The Hardy Boyz have not been a unit since last September, thanks to an injury suffered by Jeff.
As WrestleMania draws near, new reports surrounding his status have emerged, but will he be able to lace up the boots in time for the most significant pay-per-view extravaganza?
The Charismatic Enigma is not the only alumnus of both WWE and Impact Wrestling to make the rumor mill this week, as it appears as though Alberto Del Rio may be in talks to rejoin the company he has left twice already.
What happened involving the former WWE and world heavyweight champion this week that has sparked those rumors?
Jeff Hardy Return Update
Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported, "Jeff Hardy is ready to return to action after getting the green light from his surgeon, and now he's just waiting on clearance from WWE."
If he can get said clearance, he would conceivably be back just in time to make a splash on the WrestleMania card, either as a single or tag team performer.
Buy or Sell?
Buy/Sell. This one is a little tricky in that it is totally acceptable to buy Hardy's impending return to WWE but sell his involvement at WrestleMania, which is clearly speculation at this point in time.
WWE would almost certainly love to have Hardy back in time for the big show, but rushing him into a story or unnecessarily forcing him into a match for the sake of having him on the card would be a mistake.
Instead, utilize his aura and popularity to create a genuine moment the night after WrestleMania.
Hardy is a valuable piece of the WWE roster. He is incredibly popular and has a connection with fans some of the top stars in the company could only dream of. He is also a former WWE and world heavyweight champion, so he has the credibility as well.
Healthier than before, he could be a major player following the Showcase of the Immortals.
Just leave him off the actual event itself or risk another WrestleMania card too bloated for its own good.
Alberto Del Rio Returning to WWE?
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported Alberto Del Rio (also known as Alberto el Patron) was at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, last week to meet with Vince McMahon.
"We are told Patron was in Stamford last Wednesday, filming interview material for an upcoming WWE project related to Rey Mysterio. That would be the day he flew to Europe to make an appearance for Five Star Wrestling. While Patron was in Stamford, he also met with Vince McMahon, numerous sources have confirmed."
It makes sense that Del Rio, one of Mysterio's great rivals from the latter stages of his WWE career, would be included in a special project celebrating the Master of the 619. Wha's interesting, though, is that he met with McMahon at the same time.
Johnson went on to state in his PWInsider Elite audio update (subscription required), "there have been rumblings of late within WWE that McMahon was very much for Patron returning to the company, as he's always been extremely high on Patron as a performer and a character."
Buy or Sell?
Sell. It is interesting to even hear McMahon may be contemplating bringing Del Rio back.
For all of the time and creative energy put into the character, the return on investment has never been that great.
Yes, Del Rio is a talented worker with a great look and heritage, but he has never really been as over as management had hoped, nor did he deliver the all-time-great matches one would expect from him given the opportunities and opponents he has been given.
In 2013, Del Rio was the most consistently great wrestler on the roster. He worked some strong matches with Big Show, Jack Swagger and always had incredible chemistry with guys like Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston.
Even then, though, he was not the main event-level guy management almost certainly hoped he would be. He was, at his best, a midcard-level guy carrying the brand's most prestigious title. Those matches weren't the type of bouts that one singles out when talking about the best of that given year.
Bringing him back now, after a highly publicized relationship with Paige and several derogatory comments made about chief operating officer of WWE Paul "Triple H' Levesque, would create unnecessary discomfort.
With a roster rife with talent, WWE should let the Superstars it already has shine and let someone like Del Rio continue making a living across independent promotions. There, he can command top dollar without dredging up old wounds or taking spots from younger stars with the potential to give more to WWE in the long-term than Del Rio could in the short-term.
WWE Fastlane Plans
Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats reported, "Fastlane isn't expected to feature any title changes, though there may be a big angle planned for the main event."
Not that anyone really expected much in the way of title changes from a show that feels C-level, at best.
Buy or Sell?
Buy. Switching titles this close to WrestleMania for the sake of switching title has been an issue that has plagued WWE in the past—primarily in the lead-in to WrestleMania 13 in 1997, where the WWE title changed hands on a seemingly weekly basis.
The final pay-per-view presentation before a massive event like WrestleMania should be used to set up big angles and jumpstart rivalries that will either begin or end at The Showcase of the Immortals.
Given the storytelling in the weeks ahead of Fastlane, one can only assume the main event of the show will feature angles involving Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, as well as The Undertaker potentially costing John Cena the match to spark their feud.
Regardless of whether fans like the predictability of the outcome or not, this is exactly how WWE Creative should approach the pay-per-view.