A little over three months ago, I witnessed one of the most significant events ever. It’s TNA Bound for Glory 2010, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan are setting their sights on one another. Jeff Hardy held both men apart only to take one of Hulk’s crutches and smash Kurt Angle over the head with it.
Hardy then dropped Ken Anderson with a Twist of Hate to become TNA World Champion. As I stared at the TV screen, one thought registered in my mind: Jeff Hardy just turned heel.
I know what you’re thinking. Why is something as simple as a heel turn important to me?
Because Jeff and Matt Hardy are the reasons I became a WWE fan.
After the event ended, I quickly typed up two articles directly related to the events of Bound for Glory. The first was basically a review of the show and how it took yours truly by surprise. The other was supposed to be my first Memories article.
I pulled everything together piece by piece, going on nothing besides my memories.
Despite it being minor words away from completion, multiple events persuaded me to save it for another time. The court case and the IWC’s opinion of Jeff Hardy would’ve largely overshadowed my article and opinions convinced me that my article would never see the light of day.
Doubt arose in my mind and I planned on releasing it last year, but more stories of Hardy’s mishaps surfaced and I finally laid the article to rest.
That is, until now.
Being 8 years old in 2000, I was interested in what any normal kid my age would be.
One of my relatives purchased the Smackdown! 2 Know Your Role video game. My only prior experience with WWF was when I once saw the Undertaker make his famous entrance. I brushed the company off and continued my viewership of WCW.
I played the game, and despite being ignorant to the roster and controls, I chose Matt while my brother chose Jeff. I took a liking to the Hardy’s and their unique finishers.
Despite this, I continued to watch WCW until Shane McMahon “purchased” it, and I officially began watching WWF. The first PPV I witnessed was WrestleMania X-7.
The talk of the night was Stone Cold Steve Austin versus The Rock, but my interest lied elsewhere. I was interested in the extreme matches of the night. I was in for a treat as Shane McMahon destroyed his father in a street fight and ended it with the Coast to Coast.
That’s when the show stole my heart and cemented my viewership forever.
The next match was E&C versus The Hardy’s versus The Dudley Boyz.
From the start, the crew was setting up the tables and chairs, and then the teams made their entrances. All three of the teams were dressed in the weirdest attire I’d ever witnessed at the time. The match was everything I could ask for: hardcore, high flying and shocking action.
Two moments I’ll never forget are when Jeff gave Rhyno and Spike Dudley a Swanton from the ladder threw a table. The other being Edge spearing Jeff Hardy in the air to save the match for himself and Christian.
Those matches, along with Austin versus Rock, are some of the best in my book.
The Hardys became my favorite tag team because of their hardcore style and I continued to watch the WWF because of them. The Rock and Edge also became favorites along the way.
As the team was coming to an obvious end, I took notice to Jeff’s feud with Undisputed Champion, The Undertaker. Hardy was attempting to reignite the extreme way of wrestling he and Matt once embraced and no one was an exception.
After Jeff embarrassed Undertaker by kicking him into Tommy Dreamers vomit, I felt as if things were looking up for Hardy. He challenged Taker for the title in his ladder match. Undertaker’s anger seemed obvious from the repeated antics of the fearless Hardy.
Matt and Jeff even attacked Undertaker with a later on RAW.
Despite being inches away from claiming the WWE Title, Jeff Hardy lost the match but earned Undertaker’s respect in the process.
The last thing I can remember before Hardy disappeared from the WWE was him losing a match to The Rock.
At the time, I had no knowledge of TNA and the Indy circuit.
Though Jeff was gone, I always wondered why he disappeared from TV.
WWE aired multiple vignettes announcing Jeff’s return to the company. I was ecstatic to see Jeff was finally coming home. When Hardy interrupted Edge’s title defense celebration, my dislike for Edge was at its peak and Jeff made an immediate impact.
Hardy dominated Edge to a disqualification win due to interference by Lita.
Hardy dropped into the IC title picture and feuded with Champion Johnny Nitro. After numerous failed attempts, Jeff Hardy defeated Nitro on an episode of RAW. Hardy and Nitro traded the title once more before the Hardy’s began feuding with MNM.
The Hardy’s defeated MNM three times before Hardy dropped his title to Umaga. Umaga was on one hell of a push and Hardy was obviously reforming the team with Matt. I didn’t mind seeing Jeff and Matt reunite but believed a World Title run would’ve been a better option.
At WrestleMania 23, Hardy competed in the MITB Ladder match. Jeff was seconds away from winning until he jumped on a lifeless Edge instead. Hardy snapped the ladder Edge was on in half and was unable to continue the match.
Jumping to Hardy’s feud with Umaga, Jeff finally defeated the Samoan after Umaga fell flat on his face during a title match. Jeff was IC Champion once again, but I failed to notice that WWE had rebooted his push.
As the months passed, Hardy defeated Ken Kennedy multiple times before engaging in a friendly feud with Triple H. Hardy defeated The Game for a title match at the Royal Rumble. Imagine that, a guy most called a lifetime mid-carder had just defeated a 11-time World Champion.
Seems familiar to current events, eh?
Hardy then entered a feud with WWE Champion Randy Orton. Hardy beat Orton at every corner until Orton finally bested Hardy at RR.
I was shocked to hear of Hardy’s impending suspension because of drug use. I automatically assumed Vince would end his push because of it. Hardy was removed from the MITB Ladder match (he was scheduled to win) and dropped his IC Title to Y2J.
Upon his return, Hardy was placed in a feud with Umaga which ended with Jeff defeating the Samoan on numerous occasions.
Yes! His push was still on.
Jeff was drafted to Smackdown and participated in tons of matches with WWE Champion Triple H. Each time it seemed as if Hardy was moments away from winning the title only to have Triple H retain somehow. Hardy also began wearing his signature face paint and even defeated The Undertaker on one occasion.
Three times in a row.
Jeff’s time finally came when he defeated Edge and Triple H in a triple threat for the WWE Title.
Honestly, I thought Edge would cheat his way to title retention. WWE Creative threw me a curve ball and the Hardy party had just begun!
At least that’s what I thought. Creative decided to have Matt end his title reign prematurely, thus igniting a feud between the two. Matt defeated Jeff twice only for Hardy to win an I quit match.
Personally, I strongly disliked the angle and felt the WWE could’ve gone a different direction with it.
Hardy then set his sights on Edge and his World Champion. Edge defeated Hardy once to set up their ladder match at Extreme Rules.
Two ladder legends in one match?
Does it get any better than that?
Hardy defeated Edge only to have CM Punk cash in the MITB briefcase on him. Weeks passed with Punk turning heel and getting himself disqualified to retain his title against Hardy. Jeff would defeat Punk at Night of Champions for his third World Title.
While I was shocked to hear the news of Hardy leaving, I understood the stress of being a pro wrestler. Everyone needs a break and Jeff was planning on returning to the WWE once he rested. Hardy dropped the World Title to Punk and exited the WWE.
Let’s skip over this TNA fiasco because I’m positive everyone knows what has transpired.
Despite the fact that I’m not happy with his current position in TNA, I’ll always be a Hardy fan. While I may’ve liked the idea at first, I don’t agree with his heel turn. His impending drug charges are also a convincing factor but I will always be a one of those guys chanting: Hardy, Hardy, Hardy!