Amidst Jeff Hardy’s recent “almost-no-show” at TNA’s Final Resolution (I put that in quotation marks because, despite “eye witness” accounts that Hardy was shaking and mumbling all over the iMPACT! Zone Sunday night, I still believe this was a last-second work to create buzz for a shitty TNA pay-per-view), Dusty’s recent blog about TNA’s general ineptitude, and Bruce Mitchell’s VIP column about Hardy likely dying young despite Shannon “Don’t Tell Dad, the Baby’s Dead” Moore watching over him oh-so-carefully, Jeremy and I were discussing the Coke-addicted Inhaler and his actual worth to TNA. Jeremy said, “It’s still amazing TNA isn’t making more of Jeff Hardy.” I immediately countered with debunking ways Hardy could be made more of.
A) Personal appearances. Ha. Hahahaha. HAHAHAHA. HAAAHAHAHAHAAHHAHA!! Yeah right, send Jeff Hardy on the road more often to interact with fans, that’s really putting TNA’s best foot forward. It’s like Jake Roberts continuing to take indy bookings: just another excuse to do drugs and send your life spiraling downward even faster. Sure, a few dozen people might stand in line to have their picture taken with a half-awake Hardy (“Does your camera give everyone red eye that badly?”), but what happens the day some impressionable 10-year-old boy with face paint and netted sleeves asks for an autograph and ends up with a shirt-full of last night’s Waffle House, set off by this morning’s foxy methoxy? You’re killing a little boy’s dream. (And a grown man’s hallucinations.)
B) PPV main events. Twelve minutes against Matt Morgan was the best they could muster this month, and that match was all smoke and mirrors, with a Mr. Anderson ref bump and everything. Not even the best match on the show, which is kinda what main events are supposed to be, y’know, sometimes. How’s he going to match up against Rob Van Dam, who’s surely sick of carrying everyone and their grandma to a 3-star “five-star” match. Or Jeff Jarrett, who couldn’t headline his way out of a wet paper MMA gimmick? Or Kurt Angle, who will be one of two things: pilled to the gills himself, or so pissed that Hardy is blowed up that he makes potato salad out of the waify Hardy? Which also leads to…
C) Good quality matches. Hardy is so formulaic anymore (Twist of Hate here, Twist of Hate there, X-Factor here, Swanton in 3, 2…) and he’s so broken down physically and mentally that his days of having an exciting Jeff Hardy-style match are long gone. Good for WWE, then, for asking him to plunge off the Titantron as often as they did while he still could, because there’s a lot he can’t do anymore.
D) Promos. Heh. The only memorable thing he’s said in a long time was something about Matt Morgan and “taking out that big mother fucker.” He says things like that because he’s so hillbilly and he works for a company that pretends to be edgy. Whoopee, Jeff Hardy has a new lease on life because he works for a company that will let him say anything he wants to. Yeah, Hulk Hogan drew a ton of money because he “bodyslammed that big mother fucker, brother.” Even Steve Austin left it up to his middle fingers to say the worst of the bad words. Hardy was hitting his stride (which isn’t saying much) at the end of his WWE run, and that was before he was re-welcomed to the jungle. Now he just garbles his way through greasy-spoon promos on wrestlers who are way better (and better off) than him.
E) Merchandise. Once again, there’s that 10-year-old wearing the netted sleeves. Um, how many 10-year-olds watch TNA? (And conversely, how many sweaty, smelly, late-20-somethings watch it, and wouldn’t be caught dead in their mom’s basement wearing Hardy gear? You can’t pick up chicks at the comic book store wearing that shit.)
So let’s be honest: WWE wrung Jeff Hardy for all he was worth before seeing the writing on the wall and cutting his ass so he could wallow in TNA, a place down south Hardy’s little buddies are jumping and tweeting and podcasting at the chance to go to. Little do they know they’re only going to catch a falling star, then turn him over so he doesn’t drown in a pile of puke. Is it better to burn out than to fade away? I’m sure we’ll find out sooner than later.