WWE Rumors: Jeff Hardy Declines WWE HOF Induction; Possible Returns for Royal Rumble

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 28, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 01:  Professional wrestler Jeff Hardy of WWE The Hardy Boyz attends Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia 2017 - Day 1 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 1, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Jeff Hardy Reportedly Turns Down WWE HOF Induction

WWE reportedly reached out to Jeff Hardy about being part of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2022 recently, but Hardy declined.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc's Marc Middleton), WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis called Hardy about the subject "a few weeks back," but Hardy wasn't interested.

WWE released Hardy from the company in early December after a strange incident at a live event in Corpus Christi, Texas, which saw Hardy leave during a six-man tag team match.

Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported that WWE offered to get Hardy help in the form of rehab, but Hardy declined, which led to his release.

Jeff's brother, Matt Hardy, later confirmed that Jeff turned down rehab. Matt said Jeff didn't feel like he needed to go to rehab, and Matt agreed with the assessment.

Per Meltzer, Jeff asked Laurinaitis during their conversation for the results of a drug test he took before he was released by WWE in December.

Meltzer noted that Hardy wanted the results because he "knew he wasnโ€™t going to test positive for any recreational drugs."

A return to WWE under any circumstances in the near future seems unlikely for Jeff, as he and Matt have already announced a Hardy Boyz reunion tour beginning in March.

It is also widely assumed that Jeff will sign with AEW once his WWE non-compete clause ends since Matt is already with the company and it would allow them to have one last high-profile run as the Hardy Boyz.

While it seems inevitable that both Hardy brothers will go in the WWE Hall of Fame one day once fences are mended, it may not happen for quite some time.

Aksana Reportedly Scheduled for Women's Royal Rumble

WWE has already announced the return of several former WWE Superstars for the women's Royal Rumble match, but a somewhat unexpected name reportedly could enter the fray as well.

According to PWInsider.com (h/t Middleton), Aksana is in St. Louis for the Royal Rumble and is expected to be part of the women's Royal Rumble match.

Aksana, 39, signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2009 and made her main roster debut in 2011. She was released from the company in 2014 and has been out of wrestling ever since.

While she never held a title on the main roster, Aksana was FCW Divas champion and Queen of FCW in Florida Championship Wrestling, which was WWE's developmental territory at the time.

Aksana didn't have many memorable matches, although she was Cesaro's manager for a period of time and also did a wedding angle with Goldust.

The Lithuania native's last match on record occurred on a June 2014 episode of SmackDown and saw her lose to Alicia Fox.

While Aksana is nowhere as big of a name as some of the other legends competing in the women's Royal Rumble match, such as The Bella Twins, Lita, Mickie James and Michelle McCool, she may receive a nice reaction from longtime fans if she does indeed take part in the Rumble.

Kurt Angle to Be in St. Louis for Royal Rumble

WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle is reportedly in St. Louis ahead of Saturday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

According to Fightful Select (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Angle is scheduled to take part in WWE-related media activities in St. Louis throughout the weekend.

It is unclear if there are any additional plans for him, although a surprise entry in the men's Royal Rumble match is possible considering he will be present.

Angle's last match came at WrestleMania 35 nearly three years ago. He lost to Baron Corbin in what was billed as his retirement match, and he hasn't gotten back in the ring since.

The multi-time world champion worked for WWE in a backstage capacity for a while after that and does a podcast with Conrad Thompson.

Angle has remained in good standing with WWE, and he even served as the referee of the Fight Pit match between Riddle and Timothy Thatcher in NXT in 2020.

The Olympic gold medalist was part of the 2019 men's Royal Rumble match just months before his retirement, and it wouldn't necessarily be a shock to see him resurface Saturday.

Even though Angle is retired, the Rumble could represent an opportunity for him to put his boots on one more time, as he likely wouldn't be asked to do anything too taxing.

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