I may not be related to them, but I’ve been a Hardy (fan) boy ever since I saw them in the epic, “TLC II” match back in Wrestlemania X-Seven. Some may say that Edge’s spear was the highlight of that match, but I’ll always go with Jeff Hardy’s insane Swanton bomb off the top ladder. Yessir, Jeff Hardy has been a force to be reckoned with ever since the late ‘90s.
But that’s just it. The late ‘90s. In terms of wrestling careers, that might as well be a million and one years ago. That’s why even though it’s really cool to see Jeff Hardy in AEW (I even listed The Hardy Boyz in my top 10 two-man tag teams in AEW article), I still think there are some things that he should be considering right now, and more importantly, I know why he should be considering them. So, if you're willing to keep an open mind, here are four possible directions the wrestling legend could possibly take in the future. High risk maneuver!
He Could Perhaps Alter His Wrestling Style
When it was announced that Jeff Hardy wouldn’t be at June 1st’s AEW Dynamite taping due to his health following Double or Nothing, I completely understood. Jeff Hardy had been sluggish in his match with The Young Bucks, and you could tell that he’d been hurting ever since his bout with Darby Allin (with some even proclaiming that Darby Allin Out-Jeff Hardy'd Jeff Hardy) all the way back in May. In fact, it’s kind of difficult to even watch Jeff Hardy wrestle these days, because he’s always holding the small of his back after almost all of his big bumps, and you can tell that he’s in visible pain.
Look, it makes sense. Jeff Hardy used to wrestle during the Attitude Era when wrestling used to be more exciting. He was putting his body through the wringer for YEARS, and those years have obviously caught up with him. The thing is, you can tell that Jeff Hardy is still trying to put on the best show possible for the fans, and it’s admirable. But, at the same time, his health is way more important, and nobody wants to see Jeff Hardy living out the rest of his days in a wheelchair. That's why if he's going to continue wrestling, then he could consider altering his style.
Instead of the high-flying exploits that made him a star, he could perhaps stay a lot more grounded. It might also be better if his booking was changed. So, instead of wrestling the likes of Darby Allin and The Young Bucks, where he's almost certainly going to get hurt since they both do crazy spots, he could be booked against slower competition, like he was against The Butcher and The Blade a few weeks back. It might not be as exciting as his bout with Darby Allin, but it could add years to his career, which is what I think all of us ultimately want.
He Should Go Out On Top
Right now, The Hardy Boyz are on top after their defeat of The Young Bucks at Double Or Nothing. And, while I don’t expect Jeff Hardy to retire just yet or anything like that, AEW has done its best to protect him ever since he got into the company. In this way, even though he’s in visible pain, you can tell that AEW has been giving him and his brother, Matt (more on him in a few) a worthy push, so he hasn’t been jobbing for other wrestlers like he was in the WWE for awhile, before the WWE finally decided to give him a push (and an invite to the Hall of Fame, which Jeff Hardy turned down).
And that’s cool. One reason why AEW has turned this lapsed wrestling fan back into a weekly watcher is because it does its best to put wrestlers in meaningful storylines that showcase their talents. At the same time, Jeff is on top right now, and I’d hate to see the company kill his push because of his health. So, it might be best if he ended on top, maybe going for one or two more big storylines before he hangs up his shoes and cheers on his brother, Matt, from the sidelines. Speaking of which…
His Brother, Matt, Should Have One More Solo Run
Matt Hardy has been in AEW since 2020, and he’s already gone through several personas. He brought his “Broken” gimmick to AEW, and then took on the Big Money persona with The Hardy Family Office, and now he’s back with his brother again. That said, I really do think that Matt really does have one last truly great solo run in him, and I’d love to see it happen. And with Jeff Hardy in AEW now, I think it’d be really cool if they somehow brought in Willow, and maybe some other kind of persona, for Matt to wrestle in the ring.
Even though MJF is still the best thing to happen to wrestling in forever, one other wrestler in AEW who has always fascinated me is Matt Hardy, since he can be so unpredictable with his various personas. So, I’d really be interested to see one final persona out of Matt Hardy, with Jeff Hardy at his side cheering him on, or even as his ring manager. Which brings me to my last point.
He Could Be A Good Manager, Like Sting
Now, hear me out, but I think it would be great to see Jeff Hardy as a ring manager, maybe even for his brother, Matt. Or not. Since he’s always been a high flier, it might be cool to see him as a ring manager for someone younger, like Daunte Martin of Top Flight fame. Here’s why that might be the best option for Jeff, especially if he would be like Sting is for Darby Allin: he could still occasionally wrestle.
Sting still wrestles sometimes when he’s with Darby Allin, taking pretty big bumps for a 63-year-old. But he’s also super protected, making him look intimidating simply by doing a Stinger splash here or bringing out his trademark baseball bat there. I know Jeff Hardy still wants to wrestle, since he LOVES wrestling. It’s in his blood. But, as a manager, he could still wrestle, every so often, and he wouldn’t even have to pull off such huge spots anymore. Leave that for the youngins.
At the same time, he would still have a formidable presence in AEW, and the fans would still cheer him on. Hell, he could even make more appearances, since it means he wouldn’t have to wrestle if he didn’t want to, and could simply just walk somebody to the ring and maybe even do color commentary like William Regal does for the Blackpool Combat Club. I know Jeff Hardy probably doesn’t want to take on this role since he will likely want to wrestle to the point where he physically can’t any longer, but being a manager could also lengthen his career by years, so I think it’s the best possible direction for him.
What do you think? Should Jeff Hardy keep wrestling, even though he’s in visible pain? For more news on AEW and wrestling, make sure to swing by here often.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.