In my column following the disastrous Victory Road PPV, I vehemently called for the firing of “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy. I was completely and utterly disgusted with the North Carolina native who had seemingly attempted to kill TNA in one fell swoop with his selfishness and dependency on narcotics, putting in a shambolic appearance in what should have been a classic main event against “The Icon” Sting.
However, since that night TNA and indeed Hardy have recovered the situation relatively well, with Hardy publicly embarrassed by Hulk Hogan on the episode of Impact Wrestling immediately following Victory Road and with Hardy behaving himself and taking a leave of absence from the company until about a month ago. The return of Jeff Hardy was enacted perfectly in my opinion (considering for a while I never wanted to see him in TNA again) with a host of video packages being aired- prior to his appearance in Huntsville, Alabama- that tackled his real life demons and showed a man wanting one more chance at redemption.
When Hardy did step foot back in TNA’s ring he delivered a speech that showed complete contrition and even his biggest haters had to admit that Jeff did seem like a completely different man to the one who nearly destroyed his career back in March thanks to a reckless attitude to life and himself. This Jeff Hardy was filled with a desire to resurrect his wrestling legacy and entertain the fans with whom he had (Kayfabe) severed ties with after joining Immortal last October. “The Charismatic Enigma” was back.
Fast forward to last week when Hardy faced possibly the biggest heel in wrestling Bully Ray and secured a pin fall victory in his quest to face the founder of TNA, Jeff Jarrett. Hardy’s performance was rusty at first but the old lucidity of movement and awareness of timing soon reappeared, much to the joy of fans at home and within the Impact Zone. When Hardy does eventually meet Jarrett in match based on JJ’s refusal to give Hardy a second chance in the company he began, the true redemption of the man from Cameron, North Carolina should be almost complete. The next step could be his pursuit of the World Heavyweight title which would truly cap a magnificent turnaround for a star who many had believed was destined for the wrestling scrapheap.