The news is out there now and there are likely numerous people reporting on this story, so this piece will be kept short and sweet.
Jeff Hardy, after evading America's flawed justice system for over a year, is finally planning on pleading guilty to Moore County Superior Court over his drug related charges from last fall.
This should be obvious to everyone, and it goes without saying, but it's highly unlikely that Jeff will receive any jail time. Does it matter that he deserves it? No, just ask Lindsay Lohan and she can tell you all about working the justice system when one possesses celebrity status.
The following is an excerpt from the article I read, and I will highlight what I feel is the most prominent point:
Source: The Charlotte Observer
CARTHAGE - Jeff Hardy, a professional wrestler from Cameron who was arrested last year on drug charges, plans to plead guilty in court next month, according to the Moore County district attorney.
Moore County deputies raided Hardy's home in September 2009 after Fayetteville police received a tip about drug use there.
Lawmen found about 262 doses of Vicodin, a prescription painkiller, 180 Soma prescription pills, 55 milliliters of anabolic steroids, a residual amount of powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia. He faces several drug charges.
Hardy, 33, is the current world champion of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on the Spike TV cable channel.
Should Jeff Hardy be sent to prison for his drug felonies?
Never mind the ridiculous nature of all those drugs being peddled out of his house. Remember that this is TNA, a company that turns a blind eye to this sort of thing. Dixie Carter is a mark for her own wrestlers. A guy like Kurt Angle, who I respect more than almost anyone else by the way, didn't even seem to get a slap on the wrist for his bad publicity from last year.
Granted, these two situations can't even be compared as Hardy has made any of Kurt's misgivings look like childhood misdemeanors.
The TNA World Tag Team Champions are the Motorcity Machine-Guns. They are easily one of the most talented teams in the company but September of last year, pictures show up on the internet of the two of them sharing a blunt at some house party.
While most wrestling fans will make excuses for this, such as RVD and the fact that a large number of wrestlers in both WWE and TNA smoke pot, that still raises the question of bad publicity.
There's a reason that WWE ignored the incessant bitching of people like Brian Kendrick and instituted the $1000 marijuana fine. Because even if its viewed as relatively harmless and unimportant, it still causes bad publicity for the company, especially a family-oriented product such as the one WWE is currently putting out.
So while TNA may not be embracing that same image, they already lack any real positive mainstream publicity. Therefore, a picture of one of your best tag teams hitting a blunt is about as good for the company as your World Heavyweight Champion pleading guilty to drug charges, but on a smaller scale.
In hindsight, was it the right choice to place the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on potential felon Jeff Hardy?
Case in point, TNA needs publicity, badly, as that seems to be one of their toughest challenges. This is the wrong kind of publicity. That article didn't list Hardy as a "former WWE Champion". It listed him as what he is: The current World Champion of Total Nonstop Action wrestling on Spike TV.
That's a huge bulletin that says "Hey! Come watch our show, we award drug dealers with the most prestigious belt in our company!"
Will TNA learn from this? Probably not. Will they take the belt off of Hardy or even punish him for this? After wasting all that time on this lackluster Immortal storyline, that is even less likely than the first question.
Finally, I leave you to ponder the wonders of wrestling fans. Though I'm not a proponent of judging someone for their mistakes, I do know the difference between a good business decision and a bad one. Just as I said the night they did it, putting that title on Hardy was the single most idiotic move that TNA has ever made and it's only going to cost them in the long run.
The following are comments posted on Wrestlezone.Com's forums section, where a topic has already gone up regarding Jeff's guilty plea. What sickens me is the number of Hardy marks still trying to make excuses for him.
User Cheddarboy posted: Would he really get put in prison for that? It seems too litlte for me to believe he will get sent down. If he is pleading guilty it will only be for possession so I guess it would just be a fine and probably rehab. There is No way Hardy will plead guilty if he has to do time.
Lets also be honest, those drugs are not for hobos, nearly all your Hollywood superstars do coke and the rest are painkillers, uppers and downers that nearly all the wrestlers take at some point in their careers, even my personal favourite Kurt Angle.
I would keep the belt on him as this will not likely stay in the press for long or even at all, it will just be on the wrestling sites where the IWC can continue their bashing of Hardy. I say continue as normal, get him some help if he actually is doing drugs and move on.
This is minor news. I am waiting until the Cena on Roids story finally leaks, now that will be fun.
User Idioteque55 posted: First of all, what hobos are getting Vicodin, Somas & Steroids? Maybe Cocaine, but the rest of these are drugs of the "rich & famous". I doubt a lot of hobos are doing pharmaceutical-grade drugs.
Hardy will probably NOT go to jail. If this is his first offense with drugs (as far as I know it is), the judge will most likely go easy on him. He's getting charged in North Carolina, right? ...my parents live in Weaverville, NC (close to Ashville)...they're constantly telling me about stories they see on the news about meth labs getting shut down. Trust me, the jails in NC are probably littered with criminals FAR worse than Hardy.
Hardy will most likely plead guilty to a lesser charge...lesser than ALL the charges, at least. IF (and this is a big "if") this is Hardy's first charge, the judge will not give him a prison sentence. He'll get put on probation for a year or so. That will probably entail random drug testing (urine-tests at least twice a month, where someone watches you pee to make sure you're not cheating/substituting your urine for someone else's), and a lot of fines. That's all...no jail.
If he messes up and tests dirty, or misses a meeting with his probation officer, then he might go to jail. Odds are that if he keeps his nose clean (literally) during the probation period, all of this will be stricken from his record and he'll be free.
I bet the cops that raided his house were expecting to find a LOT more than they did. They probably thought that someone was either dealing out of the house, or growing pot or cooking meth there or something. Not a lot of "raids" happen looking for an amount of drugs used for "personal use". I seriously doubt they'll throw the book at him, even a Court-Appointed Lawyer would be able to prove that Hardy isn't a dealer. Imagine what his expensive "city" lawyer (lol!) will be able to do.
I doubt this will interfere with ANY of Hardy's storylines at TNA. If anything, they might suspend him (probably WITH pay) for a month or something. Who knows. I doubt TNA will do anything at all, since this will blow over as no big deal.5 posted:
The rest of these and other fan issued comments may be viewed at: http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?p=2705021#post2705021
Comment question of the day: Will TNA ultimately regret putting the Championship on Jeff Hardy and what kind of repercussions do you feel Hardy will face by pleading guilty?
Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comment section below and follow me on Twitter @roughdivisions.