Jeff Hardy and Sheamus went head to head in a bar fight on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown, marking the latest segment in a polarizing storyline that has revolved around Hardy’s addiction struggles. In a post-match interview, as reported by Ringside News, Hardy shared his thoughts on the angle and revealed that he hopes it’s behind him.
“The bar match was intense just like I expected it to be, but now that it’s over hopefully my dead horse of a soul the last few months can finally stop being beat if you know what I’m saying because it’s just the demons and the struggle with alcoholism it’s kinda overwhelming at times, but now that this is behind me it’s time to move onto something brighter and better, but it’s my past.”
The veteran went on to say that every day is a challenge for him, but he looks forward to continuing to overcome his demons and make good decisions. He also won last night’s match, suggesting that the rivalry with “The Celtic Warrior” is finally over.
It’s clear that the angle has been difficult for Hardy to participate in. He recently went to rehab following some brushes with the law for alcohol-related incidents in 2019. Since returning to WWE television, he’s essentially had to relive parts of it.
The nature of the storyline has also been very soap opera-esque. Even though it’s dealt with a serious subject matter, some critics haven’t enjoyed how the story has been presented as shock value entertainment.
The storyline has received some criticism since it began, especially from FOX. The segment in which Hardy was forced to take a urine test on live television, only to throw the contents over his rival afterward, reportedly upset some network executives. It was subsequently removed from replays of the show.
The Ringside News report also highlighted how some of Hardy’s friends and peers felt uncomfortable watching the angle unfold. Though it’s not uncommon for the company to incorporate real-life drama into angles, many felt that focusing on Hardy’s legal and personal issues was insensitive.
The latest brawl also saw Hardy become his “Brother Nero” alter ego, suggesting that fans might get to see him compete in more lighthearted segments moving forward. Winning the fight in a boozy establishment also symbolizes Hardy’s growth, as he was able to overcome temptation.
Hardy has teased some potential feuds in recent months, which could be a sign of his future creative direction.