Matt and Jeff Hardy, brothers from Cameron, North Carolina, collectively dubbed The Hardy Boyz, have certainly left their mark on professional wrestling. Beginning their careers in their own grassroots indy known as OMEGA (The Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts), the pair quickly climbed the ranks of the wrestling world to become the cornerstone Tag Team of the WWE, in its Attitude Era. Memorable are their feuds and tables, ladders, and chair matches with Edge and Christian and The Dudley Boys. Even after splitting as a team and going their own ways, the two brothers individually had impressive singles runs, each winning numerous singles and each continuing to reinvent their looks and their characters along the way to keep fresh and relevant during their 20 year careers.
While the Hardys have certainly had memorable careers and have cemented themselves as Tag Team legends, they have also had a few stumbles along the way — personally and creatively. Both with a checkered past, histories of drug addiction, and questionable life choices, the Hardys have often found their place underneath the negative light of the wrestling media. Furthermore, while both are certainly creative, enigmatic individuals, their choices of expression have at times been odd and abstract to say the least.
Thus, as Matt and Jeff are certainly two oddball individuals, never afraid to color outside the lines, the following is a list of the 15 strangest things that the Hardy boys have ever done, throughout their storied careers in the world of wrestling.
15. Jeff’s Gathering of the Juggalos 2016 Breakdown
“The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, was a featured performer in the main event match at this year’s Bloodymania event at the 2016 Gathering of the Juggalos. Facing off in a three-way match against Kongo Kong and “The Chocolate Juggalo” Willie Mack, Jeff took to the ring deep into the night in front of a ruckus crowd of Faygo drinking, weed smoking, clown-faced fans who are all down with the Dark Carnival. While this is already a weird circumstance in and of itself, things got weirder during Jeff’s post match antics. YouTube Videos have surfaced of Jeff pacing around the ring then deciding to drop kick and break various ladders and tables for no apparent reason. He even reportedly held a cardboard cutout of former WCW star El Dandy to the sky in tribute thinking it was a cutout of Eddie Guerrero. The fact that a cardboard cutout of El Dandy exists may be the strangest part of this story, but these antics by Jeff were cringe inducing to fans, and have fans questioning whether Jeff has fallen off the wagon, or if Jeff is simply selling his character from recent weeks of TNA Impact! Wrestling outside the context of that show.
14. Fear Factor
Fear Factor was a hit game show on NBC in the early 2000’s. Hosted by stand-up comedian, UFC color commentator, and podcast empresario Joe Rogan, the show had contestants perform a series of high-risk, adrenaline inducing stunts or gross-out eating challenges. The show premiered a special WWE edition of Fear Factor, featuring none-other than “Team X-tream” which of course includes both the Hardy Boyz and Lita. After high altitude stunts involving a helicopter and consumption milkshakes consisting of various animal testitcles, Matt Hardy proved he was the most extreme of Team X-tream by completing the challenges better than anyone else and coming out on top as WWE’s Fear Factor Champion. The show itself was a strange sensation in the collective genre of reality/competition shows, and many Fear Factor fans are clamoring for a comeback Tournament of Champion edition featuring Matt Hardy facing off against Tyrone Biggums.
13. The New Brood
The feud between the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian is revered as one of the greatest Tag Team feuds of the modern era. In the beginnings of this feud, Edge & Christian had split from The Brood, a trio which featured Gangrel, a vampire whose entrance to the ring featured him rising below the stage from a flaming platform, as he was presumably coming from the gates of Hell. After Edge & Christian split from Gangrel, WWE creative decided it would be a good move to stick The Hardys with Gangrel and form The New Brood. As Scott Hall has said, anything that is dubbed “The New” is garbage. This weird trio seemed very mismatched, and only lasted for a few weeks. Perhaps residing in Hell between matches was a little too “X-tream” for Matt and Jeff.
12. Matt & Jeff & “Freebird” Michael P.S. Hayes
WWE Hall of Famer Michael P.S. Hayes (the P.S. stands for Purely Sexy, for the uninformed) was himself part of one of the most legendary Tag Teams of all time, The Fabulous Freebirds. After his run through the eighties and into the early 1990’s as a Freebird, Hayes has worked as an on-screen personality for the WWE during the mid-to-late 90’s and then as a backstage creative team member ever since. Hayes, who always thought of himself as a cool, sexy, rock and roller type, managed to somehow insert himself into the Hardy Boyz’s run during 1999 when they were on top as the cool, young, babyface Tag Team of the moment. Now older and weathered from years on the road, Hayes worked on-screen as the team’s manager, and even dressed in the ridiculous looking white-stitched, black cargo pants and tight t-shirt that the Hardys would wear. The trio looked even more mismatched than The New Brood, as Hayes very much looked to be the older, has-been, former star trying to show he was still cool by associating himself with the cool, babyface team of the day.
11. Matt Breaks Jeff’s Arm At WrestleMania XXV
In 2009, WrestleMania XXV featured the culmination of the feud between the two brothers. It was the first time the two brothers had feuded in the WWE, with Jeff as a hot babyface who just came off of a WWE Title run and Matt as the vindictive, jealous brother. The feud was decent entertainment at the time, but featured one weird spot in particular during the match. In true Hardy fashion, the two squared off in a ladder match, but in exacting his revenge against his brother, after beating down Matt, Jeff tied his brother Matt to a table with rope, and proceed to jump off a ladder onto Matt, putting him to the table. However, unable to protect himself properly during the spot due to being tied up, Jeff ended up breaking his brother’s arm for real. Certainly, hindsight is 20/20, but there must have been a better way to end the feud without having to break one’s arm.
10. The Matt Hardy Suicide Note
After his departure from WWE a few years ago, there was a period now publicly known where Matt struggled with drug abuse, and posted odd, strange videos to the internet from time to time. In 2011, one idea that Matt thought was brilliant at the time was to post a suicide note to YouTube. Since his drug problems were known, and drug related overdoses and suicides are no stranger to the world of wrestling, many fans were concerned with this note and thought that Matt may actually be following through with his goodbye note. However, Matt only intended the video to be part of some sort of character reinvention, even if it was not perceived in that way. Regardless, posting a suicide note to YouTube is certainly one of the stranger things a wrestler has done.
9. Matt Hardy Surprise Return To WWE Versus Edge In 2005
Widely publicised at the time, Lita, longtime girlfriend of Matt Hardy had an affair with WWE superstar Edge, and Matt was released from the WWE a short time after. Edge was one of the hottest heels at the time, and fans in the crowd vehemently chanted for Matt’s return to the company. In one of the stranger moments on WWE Raw, Matt made a legitimate surprise return during a run-in on the show, attacking Edge, but WWE made the strange creative decision to have Matt repeatedly shout “F–k WWE! R-O-H!” This is strange for two reasons. One, WWE allowing the repeated use of the F-word on their television show, even if done in a censored but obvious fashion. Even in a non-PG era of WWE television, using the F-word in 2005 on their show would be a big no-no. Two, WWE having Matt repeatedly shout “R-O-H”, of course referring to Ring of Honor, as Matt did some dates for the independent promotion during his time away from WWE during that time. WWE never, never promotes any competition, no matter how small on their television, and has a history of never acknowledging other promotions in an attempt to solidify their wrestling world as the only wrestling world that exists. The whole scenario was strange, and has never truly been repeated since.
8. Jeff Carries King Mabel
Before rising to stardom with The Hardy Boyz, a very young Jeff hardy worked many matches as a jobber for the WWE, losing in style to WWE superstars such as The 1-2-3 Kid, Owen Hart and Razor Ramon. Around this time, Mabel won the 1995 King of the Ring Tournament, and then donned the elaborate gimmick of being a king. After becoming King Mabel, the superheavyweight, monstrosity was carried to the ring on a throne on the shoulders of many men for his entrance. Both Jeff and Matt were lucky enough to be one of the men who carried the 500 pound man to the ring for his matches and different occasions. Indeed, it is weird to think that two of the several jabronis who carried King Mabel to the ring on their shoulders would later become two of the biggest stars in the WWE.
7. Heel Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy is one of the greatest, fiery, white-meat babyfaces of the modern era. In the vein of traditional babyfaces such as Ricky Steamboat, or Ricky Morton, Jeff could certainly get the people behind him, especially the female fans, and have a crowd rally for his comeback. For this reason, it was quite strange in 2012 during his TNA run when Jeff decided we wanted to be a heel. It was both weird, and awesome. Jeff, Champion at the time, decided to change to switch the traditional belt to an ugly purple strapped, silver plated, Hardy-inspired trinket and started smoking a cigarette to the ring. If there’s one thing babyfaces do not do, except for The Sandman, it is smoke cigarettes. While odd, the heel run for Jeff provided some decent entertainment, and showed another side of what Jeff was capable of as a performer.
6. Willow The Wisp
Mick Foley was known for being Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love. The man successfully portrayed all three characters. He could wrestle as Mankind one week, then wrestle as Dude Love the next week, and none of the fans complained. The ability to switch personas is difficult, as proven by Jeff Hardy who will sometimes appear on independent shows or even on TNA Wrestling as his other character Willow the Wisp. Willow is difficult to describe, as he wears what could be described as either a flaming or melting, black and white mask, carries a matching umbrella, and speaks in a high, shrieking voice. Willow looks like a mix between a boss you would encounter in a Final Fantasy game, and someone you would shout “Whoop, whoop!” to then drink a Faygo with at a Gathering of the Juggalos. The character was never featured in WWE, but Jeff appears to love portraying this character, even though Jeff Hardy on his own is clearly a bigger and more engaging star. The character may be too strange for most fans to get into, but one can respect Jeff Hardy for putting effort into thinking outside the box.
5. Jeff Hardy’s Musical Endeavors
Michael P.S. Hayes, who himself recorded his own rock and roll record, may have influenced Jeff to pursue his own musical career. Jeff himself recorded his own TNA Wrestling entrance theme which featured inspiring lyrics such as, “Showcase the skills you were given at birth, life your life for what it’s worth.” Jeff Hardy as a solo artist has released two albums, and another album with his band PeroxWhy?Gen (pronounced Pure Oxygen). The music is kind of nu-metal, a bit on the weird side. It is strange that so many wrestlers, Jeff included, decide they want to also be rock and roll stars. Perhaps one day many a wrestling fan’s dream will be realized when Michael P.S. Hayes, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Konnan, “Road Dogg” Jesse James, Mickie James and John Cena all collaborate on a track.
4. Matt Hardy Loves Grapes
Definitely one of the weirdest videos any wrestler has ever posted to the internet, in 2011, Matt Hardy posted a video of himself working out in his own wrestling ring at his home, looking perhaps less than sober, eating grapes. Yes, eating grapes. Matt Hardy ate a bunch of grapes, and did proclaim that he in fact loves grapes. Why would he post this? Is he trying to get a sponsorship deal with Welch’s? Nobody except for Matt knows the real answer. Honestly, just writing this is quite strange. “Matt Hardy loves grapes” no doubt is one of the most weird things either Matt or Jeff Hardy has ever done.
3. Shoots On CM Punk
Without question, the best promo that Jeff Hardy ever cut in his wrestling career was a promo shot at a diner at 3am where he shoots on CM Punk. Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks (UFC 0-0, MMA 0-0) apparently has longtime heat with both Matt and Jeff. In the video, Jeff calls CM Punk a nerd, says the only reason he is a star is because he put him over, states he is too cocky to others, calls out the straight edge CM Punk for taking Ambien to go to sleep (which he notes is a prescription drug), and flips him off. The video then cuts to premier athlete, Matt Hardy, eating a plate of French fries and talking about Punk dating his ex-girlfriend, Lita. The two were allegedly drunk and/or on drugs at the time, but one could argue that in the video Jeff demonstrates some exceptional promo ability that has gone largely overlooked in his body of work.
2. Sting Shoot Pins Jeff Hardy
TNA Victory Road 2011 was headlined by Jeff Hardy vs Sting, a match that was an 89 second blunder and embarrassment to TNA Wrestling. To recap, Jeff came to the ring clearly messed on mind-altering substances, Eric Bischoff came to the ring to talk on the microphone and buy time as he slipped Jeff hardy something to ingest, the bell rang and Sting almost immediately hit the Scorpion Death Drop on Hardy for the pin, which Jeff clearly tries to kick out of for real as Sting struggles to keep Jeff’s shoulders on the mat. As the match ends, the fans chant “Bullsh*t” as Sting shouts back “I agree!” The pay-per-view main event was such a blunder that TNA actually offered refunds to anyone who requested one. The fact that TNA actually let Jeff wrestle that messed up is one of the darker moments in their less than admirable past, and certainly a weird moment in time that maybe Jeff wishes he could take back.
1. The Final Deletion
Perhaps the most talked about, most creative, most important, and definitely most weird thing to happen in wrestling in 2016 has been the saga of short films presented by TNA Wrestling known as The Final Deletion. Any wrestling fan who has not seen The Final Deletion is doing him or herself a disservice. The films available on YouTube, shot and directed by Jeremy Borash, featuring Matt Hardy as the crazy, lunatic, “Broken” Matt Hardy, his wife Reby, his son Maxel, his gardener Senior Benjamin, Brother Nero, a surprise appearance from another Hardy character, and a series of Matt Hardy’s attack drones is the right amount of campy goodness that wrestling sometimes needs. The video is too quality to describe with any justice and does not need to be spoiled here, and is certainly a testament to the weirdness that is The Hardy Boyz.