Jeff Hardy is one lucky man at the right time of his career. Jeff Hardy’s WWE contract is coming due and he has yet to sign an extension. Early reports indicate Jeff may leave once his contract expires. Call him the gambler or a man with impeccable timing. Either way, the WWE is in trouble of losing one of its most popular stars at a very bad time.
Reports broke early in the week that Jeff Hardy has not signed his contract extension. Reports indicate that Jeff is burned out. Jeff has allegedly told friends and colleagues that he is ready to go home and take a lot of time off. This would be the second time Jeff left the company due to burnout. Unlike last time, this departure is on Jeff’s own terms.
Jeff Hardy left the WWE in 2003 for personal reasons. The WWE released Jeff from his contract due to issues outside of the ring. Jeff jumped to TNA for a run that started hot and fizzled towards the end. Jeff’s reported problems outside of the ring continued and led to Jeff and TNA going their separate ways. Most were stunned in 2006 when the WWE re-signed Jeff Hardy and brought back the former tag team and I-C champion.
Jeff returned and hit the ball rolling right away. Jeff returned and made a surprise appearance on RAW confronting Edge. It was apparent by the crowd reaction that the Jeff’s fan base never went away. Jeff continued to flourish and quickly rose up to become one of the WWE’s top babyfaces. Jeff’s big break came two years ago at the expense and like most big breaks, at the expense of a co-worker.
John Cena went down with an injury and the WWE was left scrambling for a new star. Chris Jericho returned for that spot, yet was unable to connect the way the WWE had wanted. This opened up the door for Jeff Hardy. Hardy began one of the most exciting feuds of 2007-early 2008 with Randy Orton for the WWE title. Hardy didn’t win the title, but did win a top spot in the hearts of WWE fans.
Unfortunately Jeff’s rise to stardom was interrupted by controversy. Jeff was suspended due to a breach of the Wellness Policy right before WWE WrestleMania XXIV. Hardy eventually regained the trust of the company and shot back into a top spot. Hardy realized his childhood dream last December defeating Edge and Triple H to win the WWE Championship. Hardy had finally reached the pinnacle of his career.
Hardy’s reign was brief yet successful. Hardy was accepted as a legitimate top guy rather than a fluke. Hardy was expected to feud with Christian through WrestleMania. WWE changed plans and thrust Jeff into a feud with his brother Matt. Jeff’s stubbornness in signing a new deal explains Matt’s win over Jeff at WrestleMania XXV. The feud with Matt is likely the beginning of the end for Jeff in the WWE.
Following the draft, Hardy was elevated into the top babyface behind Undertaker on SmackDown. Should Hardy leave, this would open a huge hole in that spot for the WWE. I would venture to guess that the WWE would move someone from RAW over to SmackDown or even turn Chris Jericho or Edge babyface. Should Hardy stay, he would likely see another title reign and a stable spot on top of the SmackDown brand.
Either way, Jeff Hardy really should be commended for his WWE run. Most doubted Hardy’s commitment when he returned to the company. Hardy well exceeded everyone’s expectations. Triple H and other top guys are quoted often when answering gripes about past stars who felt they were held back by the veterans. The veterans will always respond that those failed wrestlers should blame themselves for being unable to create their own opportunities.
Jeff Hardy is a prime-example of a guy who created his own opportunity, took the ball, and ran with it. Congratulations to Jeff Hardy for walking away on his own terms. Unfortunately for WWE fans, the WWE won’t be the same without Jeff Hardy. Jeff Hardy will undoubtedly be missed.
Buy a Jeff Hardy 33 x 73 standup by clicking here.
See Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy at WrestleMania XXV by pre-ordering the DVD. Click here to pre-order.
Check out TNA Wrestling’s Enigma: Best of Jeff Hardy DVD by clicking here.
Order the WWE – Twist Of Fate: The Matt And Jeff Hardy Story DVD by clicking here.
Headlocks and Eye Gouges – I will be back on Pro Wrestling Radio tonight. I will talk about the Jeff Hardy situation and I want your thoughts. I’ll also be talking about all of the fallout from TNA Lockdown, previewing WWE Backlash, recapping UFC 97, and more. Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen live at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp 7-8:30 PM/EST this and every Wednesday night.