There are very few wrestlers that are universally loved by people of all ages. In an age where ‘heels’ get cheered and ‘baby faces’ get mixed reactions from the WWE universe, there is one superstar who has thrilled everyone with his daredevil antics over the last two decades.
Jeff Hardy burst onto the screen as a fresh faced youngster along with his brother Matt. The Hardys along with Edge, Christian and the Dudley Boyz revolutionized the tag team division, as they took tag team wrestling to another level all together.
As time passed, Jeff Hardy started pursing his singles career and was seemingly poised for great things. But his off ring problems with substance abuse came back to haunt him, as the WWE decided to cut ties with him.
It is a testament to his talent that Vince McMahon still had enough faith to bring him back to the company in 2006. And Jeff did not disappoint.
For the next two years, Jeff Hardy was as hot as anyone on that roster. He would comfortably get one of the biggest pops of the night, as the daredevil thrilled the crowds and ruled the mid card on Monday Night Raw.
His first tryst with the main event came against Randy Orton in early 2008. Hardy was scheduled to face the Viper at the Royal Rumble PPV in Madison Square Garden.
While Jeff did not prevail, the momentum that he garnered from the fans en route to his showdown with Orton showed a lot of promise for his main event career.
In that year’s draft, he was moved to SmackDown, where he became one of the faces of the blue brand. He faced Triple H for the WWE Championship on multiple occasions, but fell agonizingly short every time.
With the WWE universe firmly behind him, Jeff Hardy spent the rest of 2008 chasing the one championship that had eluded him so far in his career.
By the time 2008 was coming to a close, Hardy was arguably the biggest face in the company, even surpassing John Cena. His merchandise sales were fantastic, and the fans could not get enough of him.
But the top brass of the WWE were not too keen on giving him the WWE Championship. His problems outside the ring still cast major question marks over him being a viable champion to represent the company.
In what seemed like his last opportunity to win the gold, Hardy faced off against Edge and Triple H at the Armageddon PPV. In what was a last minute decision, Vince took the call to make Jeff Hardy the champion.
Thirty minutes and a swanton bomb later, Hardy realized the dream of a life time. Jeff Hardy’s story from dare devil to champion was one of the greatest sagas that ever unfolded on WWE television.
Now, in 2017 Jeff Hardy has just started another singles run in the company which made him the superstar that he is. Eleven years since his last return, Jeff seems poised to earn another push into the main event.
With the crowd still behind him, Jeff has the chance to bring back the glory days. And if he gets anywhere near as hot as he was ten years ago, then Vince will not hesitate to rekindle that old love affair once again.