The first vignette of Willow had me interested. I was looking forward to seeing him debut. Which for me is surprising because I never liked Jeff Hardy. But I thought this was fresh character, it could bring something new, something different. Even my girlfriend who is not a wrestling fan was even interested this character. While I am still optimistic and interested in the character progression of Willow, I feel that TNA dropped the ball or at least it wasn’t what I was hoping.
Looking back on Jeff’s career to me he was never the best wrestler, never the best talker, and never really caught my interest. As a team with his brother, I was always more interested in Matt, he was always the better wrestler. My argument always was Jeff wouldn’t be able to do all his high flying moves if it wasn’t for Matt, and especially after he hit his swanton bomb after Matt’s twist of fate. When Jeff went solo, I always thought it was stupid he stole his brother’s finisher as a setup. Also Jeff would botch so many moves, missing his whisper in the wind more then he would actually connect, but the other wrestler always had to sell it. I never believed in him as I felt his popularity was just because he had colored hair and did a couple of flips and jump off ladders. I don’t think he ever deserved to be World Champion.
All of Jeff’s personal problems just made my disgust for him even more. I try not to judge people on personal choices, but seeing all these children look up to him and for him to just make wrong choices I didn’t understand how parents are supporting Jeff through their kids. I know I am going to sound like a total mark but during Jeff’s feud with CM Punk in WWE, I never understood how anyone could cheer for Jeff Hardy when everything CM Punk said was correct. I think I may be bias because I am straight edge myself. And Jeff’s incident where he showed up to a TNA PPV intoxicated against Sting I thought was ridiculous and disrespectful and he should have been fired on the spot.
Not that I got all my hateraide out, Jeff Hardy has been doing quite good since he got past all his demons. Still him as the “Jeff Hardy” character I am not interested in. Enter Willow. I was excited I thought this could be amazing. I instantly started wondering how he would be, what kind of storylines would he do, what kind of effects are they going to put with him. Each vignette had me more interested. I was so excited then MVP announced his final team member as…. Jeff Hardy…what? This guy is debuting as Willow, how is this going to work?
When Willow debuted I was disappointed. I thought he would be a completely different character from Jeff Hardy, and now he is just an alter ego. It’s just Jeff under a mask. His outfit is the same just black and white instead of colorful and a Willow shirt instead of a Hardy shirt. I was completely disappointed when they kept saying Willow reminds them of Jeff Hardy but wouldn’t admit it was him, then went with admitting it was him, and back and forth. I honestly think that this character could have been more. I was hoping for more. Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe because I still don’t think Jeff Hardy is a good wrestler. Willow entertains me, in his vignettes, his promos, and his storyline, I just cannot take him serious in the ring because I’m constantly reminded that under that mask is a MEDIOCRE wrestler.