Jeff Hardy, along with his brother Matt, redefined what pro wrestlers could achieve. The Hardys brought a very unique flair and style to their matches. They leaped off ropes as if it was second nature. They risked their lives in ladder matches and in other death-defying competitions.
And it’s paid off for Jeff Hardy in spades. He’s won several tag team and individual championships in his career, mostly by performing moves that would make the average person wince in pain. For example, look what he went through just to win the WWE Championship at a 2008 pay-per-view.
But for all the times Jeff Hardy ascended to the highest levels available to him, he also battled more than a few demons. Just a few years removed from that WWE championship run, Hardy faced legendary wrestler Sting in the headlining event of TNA Victory Road. As you can see from the video, Jeff Hardy is in NO condition to wrestle, and someone had to come out and “call an audible” and end the match as quickly as possible.
This has been, unfortunately, a pattern for Jeff Hardy. One of the most talented and gifted wrestlers of his generation, he’s also been arrested several times for DUI and drug possession.
We now spin forward to December 2021. At a WWE house show, Jeff Hardy performs in a tag match with Drew McIntyre. At some point in the match, Hardy tags McIntyre to enter the ring, then Hardy abruptly leaves through the crowd. He didn’t finish the match. WWE sent him home, and he was later released.
He received one final chance, this time with All Elite Wrestling, where he could team once again with his brother Matt. The Hardys competed in several tag matches, most notably an 8-man “Tornado” match against Private Party, Darby Allin & Sting, and The Butcher & The Blade. And yes, that’s Jeff Hardy actually LEAPING off the side of the building to come crashing down upon The Butcher and The Blade. Owie.
Plans were in place this Wednesday for an all-out ladder match for the AEW tag team titles, where the Hardys would face The Young Bucks, a team whose career were inspired by the high-flying Hardys, and Jurassic Express, the team currently possessing the tag titles.
This was all scheduled for Wednesday. For all intents and purposes, it looked as if the Hardys would claim tag team gold tomorrow night.
Then Jeff Hardy made an appearance – not in a pro wrestling ring, but in a courtroom.
Jeff Hardy was arrested on driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs for the third time in ten years. He was also arrested for driving with a suspended driver’s license, and for blowing a BAC of at least 0.29. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.
Imagine what 0.29 means. Jeff Hardy was essentially blackout drunk AND behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. And his car was supposed to contain an interlock device, which required the driver to blow into a tube to prevent the driver from operating the vehicle while inebriated. Hardy’s car did not have such a device installed.
Here’s where I have a huge problem. Jeff Hardy needs help. He needs an intervention. Not so that he can wrestle again. He needs one so that he doesn’t fucking kill somebody on the road.
And if you don’t believe me, let’s look at another pro wrestler whose post-ring life has spiraled completely out of control.
That would be Tammy Sytch.
I wrote about Tammy Sytch six years ago – here’s the link – and in the final words of that blog, I wrote this message to Sytch. Keep in mind, this was written in 2016.
“I only hope that the next time I hear about you, it’s for an amazing achievement in your life. A success. A personal growth and accomplishment. You were always better than this. And I know you will be better than this in the future.“
I should note that earlier this year, Tammy Sytch drove under the influence – with a suspended license – and caused a car crash that resulted in the death of another driver. Ugh.
Is this what you want, Jeff Hardy? Do you want your life consumed by addiction?
Let’s put it as clearly as possible.
You need help. You need professional help. You need rehab. You need counseling. You don’t need pro wrestling. You don’t need to drive off the top rope any more. You need to pull yourself back from the brink.
I don’t want the next appearance of Jeff Hardy to be in a Dark Side of the Ring documentary where everyone talks about what went wrong with Jeff Hardy and how his career – and possibly his life – came to a sad ending.
You’re better than this, Jeff. You can fight the demons. Don’t let the demons fight you.
And don’t even think of entering a wrestling ring right now.
Enter rehab instead.