After 13 long years, The Charismatic Enigma reached the summit. On Dec. 14, 2008, Jeff Hardy became the WWE Champion for the first time.
Jeff Hardy. His chances of becoming WWE Champion were slim. Jeff was known more prominently for the Hardy Boyz. His unforgettable stunts, and live for the moment attitude, caused many to believe Hardy was a glorified stuntman. For almost a decade, the argument was valid.
Jeff had wasted away every opportunity he had. Receiving a small push in 2003, Hardy faced the Undertaker for the Undisputed Title in HIS Ladder match. Though Jeff ultimately lost, my opinion of him never changed. He was a mid carder for life.
Plagued by a drug addiction, Hardy was released from the WWE in 2003. Though he returned to pro wrestling in 2004 with TNA, he always came up short in World Title matches. After a two-year stint with TNA, Hardy surprisingly returned to the WWE in 2006.
From the start, I figured Hardy would never make it out of the mid cards. Yeah so, he won the IC Title a few times, still wasn't going to change the fact he would never become Champion. Him reforming the Hardys with Matt, it just validated my opinion.
To my surprise, Hardy began a feud with Triple H. With a match being set for a shot at the WWE Championship. Hardy shocked me, and the WWE Universe when he defeated the Game at Armageddon.
My hopes for Hardy became extremely high. Over the next few weeks, Hardy dominated the WWE Champion at every turn, even pinning him in a tag match. Jeff suffered the first of his shortcomings when Orton snatched victory in the clutches of defeat.
That's when he made a huge mistake. Violated the Wellness Policy. Hardy was cut from all scheduled matches, dropped the IC Title, and suspended for sixty days. Frankly, I was disappointed by Jeff's action but still believed in him nonetheless.
Hardy returned and surprisingly resumed his push and began feuding with Triple H. Coming short in three matches against him, Hardy was placed in a triple threat with HHH and Kozlov. Around this time, Hardy adopted a darker persona. He would wear face paint to the ring and recite dark speeches.
On the night of the PPV, and in one of the worst angles ever, Jeff was found "unconscious" in a hotel and was removed from the triple threat. Stupid. WWE made it seem so real that CNN even picked the story up. Edge regained the WWE Title that night.
Hardy was given another opportunity for the title at Armageddon. This time, Hardy wouldn't be denied. Jeff swantoned Edge to win the WWE Title for the first time.
Stunning moment. The Enigma was finally at the top!