Friday, September 16, 2011

Jeff Hardy returns to TNA Impact Wrestling

Controversial wrestling superstar Jeff Hardy recently made his first appearance on TNA's "Impact Wrestling" program for the first time since being sent home by management in March. Not a lot of details are known, but the story is essentially that Jeff Hardy appeared live on pay-per-view for his match against Sting in an altered state of mind. The match was quickly changed and Sting shockingly pinned Hardy after only 90 seconds.

I wrote about this shortly after it happened in a post titled "Jeff Hardy High on pay per view?" A video of the match is also embedded. In that post, I also give a history of Jeff's issues with drugs and how that has affected his wrestling career.

In the video, Jeff states that he doesn't deserve it, but asks for one more chance from the fans and TNA management. Since he's back in the ring, he has already received another chance from management. The question now is whether the fans will accept Jeff Hardy again? And, of course, the answer is yes. Every time he screws up his career with drug use, the fans openly take him back.

I've often wondered why that is. I've never been a huge fan of Jeff Hardy. I was always more into his brother, Matt Hardy (who is seemingly having his own breakdown of sorts lately, with 2 DUI arrests barely a month apart). One of Jeff Hardy's nicknames in WWE was the Charismatic Enigma, and that vague description really explains a lot. It is hard to describe why exactly people love Jeff Hardy, but they do.

Hardy was arrested on Sept. 11, 2009, for a slew of drug-related charges. A couple weeks ago, he was finally sentenced for the charges. He was placed on over 2 years probation, sentenced to 10 days in prison, and had to enter into a drug-treament program.

Are Hardy's problems over? One would certainly hope so. From both a legal and professional standpoint, this definitely has to be his last chance. If he gets into any more legal trouble, he would likely be sentenced to much more than 10 days in jail. Ruining a main-event match that fans paid nearly $30 to see is one of the worst things that a wrestler can do. By bringing him back, TNA is obvisously going to put him in another high-profile position. Can they trust him? He screwed TNA over once, I hope they won't let him do it again.

TNA has the potential to craft a really good story here. Approaching his mid-30s, Jeff Hardy is on the last stretch of his active career. TNA can present a story of redemption; a man who has spent the last decade being his own worst enemy climbs back from rock-bottom and ends his career in a classy and respectable way.

The wrestling company can only do so much, though. They can craft the best storyline in the world; the responsibility here will be on Jeff Hardy to stay clean and make the most of this chance.

Does Jeff Hardy deserve another chance? No, he doesn't. There are so many young, hungry, drug-free wrestlers out there who want and deserve the spot that both WWE and TNA have continually given Jeff Hardy. But, nobody is perfect and Jeff Hardy is a perfect example of that. Wrestling is all about making money. Jeff Hardy makes a lot of money for wrestling companies. As long as the fans want him back, he'll be back. I do think, though, this will be the last chance that the fans will give Jeff Hardy.

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