Advice for WWE Creative: Ideas to Turn Jeff Hardy's Career AroundMay 24, 2021
Advice for WWE Creative: Ideas to Turn Jeff Hardy's Career Around
All too often, fans complain that WWE Creative isn't pulling its weight.
We know the writers aren't always to blame, though, and the company machine has many parts that can get in the way of telling a great story. But any failures ultimately fall under its responsibility.
So, here is the first in a series offering our advice to the creative team, starting with a way to stop Jeff Hardy's career from continuing to slide.
Addressing the Flaws
The first step in fixing any problem in life is to acknowledge its presence and assess the damage.
Hardy has done nothing of value for months but that's no criticism of his skills: He's been a main event-caliber Superstar for years.
Lately, though, he's been the sacrificial lamb for Jinder Mahal on Raw just a few days after suffering the same fate on Main Event—a show that WWE doesn't even advertise on its official website.
Prior to that, his spot in the Elimination Chamber in February was just to make up the numbers. The closest thing to a feud he's had in 2021 has been getting wrecked by The Hurt Business and stretching out his rivalry with Elias long after it had expired.
His Bar Fight with Sheamus and largely forgettable Intercontinental Championship run last summer represented the last time he seemed to matter.
The Golden Rule: Perception Is Everything
The quickest, easiest way for any wrestler to turn their career around is to win matches.
The more someone is used as an enhancement talent, the less momentum they'll have. If WWE puts in the effort to make it seem as though someone is a big deal and worth the investment, the fans will largely gravitate toward them.
Hardy was a big deal when he was treated like a big deal.
If WWE puts in the effort to give him a storyline that isn't just a series of matches against a random opponent and presents it as something the fans should be interested in and gives him some victories, he'll start to get back on track.
If The Charismatic Enigma continues to come off as a go-to guy who can be beaten once in a while, why would anyone be excited to see him?
Let Him Flex His Own Creative Muscles
Hardy isn't dubbed "The Charismatic Enigma" for cutting promos like The Rock or Roddy Piper; it's down to his thirst for self-expression.
He's the type of person who dabbles in all sorts of creativity from his stunts, music and even artwork.
His "Willow" character might not be for everyone, but we'll never know unless it's given a shot. It could freshen him up in the same way as The American Bad Ass persona did for The Undertaker.
The best part about this is that it doesn't even require much effort from WWE Creative.
What's the worst that could happen? He fails and goes back to the position he's in now?
Make Him a Mentor to Another Superstar
Perhaps WWE is just adamant that Hardy is too old to be invested in and he's aged out of being at the forefront of the business. In that case, he surely serves a role as a veteran to learn from.
With that in mind, the creative team should set The Charismatic Enigma up with a protege who can get the rub from working with him.
There's a finite number of stories to tell in professional wrestling, and the mentor character has a few tropes that are easy to predict but normally effective.
Ricochet is a high-flyer who could connect with Hardy, while Aleister Black is a tortured soul who could use some guidance. Plenty of young wrestlers at the Performance Center likely grew up as big Hardy Boyz fans and would jump at the chance to be partnered with him, especially on Raw.
Send Him to NXT
When in doubt, shuffle the deck. WWE has three separate rosters, so there is no excuse for not having fresh matches.
If WWE Creative cannot see any value in Hardy against anyone on Raw or SmackDown, he has dozens of new Superstars to work with on NXT.
He could help hone the styles of cruiserweights like Isaiah "Swerve" Scott and Jake Atlas. His character work could pair with Dexter Lumis and Karrion Kross, and his experience in tag teams would be beneficial to pass on to Ever-Rise, The Bollywood Boyz and Imperium.
Hardy could have more interesting matches and provide more star power as a bigger fish in a smaller pond with NXT. His presence would feel like a big deal in NXT and open a spot on the red brand for someone who could step up.
There are no losses here, unless WWE thinks he's too valuable of a resource for Raw. But if that were the case, he'd be in a better position than he's in right now, wouldn't he?
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.