Matt and Jeff Hardy came straight out of Cameron, North Carolina and directly into the tag team scene of the Attitude Era. The Hardy Boyz were a polarizing duo who helped innovate the system. No longer were tag team matches simply adding to the show, they were stealing the show.
Along with Edge and Christian and The Dudley Boyz, the Hardy brothers would help introduce the wrestling world to a most beloved concept: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. This wasn't simply a new gimmick, this was a game changer. The advent of the TLC match altered the way any Ladder match would ever look henceforth.
While the brothers would struggle to truly find their way in WWE, it was not for a lack of talent. The Hardy Boyz would face their fair share of monsters in and out of the ring as a number of personal problems would lead to declining and eventually damaged relationship with WWE.
These days, Matt and Jeff can be found down in TNA where the duo have become the biggest stars of WCW Light. The entire "broken" concept has caught fire with fans of the product and the Internet Wrestling Community. Certainly not forest fire levels but at least camp fire worthy.
So, how did The Hardy Boyz get to be "broken." The following are 15 stories that may provide a better understanding of Matt and Jeff Hardy.
15 Lita Cheats on Matt
Perhaps it all began to break for Matt Hardy when the "love of his life" Lita found comfort in the arms of an accomplished Canadian Superstar. The trend-setting Diva was not only unfaithful to Matt but she was doing so with a friend.
For years, Matt Hardy and Edge traveled the roads together. Beating each other up along the way and quickly reshaping the WWE Tag Team Division. In a sense, Matt and Edge became brothers in their own right, until the ultimate betrayal occurred.
While Matt Hardy sat home nursing a serious injury, Edge was busy nursing the needs of Matt's girlfriend. In a move that ended a friendship and created a massive amount of heat towards the pair, Edge and Lita would take this relationship public thanks to WWE TV.
14 Jeff is Released in 2003
When The Hardy Boyz parted ways in WWE, it was obvious who was going to become the bigger star. Hell, it was obvious from the start. While Matt holds his own, Jeff has always been the more exciting Hardy. The one to whom the fans gravitated.
If Jeff Hardy is the rock star, Matt Hardy is the backstage manager. So, when it came time for Jeff to shine in a solo spotlight, he did just that while participating on the Monday Night Raw roster during the original Brand Extension.
Jeff Hardy would receive on-air praise from the likes of Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels while eventually finding himself involved in a main event feud with The Undertaker. However, Jeff would soon find himself released from WWE as a result of drug use.
13 Matt is Released in 2005
While sidelined with an injury, Matt Hardy would lose a lot more than just his girlfriend and long-time buddy. Matt would also lose his WWE career as the Superstar was cut from his contract and let go by the company.
Many attributed this to the Edge and Lita affair and viewed the decision as the company choosing sides (Edge was the more marketable personality after all). And thus, the battlecry for Matt's return began during WWE's live events and television shows.
Lita, who had always been viewed in a positive light by the WWE audience was suddenly a bigger heel than those assuming the role. The chants of "You Screwed Matt," were endless while Matt himself - with a quite literally broken body - awaited a chance at redemption.
12 Jeff is Suspended in 2007
It was only a mater of time before Jeff Hardy and WWE mended fences. In the summer of 2006, it was announced that Jeff was on his way back to WWE. And in a highly anticipated return, Jeff's first target would be none other than the man who wronged his brother.
While Jeff Hardy settled back into the mid-card during the early stages of this run, it was thought that this time around, Jeff had a better understanding of how things worked in WWE. Following a few years away from the company, the hope was that Jeff matured.
However, in 2007, Jeff Hardy was mysteriously absent from the WWE scene. And why exactly was that? Well, Jeff had been up to some old Jeff ways and found himself on the receiving end of a 30 day suspension, courtesy of the company.
11 The Legend of Fat Hardy
There is nothing wrong with gaining a little weight. It happens to everybody or it will happen someday when you reach a certain point in your life where the consumption of an entire pizza is no longer shrugged off by the body's metabolism.
For Matt Hardy, picking up little weight became the focal point of internet hatred. Yes, the people behind the keyboards would poke fun of Matt's noticeable girth in a cruel manner. In fact Matt would acquire the nickname "Fat Hardy." Such is life of the internet people.
How is this a "broken" story? Think about it for a second. How do you feel when somebody mentions your extra pounds? Perhaps this played on the mind of Matt as it does to countless other who struggle with those trans fat filled bellies.
10 Jeff is Suspended in 2008
In March of 2008, Jeff Hardy would once again struggle with keeping clean and abiding by the WWE Wellness Policy. Unfortunately for Jeff, this time around a suspension of 60 days was handed out by the company; and at the worst possible time.
Jeff Hardy was forced to sit home for two months and actually miss out on participating on the card at WrestleMania XXIV. This was costly for Jeff who was receiving a push as Intercontinental Champion and was lotted for a high profile match at WrestleMania.
Instead of earning a huge WrestleMania bonus, Jeff Hardy sat on his couch in North Carolina pondering the "what ifs" of life. Wondering when and if he would ever reach the pinnacle of his profession ... Of course, that time would come. (More to follow)
9 Matt Hardy is Released in 2010
Time to be real about Matt Hardy. Sure, Matt has reinvented himself with the "Broken" gimmick and has become more relevant now - later in his career - than he ever was in WWE. And there's a reason for that: Matt is not WWE main event material.
Jeff Hardy - while struggling with issues and often blowing chances - is the standout star of this duo. In WWE, Matt Hardy's greatest solo success came by way of a poorly recycled concept: the rebranded ECW. Here, Matt would reach the "top" of their roster.
However, in September 2010, Matt Hardy was sent home from a European tour due to behaviour issues. What followed was Matt posting his outrage via YouTube. At that point, the company had enough of Matt and in October 2010, Matt was released from WWE.
8 Jeff's Home is Burned Down
On March 15, 2008, Jeff Hardy's entire world would come burning to the ground in a quite literal fashion. Jeff would lose his home in a fire. And while Jeff and his girlfriend were not harmed by the flames, their dog Jack would not survive the torched home.
Losing one's dog and wordly possession cannot play well on the mind of a man; a man who already struggles with the everyday world and often escapes into the fantasy realm of drugs and alcohol. This was surely a dark time for Jeff and his girlfriend.
However, Jeff Hardy would avoid any company violations at this time. In fact, Jeff would pull himself together and attempt to grab that elusive "brass ring" which is often discussed among WWE circles. The Vince McMahon Brass Ring.
7 Matt is Kicked Out of Rehab
Much like his brother, Matt Hardy would find himself sucked into the darker side of existence. Matt would become dependant on drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with being alive in this wicked world. And eventually, Matt reached a breaking point.
While not a member of the roster, Matt Hardy would attend rehab on WWE's dollar (the company would sponsor former employees looking to straighten out their lives.) And it appeared as though Matt was ready to level out his life at that point.
However, things did not go as planned for Matt Hardy and the rehab facility. In fact, Matt would be caught drinking while attending rehab. Thus leaving the facility with no choice but to banish Matt from the WWE sponsored program.
6 Jeff is Released in 2009
The year 2009 was set the year of Jeff Hardy. In 2008, Jeff became the hottest commodity in professional wrestling and by year's end would capture the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against Edge and Triple H. (Jeff actually pinned Triple H.)
While his WWE Championship reign was short-lived, Jeff Hardy would twice capture the World Heavyweight Championship and begin a feud with CM Punk (the next hottest commodity) that has flown under the radar in terms of great wrestling rivalries.
However, by the summer of that year, Jeff Hardy had been dealing with an ailing body and a restless soul. The rise had reached its peak and the writing was on the wall: Jeff was on his way out of WWE. And unfortunately for fans, Jeff has yet to return.
5 Matt is Arrested
It is truly difficult to define love. What the heel is it anyway? To some love involves the constant regurgitation of romance. To other, love means fighting with your significant other in a at a hotel in Virginia. Such is the case with Matt Hardy.
In a strange twist, Matt Hardy and his wife Reby Sky would find themselves involved in a physical altercation and arrested together. What a lovely way to spend an evening. However, nothing much would come from the incident aside from some mugshot.
Today, Matt Hardy and Reby Sky remain together. In fact, Sky is also a part of the "Broken" storyline which currently engulfs the TNA roster. Matt and Reby certain find love in other ways than those of the tradition. What a "Broken" couple.
4 Jeff is Arrested
Well, they do mirror each other in ways. They are brothers after all. Back in 2009 - shortly after his release from WWE - Jeff Hardy would find himself on the wrong side of the law and quickly arrested for some issues involving controlled substances.
Jeff Hardy was taken in for possession of anabolic steroids as well as traces of cocaine. The dark clouds were clearly hanging high above Jeff's head at this point. We have to wonder if any of this could have been avoided if Jeff was never released from WWE?
What if Vince McMahon had done more to keep the roubles Superstar around? What if Jeff had renewed his contract that summer? Would any of this had happened? Or was it inevitable that Jeff would eventually screw up once again?
3 Matt's Fake Suicide
Matt Hardy's fake suicide note: desperate plea for attention or the making of a mastermind? Fans have fallen on each side of the argument. While some call it pathetic, others believe it was simply a symbolic gesture of a new career path.
Yes, Matt Hardy posted what appeared to be a suicide note and the internet blew up in a hurry. Fans and friends alike displayed strong concern for Matt and his well-being. However, it would all turn out to be a giant hoax.
Obviously, Matt Hardy did not kill himself and it appears as though Matt was up to something; we're just not sure what. Was this the beginning of the "Broken" storyline which would take some time to manifest itself in front of the public?
2 Jeff Shows Up Messed Up
TNA Victory Road 2011: Jeff Hardy was set to challenge Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. However, much like a quarterback reading a defense, Eric Bischoff (who was running things at the time) called an audible.
Jeff Hardy showed up to the match in no condition to compete and as result, the match would not take place as planned. Instead of a lengthy bout, Sting would forcefully pin Jeff in a match that lasted less than two minutes in length.
Following this even, Jeff Hardy would apologize and admit to the fans that at Victory Road he "hit rock bottom." This was perhaps the darkest moment in the professional career and perhaps life of Jeff as he had officially come off the rails on live Pay-Per-View.
1 The Hardys Lose Their Mother
In 1986, the two young brothers from North Carolina would be forced to face a new reality: one without a parent and one where hurt can never heal. Matt and Jeff Hardy would lose their mother to a battle with brain cancer; leaving the boys and their father alone.
Two formative boys without their mother could be a recipe for long-term personal disaster. And as we can see, Matt and Jeff Hardy have both struggled to adjust to many things in life, including their professional careers.
However, The Hardy Boyz are two of the most beloved wrestlers in the world and fans will always stand behind the duo. Here's hoping they can someday soon find their way back to WWE; back home where they belong on the biggest stage in wrestling.
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