Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingTNA Impact Wrestling Needs to Do More Than Fire Matt Hardy

TNA Impact Wrestling Needs to Do More Than Fire Matt Hardy

Matt HardyThe popular joke question to ask is how much does it take to get someone fired from Impact Wrestling? Turns out “do everything Matt Hardy has done since signing” is the answer, seeing as he was given his walking papers Saturday after receiving a DWI in response to a single vehicle car accident where he slammed his Camaro into a tree.

The reaction has been that finally, Impact Wrestling has started taking care of its lax attitude regarding drugs. Yeah, that’s like lauding the police department for taking care of a serial rapist after the twelfth victim. But it’s a step in the right direction, right? Well yeah, until you read reports saying that his brother Jeff will be returning to television at Thursday’s tapings in Huntsville.

[adinserter block=”2″]Meanwhile, Kurt Angle is still on the roster with no repercussions stemming from several incidents, the most recent being a charge in North Dakota where he was found with his car off road in an embankment while intoxicated. Reports have been published that Impact has regular drug testing and yet no action is taken on any positive test. All of this makes firing Hardy look like a Band-Aid on a hatchet wound.

As a kicker, there was speculation arising from the fact that Hardy had changed his Twitter bio to “Matt no longer has boundaries.. And plans on becoming what I’m destined to be..” BEFORE the accident, which lends credence to the theory that the DWI and the drug use that was associated with it had nothing to do with the firing.

Let’s face it, Hardy has not been a model employee for any company, even if you subtract the drug usage from the equation. His capacity for complaining about his employers in public is legendary. It’s wholly possible that Hardy was let go because the suits at Panda Energy and maybe even Dixie Carter herself were tired of his shtick. If that’s the case, and his accident was a coincidence, then what does that say about Impact’s management? Take all the drugs you want, and even get popped for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and that’s fine, but annoy us and you’re gone? That’d be unbelievable if true.

That being said, even if the firing was in response to the DWI (and for now, that’s the most logical and true explanation), I’m not so sure Impact looks good here at all, especially if his brother Jeff shows up in Huntsville on Thursday “in no condition to perform”. I’m going to read like a broken record sounds here, but if Impact Wrestling wants to play with the big boys, they need to act like the big boys in regards to committing to a safe, drug-free workplace. In their own field, the market leader has a Wellness Policy.

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Whether you think WWE enforces that policy selectively or whether it’s misplaced is irrelevant. People get popped under that policy, whether it’s a star like Rey Mysterio or an otherwise nameless referee like Mike Chioda. Again, I’ve written about this before, but it’s federally mandated by OSHA that the workplace needs to be drug-free.

Again, this means mandatory drug testing and suspensions for failures. This means wrestlers get sent to rehab if they’re recidivist drug offenders. This means a structure is put around these men and women, and those who have the temerity to show up to work clean and sober don’t have to fear for their lives trying to handle someone drunk or stoned out of their minds.

[adinserter block=”1″]It doesn’t mean looking the other way when you’re found in your car drunk in Grand Forks. It doesn’t mean bringing someone back after they were sent home for showing up to work stoned without any rehab. And it certainly doesn’t mean waiting for the fourth or fifth offense to fire someone who causes a major black eye to the company. Matt Hardy getting terminated wasn’t even the least Impact Wrestling could do to combat his self-destructive behavior as an employee of their company.

Let’s not pretend otherwise just because they finally got off their asses and did something when their hand was beyond forced.

Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, a lot of false facts in this article. First off, OSHA does NOT require companies to have drug free workplace programs, please get your facts straight.

    "Although not required by OSHA, drug-free workplace programs are natural compliments to other initiatives that help ensure safe and healthy workplaces and add value to America’s businesses and communities." (US Department of Labor website). Again, it is something they try and push, but please do not make up facts when anyone with a brain can look this up and show how wrong you are.

    Second, yes not consistently following your drug policy is relevant. Busting people can be legit, but it can also be used to punish people as a political move and then try and cover it and say it was a drug violation, when it was nothing of the sort (ex. Rey's suspension in 2009 was questionable, as he was given 72 hours to turn in a prescription and WWE gave him half of that before the suspension happened, not to mention Randy Orton being involved in the 2007 online pharmacy scandal and was the only one not punished.). Sorry, but saying you have a drug policy and not being consistent is VERY relevant.

    Finally, OSHA focuses this [policy on employees, and technically wrestlers are not employees but independent contractors (sorry but there is a difference) and unless you work for the company at the main office, the workplace becomes ill-defined by OSHA standards. While I can commend WWE for trying a drug policy, they really have a long way to go to convince me of it being really legitimate and not just a PR stunt (outside of offering rehab for former employees).

    Again, please get your facts straight before writing clear falsehoods. While Matt Hardy is turned into a joke, the rest of the article was not even close to being good.

  2. Great read TH. I think you answered your own question, though; it was probably a "speedball" of his reckless social networking practice AND the DWI. From a story standpoint, once they toyed around with Anderson and Angle leading Immortal, Matt Hardy simply became disposable dead weight.

    • You would think he would have learned a lesson when he got fired by the WWE both times for mouthing off on social networking sites. I can almost guarantee that, now that he's been fired by by a major U.S. promotion a third time, he still won't learn his lesson. I expect him to do nothing but work the indies and maybe Mexico. Despite what some are saying, I don't expect ROH to take him in, especially since Jim Cornette knows Hardy all too well.

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