TNA has been slammed since bringing in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in January. Hogan and Bischoff's list of screw-ups since January are longer than Stacy Kiebler's legs, but TNA finally got something right in the last two weeks by making Jeff Hardy a heel and TNA world champion.
When Jeff Hardy left WWE for TNA, people were left scratching their heads because of Hardy's solid role as one of the top babyfaces in the company, even becoming a multiple-time WWE/World Champion. So to leave that top spot to go back to a company that didn't properly push him the first time was crazy to some folks.
Hardy also was dealing with drug charges when he left the WWE, so many fans including myself thought that Jeff Hardy would be X-Division champion at best during his TNA tenure.
Hardy came back to TNA in January, and since that time, he had become one of the top babyfaces in the company and, perhaps, the wrestling industry by having classic matches with the likes of Mr. Anderson, Abyss, AJ Styles and Rob Van Dam. Hardy also formed a comical tag team with Mr. Anderson over the summer months, so it looked like he was in a solid position with in the company until No Surrender back in September.
Hardy and Kurt Angle's battle in the main event that went to a time-limit draw was a contender for match of the year. Fans were on the edge of their seats throughout the entire match and when it was over, people started to believe that Hardy had what it takes to be the next TNA World Champion.
Bound For Glory's main event was originally supposed to be Mr. Anderson against Kurt Angle for the TNA World Championship, but the TNA creative team decided to make it a triple-threat match by throwing Hardy into the mix. The move received mixed reviews from the wrestling critics because everybody thought that Hardy would just be the guy to be pinned in the match, but boy, were they wrong in an earth-shattering way.
Abyss had been talking about "they" since July, and people had thought that it was EV2, originally because of the extreme violence that Abyss had been dishing out to the entire TNA roster on Impact. Then critics and fans thought that Ric Flair's stable "Fortune" was behind Abyss's violent spree of terror, but once again, the critics were wrong. Abyss announced that "they" were coming on 10/10/10 or, to wrestling fans, at Bound For Glory.
Hardy, Angle and Mr. Anderson battled in a classic main-event battle until the referee was knocked down. Then Bischoff and Hogan came down to ringside to cause some chaos, but the entire wrestling world was rocked when Hogan handed Hardy the crutch to turn around and use on Angle and Anderson. Hardy pinned Mr. Anderson to become TNA world champion for the very first time in his career.
Hogan, Bischoff and Hardy celebrated in the ring until Abyss and Jeff Jarrett showed up and made it known that "they" were Hogan, Bischoff, Jarrett and new TNA world champion Jeff Hardy. Rob Van Dam came down to ringside to get answers from Hardy, but instead he got hit in the skull by a title-wielding Hardy. What the world saw at that moment was, in some people's eyes, a wrestling fan's dream because one of the most-beloved performers finally made the most-anticipated heel turn in TNA wrestling history.
Now, the heel turn alone was a huge shock, not only in TNA but in the entire wrestling world, because Jeff Hardy had never been booed before and he was looked up to by so many of the younger wrestling fans. But what happened over the next few weeks would blow the minds of so many wrestling fan: Fortune and Ric Flair joined forces with Hogan's newly-formed heel stable known as "Immortal".
The mega faction received a lot of heat from the live audience, but also served as a stepping stone in Hardy's career because, for the first time, he was being pushed as "the man" in the wrestling world.
Hardy stated to fans, "I didn't sell out, I bought in and for the first time in my career, I am here standing before the entire wrestling world as your TNA World's Champion".
I feel like Hardy is one of the best in-ring performers that the wrestling industry has seen in a long time because he can do it all: from being in an extreme rules match with a hardcore legend like Rob Van Dam to battling a high-flyer like Amazing Red or AJ Styles to even being in a mat-based war with Kurt Angle.
Wrestling fans have always overlooked Hardy, finding him hard to take seriously because he doesn’t have the mic skills to get over as a top guy in any wrestling company. I believe that Hardy has all the tools to be one of the greatest world champions in the history of TNA, and he also can make TNA "must-see" television each week if he is booked right.
I know that Hardy has his fans and his haters out there in the IWC, but one thing that no one can deny is that he has the entire wrestling world buzzing and may end up as one of the bigger stars in pro wrestling history.