Jeff Hardy was one of the top superstars in the wrestling business in 2009. In fact, we can argue that he was the most popular star at that time. He was right there in the main event fighting for the World Heavyweight Title. He was the top star on Smackdown. He was right there on the top of who sells the most merchandise in the WWE. The next year and everything changed. Jeff Hardy came to TNA Wrestling in early 2010 and elevated to main event status as he became the TNA World Champion at Bound for Glory 10/10/10. He hit rock bottom in 2011 where he faced Sting at Victory Road. The match lasted a minute or less because Jeff was under the influence of some type of drug. He could barely walk in a straight line. He cleaned up and came back 5 months later. He went on to win the TNA World Title again. He held it till Lockdown this year. Since then, he fought in contender type matches but never in a title match. Has Jeff Hardy ran his course… or are we just experiencing that time gap between his next title run? Either way, how should Jeff Hardy be used in TNA Wrestling?
I wrote an article back in April asking if TNA Wrestling needs Jeff Hardy anymore. That is purely opinion. However, we need to understand the difference between need and a want. TNA Wrestling, without a doubt, wants Jeff Hardy. Not only is he a big name, but he brings in the merchandise sales. With Hulk Hogan gone, I absolutely think Jeff Hardy is the number one person in the company in terms of merchandise sales. That is where TNA is making money. Does TNA Wrestling need him though? They would certainly be affected in terms of sales if he happens to leave, but the company would still be able to function and continue forward.
As mentioned above, Jeff Hardy lost the TNA World Title in March. He received a rematch or two for the title against Bully Ray but never won it back. Jeff was written off television to sell an “injury”. He came back to fight Aces & 8s. He was put into the Bound for Glory Series where he was going to be part of the final four. The company then wrote him in the X-Division where he would compete against Manik and then against Kenny King and Chris Sabin in a tag team match. Jeff went to Bound for Glory and competed in the Ultimate X Match. He lost. With the TNA World Title Tournament underway right now, Jeff Hardy has been put into the mix. He won his match against Chris Sabin and continues to the next round.
Even though Jeff Hardy lost the TNA World Title in March and lastly competed for it in April doesn’t mean his time is up. Simply put, that is the evolution of the time cycle. We see this with every major star. For example, AJ Styles. He won the title in 2009 and lost it in 2010 against Rob Van Dam. He never held it again till 3 years later. 3 years! As you know, AJ Styles is now TNA World Champion. The same process can be explained with John Cena. Remember 2012? He wasn’t World Champion or WWE Champion for around a year. In that time he fought varies stars in numerous feuds. To relate, that can be Jeff Hardy right now.
I have gained respect for Jeff Hardy since he came back in 2011. He cleaned up and stayed clean. Hopefully he found his true place in life and will be able to continue on that path of success. I do understand that Jeff Hardy is one of the top names in TNA Wrestling. He very well can be the top merchandise seller. With that being said, should he fight for the TNA World Title? Should he win this current tournament?
I heard from people saying Jeff Hardy should have been in the main event at Bound for Glory. I then heard people saying that he should have put Chris Sabin over in the TNA World Title Tournament. So, where do I stand?
I understand the importance of Jeff Hardy, but I also understand that the company needs to build and create stars to be the next Jeff Hardy. They need to create the house hold names. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, James Storm all have the talent. They all have the look. The company needs to take them to the next level. In order to do so, they need to push the big names to the side like Jeff Hardy. Jeff is an asset to the company. People think an asset means they should be put on top the entire time. That’s not the case. The company needs to use Jeff to elevate stars. He can be used to help divisions that are hurting. For example, when Jeff Hardy was put into the X-Division for Bound for Glory, the division grew in importance. He drew people’s attention to said division.
I fully understand that TNA Wrestling, or any company, should squeeze every single penny out of a superstar. It’s like WWE with John Cena. However, Jeff Hardy will still be the highest merchandise seller no matter where he is placed on the card. The fact is the viewers love him. Plus, if we have Jeff in another division, whether it is the X-Division or tag team division, there will be more room for stars to grow. The company has loads of talented people, but there’s not enough room on the show for them. The company only has two hours a week in the United States. They can only do so much. Side stepping Jeff allows others to rise to the occasion and become main event draws thus making a new Jeff Hardy. One Jeff Hardy is great, but two Jeff Hardys are even better. Elevate a star to Jeff’s status and you will see more merchandise move leading to more revenue.
Jeff is in that little transition cycle from one title shot/reign to another. However, that time in between can be greatly utilized. That time can really help a division and a superstar or two. Ultimately, it’s not about whether Jeff Hardy should stay in the main event or when he will get another title shot, but it is about using that time between title shots and/or reigns to benefit the company as a whole.
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