The return of the Hardys stole the show at WrestleMania 33. Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy made a shocking surprise appearance in the Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match and walked out with the big red belts. The legendary tag team rejuvenated their careers in recent years to become the hottest names on the free agent market. WWE saw the golden opportunity to sign them and bring them back in a major way. The Hardys shocking return was the top trending video on YouTube the following day, earning WWE that accolade for the first time. Aside from The Undertaker’s likely retirement, the Hardys return was the biggest story of the night.
WWE is pushing them on Raw with their old music and reputations being the main story of focus. Two legends returning home and having a run against the current stars is what WWE is trying to accomplish with the storytelling. WWE is hoping fans have nostalgia and remember the best moments of Matt and Jeff. There are, however, many things WWE are hoping the fans won’t think about. We’ll look at fifteen specific moments from the lives of the Hardys that WWE wants the wrestling fans to forget.
13 Careers Reborn In TNA
The epic run of the Hardys over the past year all started in TNA. Most fans view TNA as an absolute joke, but the Hardys helped add relevance to the company in 2016. The introduction of Broken Matt and Brother Nero led to fans actually going out of their way to check out something in TNA. Matt started using the over the top character in his feud with Jeff and it actually worked.
TNA gave the Hardys the creative freedom to take their ideas to new levels. Memorable events like The Final Deletion, The Great War and Total Nonstop Deletion all took place in TNA. The wrestling community embraced the bizarre storytelling and the Hardys once again became massive stars. WWE does not like referencing TNA at all. They clearly don’t want fans knowing that this resurgence of popularity for the Hardys all started in TNA, despite not viewing the smaller company as competition in the slightest.
12 The Broken Hardys Universe
There have been quite a few people and concepts to help make the Broken Hardys concept a huge hit. Most fans want to see Broken Matt and Brother Nero in WWE rather than the normal versions of Matt and Jeff. WWE is reportedly waiting to clear a ridiculous TNA lawsuit and introduce the characters in their own way. The prior fixtures in the storyline world of the Hardys likely won’t be around in WWE.
Matt’s wife Reby Sky, his son King Maxel and his father in law Senor Benjamin will most likely not be a part of anything WWE related on screen. WWE is hoping fans forget about these characters. The Hardys compound where most of their special matches took place is likely also off the table. WWE will want to have their own choice for a location and add their own twists to the concepts the Hardys have become associated with. Even if you don’t want to forget about the Broken Universe the Hardys have created, WWE is going to make sure you will.
11 Jeff Wants To Swanton Off The Hell In A Cell
Jeff has been insistent over the past year or two that he wanted to end his career in WWE. The ultimate dream of Hardy was to wrestle The Undertaker at a future WrestleMania event inside of Hell in a Cell. Shane McMahon diving off the top of the cell at WrestleMania 32 apparently inspired Hardy to want to do the same. Jeff’s hope is to deliver the Swanton Bomb off the top of the cell onto an opponent on the commentary table.
Undertaker retiring means that scenario likely isn’t happening, but Jeff likely still wants to pull off this stunt with another opponent. The difficulty of such a move at that height with the very distant landing of the table is not a risk WWE would want to go with. WWE cares way more about good PR and keeping their talent safe compared to prior years. Jeff putting that idea out there is something the company definitely doesn’t like and hopes fans won’t expect.
10 Matt's Past Relationship With Lita
The love triangle between Matt, Lita and Edge was one of the most controversial times in WWE history. Lita cheated on Matt with Edge and the drama dominated the wrestling world. Matt revealed the information online leading to WWE firing him to avoid more issues with the other two. Fans led a movement to eventually bring Matt back on television in a feud with Edge using their very real story for entertainment purposes.
It all worked out in the end with all three parties having happy lives today. Still, it dominated all three careers for quite some time. WWE doesn’t want fans to remember the beloved Edge cheated on his wife with his friend’s girlfriend. Lita is now viewed as a legend and pioneer in women’s wrestling. WWE would not want her worst moment brought back to the surface. Matt is also a red hot star and way past that chapter of his life. The memory of the ugly drama was bad enough at the time to ever want to return to it in any way today.
9 Jeff Was Way Bigger WWE Star Than Matt
WWE brought back the Hardys as a tag team act. One of the goals here is the star power of the iconic team adding credibility to one of the struggling WWE tag divisions. The potential of a split down the road leading to singles runs is very possible, but any future breakup would definitely be treated as a surprise. For now, WWE wants fans to view both Matt and Jeff as complete equals in the team with little reference to their singles careers.
This is a hard task considering the immense success Jeff had as a singles star in his most recent WWE tenure. Jeff won the World Championship twice and the WWE Championship once as a huge fan favorite. At his peak, Jeff challenged John Cena for the position of top face in WWE. Matt was never close to that level in WWE. His singles career has thrived in TNA, but Jeff was a significantly bigger star than Matt in the WWE Universe.
8 Their 2009 Feud
Matt and Jeff managed to have one very intense feud in WWE during their careers there. The bitterness of Matt regarding Jeff’s success saw him turn on his brother to start a feud. Matt cost Jeff the World Championship leading into the big match at WrestleMania 25. WWE tried to set up a personal feud by having Matt deliver very personal attacks towards Jeff. A real life incident of heartbreak ended up being used on television.
A house fire saw Jeff’s house burn down in the same time frame of this feud. Sadly, Jeff’s dog was in the home and passed away as a result. WWE went the extra mile by using the incident to claim Matt was responsible for the fire. The Hardys likely both were okay with having the story used, but it still made for every uncomfortable television. WWE definitely would never do anything like that today. The memory is something they definitely don’t want associated with the returning brothers.
7 Jeff's Music Career
One of the passions for Jeff outside of the wrestling business is music. Jeff writes and performs his own songs on the side. TNA allowed him to use various songs through the years as his entrance theme as a way to promote the music. Before signing with WWE this year, Jeff was hoping to start touring as a musician. His band played a few shows with very small shows.
WWE already dislikes when their talent starts to branch out into other entertainment industries without the company benefiting. The idea of one of their biggest stars playing music in front of a tiny crowd is also not something they’d want associated. You have to believe WWE is hoping Jeff stops the music side project during his time in the company, given the hectic schedule. WWE won’t be helping push Jeff’s music career forward and he probably won’t have the time to tour.
6 Hardys "Shoot" Promo On CM Punk
Both Matt and Jeff had harsh words for CM Punk following Jeff’s WWE departure back in 2010. A video surfaced online of both Hardys under the influence of alcohol or drugs eating at a dinner. Jeff is spotted on camera talking trash to Punk for his straight edge lifestyle. The two worked together for months before Jeff left the company and their difference in philosophies led to great television, but also some personal issues.
Jeff called Punk a nerd, among other insulting, things before Matt chimed in as well. Matt clowned on Punk for dating Lita at the time and claimed Lita still called him during troubled times. Both Hardys came off poorly in the very embarrassing video. It was one of many low moments for the brothers after leaving WWE and the company definitely wishes that video could be erased from the internet. A video of the Hardys in that state of mind having hundreds of thousands of views online is not a good thing.
Jeff Tasing Reby Sky
Another low moment for both Hardys that played out in a video online featured Matt’s wife Reby Sky. The brothers got their hands on a Taser and decided to try to make a viral video. Unfortunately, there was no entertainment value in the video and they looked like complete fools. Matt filmed his wife Reby and Jeff tased her with the device. The pain of the taser led to Reby falling to the floor screaming in pain.
They were all trying to have fun but the visual looked terrible. WWE doesn’t like embarrassing videos of their talent surfacing online and this is another horrible one for the Hardys. The fact that both were involved in this one also shows that they were in a terrible state at the time. It felt like a new story came out every week regarding the Hardys downfall. Their return to the top of the wrestling world is inspiring, but sadly many negative moments still exist.
5 Matt's Arrests
The negative moments from Matt’s life during his time away from WWE were, unfortunately, very public. Matt would get arrested numerous times for various actions. The shocking months of August and September in 2011 featured Matt getting arrested three times in the span of just four weeks. Matt was arrested for driving under the influence multiple times. The possibility of ending other lives makes it one of the worst "minor" actions one can be arrested for.
Another arrest saw Matt get busted for having prescription pills, ecstasy and steroids in his possession. The number of drugs he used in 2011 definitely explains a lot of his actions. However, the worst arrest of Hardy would come in 2014 when both Matt and his wife Reby Sky were taken to jail following a fight. Both showed very visible bruises and injuries. Matt has patched things up to have a happy marriage with Reby and he is past his prior addictions. WWE is hoping fans have forgotten about these drastic actions by him.
Jeff's Drug Trafficking Charges
Jeff had some high profile arrests to match and actually overshadow his brother after leaving WWE. The very serious charge of felony trafficking almost ruined his life. Hardy was busted for possession of steroids, vicodin, cocaine, opium and various prescription pills. Jeff was clearly in bad shape with this being near rock bottom. Many believed this would be the slip up that landed him in jail for many years.
During a recent interview on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, Jeff revealed he even believed his life was over. The charges only saw him have to serve ten days in jail along with probation and a hefty fine. We can all be happy that Jeff is in a better place today and has defeated his personal demons. The arrests and charges are still among the most shameful moments of Jeff’s life. WWE is hoping it is truly behind him and that fans forget about the negative stories that followed him for years.
4 Matt's Suicide Threat
Another sad moment in Hardy history that unfolded on YouTube featured Matt posting a cryptic message. The words of Matt saw him basically threaten suicide. Phrases like “Goodbye, World,” “I only have a few hours & minutes” and “I’ll miss you all” were all used to imply Matt was on the verge of ending his life amidst the controversial stories following him at the time. Fans were horrified at the thought of the star ending his life and some called the police.
Matt revealed it was all a marketing ploy to announce his rebirth as part of his wrestling character. Jeff’s wife actually ranted online about cops coming to their homes to ask about the suicide threat - all for a marketing video in bad taste. Matt apologized for the action and expressed regret for the idea. WWE would have flipped out if Matt did this while working for them. Hopefully enough time has passed for fans to forget about this horrible moment in Matt’s life.
3 Jeff Wrestling High
The worst moment of Jeff’s career on screen was definitely the infamous match against Sting at TNA Victory Road 2011. Hardy stumbled to the ring clearly under the influence of drugs for his big PPV main event title match against the icon. The uncomfortable moment of Jeff trying to walk around the ring showed just how far he had fallen as a human being. Sting was forced to grab Hardy and hit his finisher within 88 seconds of the bell ringing.
Many called it the most embarrassing moment in the history of professional wrestling and it is difficult to argue with that. Hardy revealed it was rock bottom for him having such a high profile screw up in a dream match with his wrestling hero. According to Jeff, it helped him realize where his life was and was the biggest catalyst in him truly taking steps to clean up his life. WWE will eventually want to use Jeff in a singles role and that memory existing with fans is something they definitely don’t want.
2 Matt Didn't Want To Return To WWE
Most fans badly wanted to see both Jeff and Matt return to WWE once the news broke that their TNA contracts were expiring in early 2017. Jeff expressed his desire to eventually end his career in WWE, but Matt remained adamant about his desire to stay in TNA. The creative freedom given by TNA allowed Matt to actually put his character, matches and storylines into play. Matt is most responsible for the Broken Hardys success, but he definitely won’t have the same freedom in WWE.
For that reason, Matt wanted to stick with TNA if they offered the money he felt the Hardys deserved. An ownership change and Jeff Jarrett gaining control saw him basically run Matt and Jeff out of town. Jarrett hated the unique characters and storylines of the Hardys. This was the biggest reason the Hardys eventually found their ways back home. Still, WWE can’t be thrilled with the public knowing someone actually wanted to choose TNA over WWE.
1 Hottest Names In The Company Right Now
WWE definitely doesn’t want the wrestling world to realize that Matt and Jeff are currently the hottest names in the company. The popularity of the Hardys returning showed just how much fans were invested in the two stars. Despite the fact that no other company is anywhere close to WWE in size or success, Matt and Jeff were able to become such top names in the industry again without the machine pushing them.
Matt and Jeff did this all on their own by using their own ideas and believing in their vision. It did more for their momentum than anyone on the WWE roster right now. Matt is apparently more intelligent than the majority of writers in WWE when it comes to writing professional wrestling. WWE definitely loves their popularity and success, but they don’t want you realizing the Hardys currently have more hype than guys on the roster they have been pushing for years.
Sources: The Score, TMZ, Baltimore Sun, USA Today