TNA Wrestling is gearing up for a fight. The company is ready to fight to keep its biggest active wrestler on the roster, Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s contract expires in February and the company down south is doing everything they can to keep their franchise player in place.
A new report in the Wrestling Observer details the efforts that Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, and company are doing to re-sign Jeff Hardy. If you didn’t know about Hardy’s contract, you’d think he was solid for at least a year due to his current push. Ironically it is Hardy’s contract that was the impetus for his current push.
Dave Meltzer reports that the reason for the big push is to keep Hardy happy. The thinking is that by Hardy getting the top star treatment in TNA, he would opt to stay as opposed to leave for the WWE where he would never get that spot as long as John Cena is around. At 35 years old, you have to wonder if Hardy puts a priority on his spot over money.
Hardy left the WWE in 2009 when his contract expired. Unlike the previous time he left the company, Hardy left on his own terms. Hardy returned to TNA Wrestling just in time for the short lived Monday Night Wars. The return to TNA was a bit of a blow to the WWE who reportedly felt that Hardy was coming back.
In another strange twist of irony, Hardy was arrested on multiple drug charges just a few weeks after leaving the WWE. I say ironically because there is a possibility that the WWE would have released Hardy at the time in the face of negative publicity. Hardy eventually pled guilty to lesser charges and served 10 days in jail.
Hardy has certainly had his personal struggles. The Victory Road incident will probably go down as the lowest of his struggles. Hardy took time off and returned several months later, using the incident as part of his return angle. All reports I have read and heard is that Hardy has truly turned his life around since Victory Road and has been a model employee for TNA Wrestling.
The pink elephant in the room here is the TNA/WWE lawsuit. TNA is currently suing the WWE over leaked information and contract tampering. No TNA free agents including Ric Flair have been signed by the WWE since the lawsuit. I have to wonder if this moratorium on negotiating with ex-TNA talent will come to an end in time to talk to Jeff or if the WWE will stay out of the game in the interest of the lawsuit.
The timing couldn’t be better for Hardy. The WWE desperately needs a new big star. Going back to the well isn’t always the answer, but in this case it could work beautifully. When Hardy left he was the second most popular star in the WWE behind John Cena. Right now there is a huge gap between Cena and Randy Orton and Sheamus who are probably the two and three top babyfaces. Hardy would close that gap giving the WWE a true top babyface for the SmackDown roster and a huge boost of depth if Cena was to get hurt. Not to mention, a second go-around with CM Punk would fit in perfectly at WrestleMania. The Hardys have been vocal on Punk since leaving the WWE. The renewed rivalry would be a natural.
Unfortunately that little thing called a lawsuit may prevent that from happening.