who had been earmarked for some Main Eventing throughout 2008 was suspended for a month. What usually happens with these scenarios is that after the return of a superstar, they will endure a few months of mid card void, jobbing to main-eventers and little or humiliating story-lines. Hardy though, took the opportunity of being the only fit babyface at the time and seized his chance.

The push of 08/09 for Hardy was a success. Minus his sixty day suspension for violating the wellness program for a second time (which, for timing, was completely idiotic), Hardy found himself in feuds with Triple H, Edge and Randy Orton and eventually won the World Heavyweight Championship after defeating Triple H and Edge. It was a monumental moment for the oddball from Carolina.

From there, where would you go? onwards and upwards. He had, throughout adversity and stupid decisions managed to get to the pinnacle of his game. Hardy was untouchable as a babyface, he was WWE’s newest darling and success story.

His contract was up for renewal at the end of August 2009. As a Wrestler who was now a top card draw, you would expect Jeff Hardy to renogiate a much better deal. But no, Hardy got out because he was suffering from “burn out”. I guess, only Jeff Hardy knows why, and you can only respect his decision, but like so much of his career, he gets fans and commentators asking why?

Two weeks after his last match in WWE, on September 11th 2009 to be precise, he was arrested on multiple charges of drug possession. They included steroids, cocaine and pills. He has had several court dates and now faces imprisonment if found guilty in three months. Again, why?

Which leads us nicely onto January 4th. TNA saw the return of Jeff Hardy, a much bigger star since his departure from the company in 2005. The nature of his visit seems unclear, he has signed a contract with TNA but it is unspecified as to what his role is and how much he has committed to it. It seems though that Hardy is damaged goods when it is concerning Wrestling.

If he is to be in TNA for a period of time, then they must believe that Hardy is going to dodge jail and hang around long enough to carry the promotion forward. If not, then this is a cameo. But a strange one at that. Hardy has, inadvertently or purposefully angered WWE. They won’t look at him now. With his court case and courtship of TNA hanging around his neck, Hardy is considered by WWE as toxic. He is 32 though and in the prime of his career. If it is long-term at TNA, then expect him to pick up from where he left off at WWE. It can only bring good matches and genuine talent to the table.

For a guy who’s history is potted, I can only expect more twists of fate in his story over the next few months.