Jeff Hardy has led a unique life. At one point about seven years ago, he was arguably the most popular wrestler in the world. He won world championships several times in two major companies. He plays in a crummy band. He’s really good at face painting. He’s an ex-convict. He runs OMEGA – a company co-owned by his also famous, but otherwise completely inferior, wrestler brother.
And he has a contract with TNA reportedly slated to run out within a few months. Hardy has been with the company for six years and since he’s nearing the end of his pro wrestling shelf life, it would make sense for him to ride out the rest of his career in the WWE, with its bigger paychecks and grander prestige. And WWE, for we all know, would give a lot of thought to welcoming the Rainbow-Haired Warrior back with open arms, as it has many, many other former attractions who worked for other promotions for varying periods of time.
But there are always downsides to revisiting the past. Maybe Jeff Hardy returning to the WWE would be a great thing. Or, maybe, it would suck horribly and turn out to be a huge mistake for everyone involved. Maybe it would be the worst thing that could ever happen. No one knows the future, right? Maybe Hardy could spontaneously combust in the middle of the ring during a WrestleMania main event. Maybe Hardy’s WWE return could butterfly effect across space time and somehow indirectly bring about World War III. Probably not! Probably, that’s absurd. But who knows, right?
Looking at things from a bit more of a down-to-Earth perspective, here, in no particular order, we have compiled 15 reasons why WWE and the master of the Swanton should stay far, far away from each other under all circumstances. If you’re reading this thinking you hope to see Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose team with Jeff Hardy against the Wyatt Family, we’re here to tell you that you don’t want to see that….even though it sounds awesome.
15. New WWE Guys Do Hardy’s Routine Better Than He Does At This Point
No one’s going to argue that Jeff Hardy hasn’t been massively influential on today’s WWE roster – especially its denizens who rely on high-flying spots to compensate for their inability to become monstrous piles of tendons and oddly proportioned neck muscles, like Ryback. The problem is at least a few new faces – Finn Balor and Neville both pop to mind immediately – out-daredevil the legendary daredevil on a weekly basis. Balor has even one-upped Hardy’s badass bodypaint and Kevin Owens does a way scarier Swanton. Hardy could make up for his once revolutionary, but now relatively routine in-ring abilities with unscripted antics, except….
14. Hardy Doesn’t Do Drugs Anymore (Or, Just Not As Many)
A man can build 200 bridges, but if he has sex with one pig, he won’t be primarily remembered as a bridge builder. Hardy has delivered countless great matches over the years, just as many not-great-but-adequate matches, and one epic, embarrassing public meltdown against Sting at Victory Road 2011. Apologies to any readers who forked over hard-earned bucks for that PPV, but for those of us who watched Sting swiftly clobber a clearly turkey basked and baffled Hardy for free on YouTube, it was hilarious.
Rumor has it Hardy has given up hard partying in order to lead a more wholesome lifestyle. That’s great for him. But it makes it less likely for hilarity to ensue next time we see him in the ring. Fans who enjoy a bit of schadenfreude with their wrestling more than they enjoy sober Jeff Hardy matches are out of luck.
13. He Would Be Primarily Used To Get Other People Over
Diehard Hardy loyalists might envision their hero enjoying one last WWE World Title run before he finally break dances off into the sunset. Perhaps that’s a plausible scenario. But since WWE doesn’t really need a Jeff Hardy when they’ve got a Neville and a Finn Balor, wouldn’t it make more sense to push those two over a gentleman whose career zenith came and went 10 years ago? Especially if everybody gets to watch doubtlessly thrilling contests between Hardy and Neville and Hardy and Balor? As great as those matches sound, they present their own set of difficulties. Namely….
12. Turning Hardy Heel Might Be Necessary And Disastrous
Let’s imagine a scenario where Jeff Hardy returns to WWE, looking to reestablish himself as professional wrestling’s supreme risk taker. In that situation, his primary targets would be the aforementioned Neville and Balor, hence it would make a universe of sense for Hardy to switch over to the dark side. But Hardy is unproven – if not necessarily ineffective – as a heel. Let’s guess there’s a 60 percent chance a Jeff Hardy heel run in 2015-era WWE would fall flat on its face, next to a 40 percent chance that “The Antichrist of Wrestling” that never clicked with TNA might flourish in the hands of slightly better writers.
11. IWC Smarks Give Hardy Tons of Flak, And Everyone Is An IWC Smark
Now that the WWE has officially transitioned into the Reality Era, everybody’s a smark, everybody’s an internet wrestling fan. And smark fans seem to really hate Jeff Hardy for reasons I’ve never been completely clear on. Maybe it’s his track record of inconsistency. Maybe they just don’t like it when one of their old favorites becomes one of Vince McMahon’s favorites, too. Maybe they listened to Val Venis’s rants about trampoline wrestlers and decided the former pretend adult star made some good points. It’s good and possible that the same people who can’t stand John Cena would turn a Monday Night Raw taping into a Ring of Honor show and boo the Charismatic Enigma out of the building regardless of how the storyline dictated that they react.
10. If They Bring Back Jeff, They Might Get Stuck With Matt Too
At one point in time, self-proclaimed enlightened wrestling fans considered Jeff Hardy the spot machine with no grasp of fundamentals and Matt Hardy the real brains behind the Hardy Boyz. Then a lot of those wrestling fans realized they were wrong and also realized that Matt Hardy is the second lamest wrestler of all time, out-lamed only be Jeff Jarrett. The elder Hardy can execute the Twist of Fate more smoothly than his more talented, successful, better looking brother, but aside from that, Matt Hardy doesn’t hold up. Some people will tell you Matt Hardy does much, much better promos, but that’s only because Jeff has pretended to stink on the mic to spare Matt’s feelings for all these years.
9. If Matt Comes Back, He And Lita Could, In Theory, Get Back Together
Anyone who scoped out NXT Takeover: Respect likely noticed Lita was in attendance for the (outstanding) Sasha Banks/Bayley ironman match. Lita still occasionally shows up to make appearances on WWE TV. Which means it’s possible that if Jeff Hardy returns and his brother follows him, in theory, Matt and Lita could cross paths again. And that means it’s possible, albeit extremely unlikely (given that Matt has a wife and son now and all that) that Matt Hardy and Lita could get back together. It is WWE’s responsibility to human existence to ensure 100 percent that this scenario never unfolds. The space-time continuum itself would be placed in danger.
8. A Hardyz vs. Dudleys Feud in 2015 Would Underwhelm
The Hardyz returning to WWE at any point in the near future would present a unique problem – they and the Dudleys would be expected to resume their legendary rivalry, yet would have no ability to deliver at the level they could 10 years ago. Father Time has ravaged all four competitors into individuals less able to recover from the near-suicidal feats that were once their trademarks. The Hardyz could wind up having tremendous matches against New Day, the Prime Time Players, the Lucha Dragons, and others, and a big showdown with the Dudleys could make a perfectly workmanlike, watchable encounter. But there’s no recreating Tables Ladders and Chairs, and not just because Edge and Christian aren’t around to supply the chairs anymore.
7. His Last WWE Theme Song Was Very, Very Bad
The Hardy Boyz best known theme song – “Loaded” by Zach Tempest – isn’t anything complicated or innovative, but it certainly did the trick for getting crowds psyched up to watch two guys jump off things and land on other things, such as their opponents. However, the reimagined version by California rockers Endeverafter waters down Tempest’s original rendition with hammy vocals and excessive guitar noodling. Of course there’s no good reason why WWE couldn’t just go back to playing Tempest’s version instead, but it might be hard to resist the inclination to use the crappy Endeverafter song, which they probably spent a lot more money on.
6. Willow The Wisp Is Stupid
Exactly one wrestler has pulled off split gimmicks/personalities without coming off contrived or insulting anyone’s intelligence – Mick Foley…..Actually, Abyss did an alright job switching off between his non-violent “Joseph Parks” incarnation and his standard, more monstrous identity. Now that I think about it, Stardust has likewise demonstrated semi-believable internal tension between “Stardust” and “Cody Rhodes.” Considering Hardy has seemingly had a difficult time cutting a worthwhile promo when playing himself, trying to convince the audience that he’s undergone a major personality overhaul was a misguided decision. Plus, Willow The Wisp is stupid.
5. Not So Many Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in the PG-Era
Granted, the Dudley Boys have been back on WWE for a few months now and haven’t faced any particular difficulty when it comes to 3Ding opponents through their signature ringside tables. That said, absolutely nobody’s relying on furniture-related spots to carry them through an entire match these days. Hardy made his reputation by casting his well-being asunder for the sake of our entertainment and it doesn’t really seem likely that he’d be able to get away with his previous feats of daring-do with as much regularity as was possible during the Attitude phase of WWE.
4. His Eyelid Facepaint Could Frighten Children
At some point during his run in TNA, Hardy had the clever notion of extending his facepainting regimen to his eyelids – thereby making it appear as though he had big freaky, multi-colored eyes whenever he closed his lids. Jeff Hardy’s eyelid paint is creepy. Clever and original, but super creepy, I want him to stop painting his eyelids like that and I’m willing to bet plenty of other people do, too. If Jeff Hardy shows up on WWE TV looking like a frickin’ alien mutant, small children will be horrified, their parents won’t let them watch the show anymore, and ratings will plummet. Sorry Jeff, but nobody wants to see you manifesting in their nightmares and staring at them with your eyes closed. Not cool, bro.
3. In Order To Preserve Suspension of Disbelief, Bray Wyatt Can’t Sell Hardy Moves
As a fellow dude who has done his fair share of staring into the abyss, Bray Wyatt would no doubt take an interest in Jeff Hardy. At that point, Hardy’s two, and only, options would be to join Wyatt’s quest to dethrone god and destroy capitalism or prepare himself for a series of traumatic beatings at the hands of the Eater of Worlds, his wolf in black sheep’s clothing, Braun Strowman, and Luke Harper, Wyatt’s sidekick who’s gonna be a star as soon as he figures out how to cut a properly scary promo. Even though WWE wrestlers break character all the time these days, fans would never believe that Hardy stood a chance against Wyatt, or any of his compatriots, in a fight of any kind. To protect the business, Hardy vs. Wyatt in 2016 would have to make Hardy vs. Sting in 2011 look like a close call by comparison.
2. TNA Could Go Out of Business (Which’ll Happen Pretty Soon Anyway)
If TNA loses Jeff and eventually Matt, Hardy, they’ll be almost out of WWE castoffs to fall back on. That might not be a bad thing – arguably, a hesitancy to pull the trigger on pushing their homegrown stars kept TNA from developing its own identity for quite a while. But nonetheless, whatever tickets and merchandise sales that TNA would’ve made off the Hardyz will evaporate in the absence of the extreme siblings. Whether or not that would contribute to an eventual end to TNA is purely hypothetical, but the death of TNA might make more room for Lucha Underground and other alternative brands that haven’t driven themselves into irrelevance yet.
1. Jeff Hardy Needs To Devote More Time To PeroxWhy?Gen
The only way to get better at something is to practice at it. This means Jeff Hardy has not practiced writing lyrics, singing, or playing guitar very much, because his band, PeroxWhy?Gen, is a whole new dimension of awful.
Observe this lyric video for “Distance” – the latest product from what appears to be Hardy flanked by some studio musicians. Never mind that “Distance” shoots for modern rock radio’s typical hammy, anguished bro balladry, which means it’s proactively trying to suck, somehow Hardy’s able to kick it off with the line “Thoughts of thinking” without a hint or irony. It’s an accidental parody of a Nickelback or Stained, except not funny. Jeff Hardy’s already good at wrestling – he doesn’t need more practice at that, but boy does he ever need to work on his music.
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