Jeff Hardy Talks Scary Swanton Bomb; The Fiend Rumors; Jericho Reacts to Ratings

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

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

      

Hardy 'OK' After Scary Swanton Bomb

Jeff Hardy defeated Elias in a hard-hitting Symphony of Destruction match Monday night on Raw and also seemed to avoid serious injury in the process.

Hardy won the match with a high-risk maneuver, as he hit Elias with a Swanton Bomb through a table outside the ring. Hardy appeared to have a rough landing, as his head and neck came down on the steel steps.

Despite that, Hardy said after the match that he was "OK" and the spot looked worse than it actually was:

Hardy has made a living out of putting his body on the line, so he can handle those types of bumps better than most, but it likely isn't the walk in the park it once was now that he is 43 years old.

While Hardy and Elias weren't featured on Raw in recent weeks since the focus was on building toward Survivor Series, they made their return with a bang Monday and may have put an exclamation point on their feud.

It isn't 100 percent clear that their program is over, but if it is, Hardy has no shortage of momentum on his side as he attempts to figure out what's next.

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Hardy is a major asset for WWE in that he can be placed almost anywhere on the card and thrive in that situation. He is a big enough name with enough star power to be a main eventer, but he also brings a great deal of cachet to the midcard.

There is no obvious opportunity for Hardy to go for a title right now on Raw since AJ Styles is No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship and Riddle seems to be entering a rivalry with United States champion Bobby Lashley, but WWE will undoubtedly find a spot for Hardy that he can make the most of.

     

The Fiend Reportedly Booked as Babyface vs. Orton

"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt is perhaps the most evil character in all of wrestling, but he is reportedly being positioned as the babyface in his feud with Randy Orton.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t WrestlingInc's Sai Mohan), WWE's decision-makers view Orton as a "master heel" who will play a big role in getting both Wyatt and Alexa Bliss over as faces.

On Monday's episode of Raw, Alexa welcomed Orton onto A Moment of Bliss and things quickly got tense with The Viper suggesting he knew what The Fiend's vulnerability was.

When the lights went out to signal The Fiend's arrival, Orton picked up Bliss and held her in his arms. The Fiend frantically motioned for Orton to hand her over, and he eventually did before rolling outside the ring and laughing.

Orton came across as a bigger heel in that particular segment, but the manner in which all involved have acted to this point suggests that they are all undefined characters who aren't necessarily clear heels or faces.

Last week, The Fiend interrupted Orton's match against Styles and distracted him, which allowed Styles to pick up the victory. Also, Bliss killed the Friendship Frog puppet on the Firefly Fun House.

Neither of those actions were particularly face-like, so look for WWE to keep all parties involved the same, which will in turn allow the WWE Universe to choose who they want to root for.

Ultimately, the crux of this rivalry is the fact that The Fiend doesn't forget about those who wronged Wyatt in previous years, and Orton clearly fits the bill since he turned on The Wyatt Family and burned down the Wyatt compound.

The Fiend is out for revenge and Orton seems to be as well after The Fiend cost him a chance to win back the WWE Championship.

     

Jericho Reacts to NXT's Viewership Win

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, WWE NXT scored a razor-thin viewership victory last week over AEW Dynamite.

In response to Alex McCarthy of TalkSport tweeting that NXT won by a margin of 712,000-710,000, All Elite Wrestling star Chris Jericho still took a victory lap:

Jericho has long stressed the importance of winning the 18- to 49-year-old demographic rather than total viewership, even branding himself the Demo God.

Per Showbuzz Daily, Jericho and AEW did manage to prevail in the demo with a 0.26 ratings compared to NXT's 0.20.

Regardless of the exact numbers on either front, the fact that they were so close suggests fans are enjoying both products equally, which can only be viewed as a good thing for the overall state of professional wrestling.

There have been times when AEW has blown out NXT in both the viewership and demo numbers, but NXT bounced back in a big way last week with a 12 percent leap in viewers.

Wrestling is best off when as many brands and companies as possible are thriving, and a split audience between AEW and NXT suggests wrestling is in a good place on multiple fronts.

     

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