Many fans are clamoring for Jeff Hardy to make his WWE return, but as we know, he’s enjoying a late-career renaissance of sorts as part of his ongoing TNA storyline with his brother, “Broken” Matt Hardy, and Matt’s family. But “Brother Nero” hasn’t exactly ruled out the WWE, nor a “dream match” with The Undertaker, even if he admits enjoying how things are currently going for him and his brother in TNA.
Matt and Jeff Hardy had long been associated with WWE, debuting for the company as teenaged jobbers in the mid-1990s before getting their first significant push in the latter part of the decade. As such, they were among the mainstays of WWE’s Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras. But as fast-paced as The Hardy Boyz were in the ring, Jeff in particular had lived a similarly fast lifestyle outside of the ring, leaving the WWE in 2003 due to a number of factors, including his drug use.
Jeff returned to WWE in 2006 after spending some time in TNA, but was back in TNA in 2010, with his older brother Matt following suit a year later. They’ve been there since then, and even with the brothers now among the older competitors in the company, the ongoing storyline rivalry between “Broken” Matt and “Brother Nero” has kept them among TNA’s most popular wrestlers. But what does this mean as far as a Matt and/or Jeff Hardy WWE return is concerned?
Speaking to Sports Illustrated in an interview published Wednesday, Jeff Hardy looked back on his two-plus decades in the wrestling business. He talked about how he “used to have no fear” when executing high-flying maneuvers, but has since toned things down. At 39-years-old, Jeff is “not a kid in the WWE anymore,” and now feels fear at times due to the fact he has a wife and two children. Still, he admitted that he still “feeds off (the) adrenaline” he gets from his fans, thereby overcoming the gripping fear he gets prior to matches.
Jeff also shared stories from some of his memorable WWE and TNA matches, and hyped up TNA’s upcoming Total Nonstop Deletion event on December 15, where he and Matt will “show off even more of our personalities” in what should be the “most fun” wrestling show out there. Additionally, he took time to promote Spawn of Me, his new EP, which features a song, “Irreversible,” discussing his fear of being diagnosed with CTE.
Most interestingly, however, Jeff Hardy addressed those WWE return rumors, and what the chances are of a possible return to the company where the Hardy Boyz first made their name.
“People always ask Matt and I if we’ll ever go back to WWE, but we are having such a good time with this creative liberty in TNA. We’re able to do what we want to do. The show is built around us, and that’s something that makes me really proud.”
Rumors had also suggested in the past that Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 may be a thing, and Jeff had done his part to fuel those rumors in a July 2016 interview with L.A. Weekly, talking about how much fun it would be to face the “Deadman” at WWE’s flagship pay-per-view. And while he still wants that match to happen, as he greatly respects The Undertaker as a locker room leader, he said that he remains committed to sticking around at TNA and helping the company in whatever way he and his brother could.
“Wrestling ‘Taker is still a dream match I would love to make happen—though I don’t know how his health is or if he’ll ever return to ‘Mania—and I was stuck on that for the longest time. Now I’m open to the idea of being a part of something new rather than something old. The stuff Matt and I are doing is so creative and fun, and I want to continue this journey for as long as I can—and make TNA the best company it possibly can be.”
Wrestling Inc had noted in July that Jeff’s TNA contract expires in February 2017, thus making a Jeff Hardy return to WWE and an Undertaker match at WrestleMania 33 plausible in terms of timelines. But many sources, including Paste Magazine, have called his and Matt’s storyline one of the few things that make TNA worth watching, what with so many big names (AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Sting, etc.) having left the company in recent years. So much can change in two months, but as suggested in his interview, it does seem as if Jeff Hardy is in a good place, both in and out of the ring.
[Featured Image by TNA Impact Wrestling]