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The Jeff Hardy Second Chance Motel
I want to coin that phrase right now before Mr. Hardy labels his Wellness Center that. Let me get it right off my chest right at the start here: I am not a big Jeff Hardy fan but I don’t dislike him, either. With that said, I did find parts of his WWE career entertaining while most, if not all, of his TNA career lackluster or just rehash. The problem with Jeff Hardy is that his shtick is all he can do. He is a daredevil with a strong heart to keep going no matter the odds. That is Jeff Hardy is one sentence. This article isn’t about Jeff’s persona, though. This is all about his personal issues, how they’ve effected his career, and the chances he’s gotten to made amends.
Jeff’s drug problems have gotten in the way of his wrestling career way more than just the one time people nowadays talk about. Sure, the Sting match was huge news and not only ruined an entire PPV but publicly put a company in a bad position. However, Jeff’s done this sort of thing to TNA before. With Jeff’s first run with the company he was notorious for not showing up to shows he was advertised for. This eventually got Jeff released. This wasn’t the end of the road for the more popular Hardy, though. Once again, Jeff showed just how good he was with fans when he’s on his A-game and jumped up in the ranks as soon as he returned to the WWE.
With so many chances being thrown at one guy the big question pops up all the time: is he worth it? Jeff can make a crowd jump up on their feet but if the risk worth the potential buyrates? Money now for a guy with history of no-shows, drugged up on the job, and a tendency for failing tests. To me, it doesn’t seem worth it. Has Jeff shown he can change for the better and head down the right road? Not yet. I sincerely hope he can and does, but as for right now, I’d keep Jeff far away from the main event and advertisement. Let his appearances and matches be impromptu until you can trust the man. This is not what TNA has done. In fact, Jeff is back in the main event and posted all over TNA. Not only do I see this as a mistake but a huge, huge risk for the company. If something bad happens again, it will be the third time TNA gets snubbed by Hardy. Let me rephrase that if I want to use that last name, fourth time they get snubbed by a Hardy.
Jeff isn’t the only wrestler with a drug problem. Jeff may get the most attention due to his main event status and championship reigns but his brother Matt has had major issues recently that led to embarrassing YouTube videos, tweets by his family and girlfriend, and multiple DUI charges. Matt seems to be heading on the right path but that remains to be seen. With Jeff’s issues in the books, history is not on Matt’s side. I hope everything works out for the Hardy’s, I really do. No one should have to be plagued with these problems and especially if it ruins or hampers a career. The Hardy Boyz were major players in the tag division and even had great solo stints. It would be great to see both back to their former glories.
Stepping away from the Hardy’s, a wrestling/drug article can’t continue without mentioning the tragic tale of Scott Hall. The Bad Guy himself has been through so much torment and problems that while watching the e60 Scott Hall Story it was hard not to get emotional and feel for the guy. The decision to pick up drugs is always a personal one and the fault is brought on the person. However, Scott’s story is so tragic that it hits the heart. Evan Bourne is the most recent drug problem to hit the wrestling blogs with his second suspension top news right now. With a 60-day break from work and pay, Bourne has some serious thinking to do before he loses his job. He already has an uphill battle to regain trust with the WWE brass.
Drugs in wrestling seem to go hand-in-hand with how much pain they go through. Although these stories can be tragic and irritating to watch a great talent fall so far, some of the blame can be placed on the companies themselves. When Linda McMahon was immersed in politics, WWE’s practice of not hiring wrestlers as employers and giving proper insurance entered mainstream news. The company was being investigated as more of Linda’s competitors brought to light wrestler deaths and issues to hinder not only her progress but show a big problem in the top wrestling organization in the world. For a company that makes that much money, perhaps the WWE Network isn’t the best project to spend so much on. They should be focusing on making sure the talent that helps reap in that cash can persist and make it to the next show.