One Count Kickout – The Hardy Saga
Matt Hardy has been a subject for both ridicule and anger this past week. However, the time for comedy has come to a close. This is no longer poking fun at ridiculous statements or foolish actions. This is being front and center for the breaking of a man and the crumbling of a life. It’s not a joke anymore, if ever it really was. Matt is in trouble. His exploits of recent have been well publicized from his DWI accident and arrest to his termination from TNA. His youtube and twitter posts have been cryptic at best and caused more concern than originally was circulating.
Hardy is no stranger to controversy but at this time it appears as though, through the assistance of social media, we are witnessing a live, tweeting, vlogging slide into a very dark place. Obviously Matt is going through a trying, difficult time and what he needs more than anything else is the care, concern and assistance of those closest to him so of course it makes perfect sense that his brother Jeff, who himself is no stranger to controversy, is heading back to work at the very company which fired Matt and sent Jeff home until he could get his life together. If you’ll recall one of the last memories of Jeff Hardy inside of a TNA ring was when his main event title match against Sting was cut down to a five second waste of time due to his inability to perform.
Earlier this year I was compelled to write a column about Jeff. It was obvious to anyone who had been watching him in TNA and following him elsewhere that his life was not on a good trajectory. Backstage rumors, on camera screwups and blatant episodes of drug induced stupidity in conjunction with his pending legal issues were delivering a clear indication that this was a man in jeopardy. TNA continued to push him, even giving him their world title which at least shows stupidity and negligence on their part and at most put them into a position to be party to the injury or death of someone stepping into that ring with Jeff. It was a few months later that Jeff ultimately exited TNA to put the pieces back in place.
Matt, on the other hand, aside from looking out of shape and cutting some terrible promos, seemed to be the same Matt Hardy we’d always seen. His ego seemed a little out of balance in some videos he posted online and the WWE sending him home from a European tour seemed like an anomaly. However, whether spurned on or just natural, he began unwinding at an impressively frightening rate and now we’re seeing a man who is teetering on the edge. Rock bottom is nearby and hopefully it will lead to a stint in rehab and some psychological assistance rather than the path we have seen men and women in this business go down too many times which has lead to us losing so many amazing yet troubled performers over the years.
Supposed “friends” of Matt’s were quick to come into the light and show their support for him. They spoke out against all the fans who were “trashing” him and said he was doing well. Within forty-eight hours these opinions began changing and for the first time we started to see concern arising from these people. Then Matt “fell” at his home and was taken to the hospital. For the first time we began to hear from people saying not only did Matt need help but that they were concerned for him and that the current incarnation of Matt Hardy is not someone that they could recognize. He had changed and it was becoming apparent that if something wasn’t done the outcome could indeed be tragic. This is all well and good but a little late. Perhaps if these same people had not been speaking up for him, covering for him and enabling him he would not have fallen as far as he has.
Jeff, on the other hand, is returning to TNA for yet another push because he has, supposedly, corrected his issues and is in a much better place. It’s interesting to point out that Jeff reaching a better place had the fantastic luck of synchronizing up with the falling ratings in TNA and their need to hotshot once again. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, right? Either way, even if Jeff has, through some magic, managed to conquer his issues without rehab or professional help, is it really wise to thrust him right back into a world which he clearly cannot get through clean and sober? Also, with his brother now falling to pieces, wouldn’t it make more sense for Jeff to take that into consideration? Perhaps his brother is a grown man but if my brother were in such bad shape the last thing I’d be thinking about is going to to work wrestling matches.
The Hardy Saga has been a fascinating one, a frightening one and a stupid one. So much talent exists between these two and so much of it is being thrown by the wayside. Two troubled men living in a world which clearly doesn’t offer them the support necessary to keep them safe from their issues and, if nothing else, seems content to exploit it. WWE is by no means free and clear as they played a part, but they also knew enough to cut ties when it became clear neither had an interest in correcting their problems. TNA seems completely content to continue this back and forth with Jeff and based upon that it seems incredibly likely that we’ll see Matt stepping back into a TNA ring someday, whether or not his issues are fixed.
Jeff and Matt are responsible for their own actions but at some point people have to be willing to admit when they are becoming complicit in the dangerous behavior. If Jeff really has fixed things, then maybe this can work for him, but if he is the same Jeff we saw several months ago than TNA should be ashamed. And if anything happens to Matt, not only will a lot of people have a lot of guilt to carry around but I have no idea how Jeff would be able to live with himself. I hope these guys get it together, I hope these guys are around in fifteen years to tell us how they overcame the odds instead of being two more tribute videos.