On the latest episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Jeff Hardy was involved in a controversial segment that referenced his personal troubles pertaining to alcohol-related incidents. The segment saw him get arrested after he was discovered reeking of alcohol, following a car crash that resulted in Elias being taken away in an ambulance. While it proved to be a set-up in the end, the storyline has been criticized by several former WWE superstars, including CM Punk.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, Punk opened up about his thoughts on the storyline during the latest episode of WWE Backstage. According to Punk, WWE should be more considerate of the superstar’s well-being, as Hardy’s personal life is a sensitive subject.
“My thing with this segment and this story is that I believe somebody’s sobriety is very fragile and very important. We discussed whether they should do this with Jeff or shouldn’t do this with Jeff. We talk about how Jeff was okay with it. Maybe it’s his idea, he green-lit it, thumbs up.”
Punk has been involved in a WWE storyline that mined Hardy’s addiction issues for entertainment in the past. The pair feuded over the WWE Championship in 2009, with Punk working as a straight-edge heel. During the rivalry, he made mention of Hardy’s troubles to get heat, presumably at the command of the company’s creative team.
However, Punk doesn’t seem to be a fan of these types of angles. On WWE Backstage, he went on to state that there are other ways in which Hardy’s personal life can be acknowledged on television without resorting to the negative aspects.
“I think cleaning your life up and being sober is something to be proud of. We can champion that in different ways. I think this is the wrong way to go about it. You just don’t put him in front of that moving car.”
Punk’s co-panelists also agreed with his opinion regarding the storyline. According to Booker T, these angles never work out, and a performer’s alcoholism is a subject matter that shouldn’t be explored for the sake of adding heat to a rivalry.
Hardy returned to action earlier this year following a turbulent 2019 that saw him get arrested twice, once for a DUI and the other for public intoxication. He has since entered rehab and appears to be in recovery, and he’s now looking forward to getting on with his WWE career and working with some of his dream opponents.