Jeff Hardy on TNA's Bound for Glory, Overcoming Personal Demons, and Whether He'll Ever Return to WWE
Jeff Hardy is currently on a road to redemption.
Courtesy of TNA Jeff Hardy poses in a TNA wrestling ring.
Three years ago, the ultra-quirky daredevil professional wrestler (who's legendary for his high-flying and risk-taking exploits inside the ring for both World Wrestling Entertainment and Total Nonstop Action) was mired in a maelstrom of legal and personal issues, including charges of drug possession and allegations of hardcore substance abuse. Hardy's future was none too bright after he left behind a multimillion-dollar gig working for WWE and was possibly looking at spending years in prison.
Thankfully, Hardy settled his legal drama, recovered from his issues, and once again became one of the biggest stars in the wrestling biz. Later this month, he's scheduled to battle Austin Aries for the TNA's world heavyweight title here in the Valley at the promotion's biggest pay-per-view event of the year, Bound For Glory, which takes place on Sunday, October 14, at the Grand Canyon University Arena.
Despite his nickname of "The Charismatic Enigma," Hardy was remarkablly candid during a recent interview with Jackalope Ranch concerning his troubled past, as well as his feelings about the big title match, his artistic endeavors, and whether or not he'll return to WWE next year.
You've overcome a lot of personal demons in the past few years. Does it feel like some people are waiting for the other shoe to drop and for you to relapse?
I don't care if they are. There's probably a lot of people that doubt me and are waiting for something to go down again. My heart and mind are stronger than they've ever been and I don't care what people think. I know who and how I am with my family and that's all I need.
Have any of the wrestling angles you've done regarding your addiction issues been like therapy in a sense?
Yeah, I think it has. It's pretty much just owning up to what you've done and moving on. Again, its been my past year, since whenever I came back after Victory Road. All that dark stuff when I wasn't able to perform and coming back and proving myself to everybody here that gave me that last chance, I think it's a big part of recovery and just getting better. Especially when you know it was your fault and you know you own up to it and you continue and you move on and don't ever return. And music's helped me out a lot. I've expressed stuff through some of these songs that hopefully will be out before Christmas. In more ways than I've ever done an interview like this and it's really been a release and just a feel good moment for me to express myself and the things that have happened. Yeah, I mean I've owned up to everything I've done wrong and right now I'm so proud of myself.
Do you ever look at someone like Scott Hall or X-Pac, who haven't been as successful at overcoming his demons, and say to yourself, "I don't want to be like that?"
Courtesy of TNA Jeff Hardy
I know how I am and what I've done and I wish it was as easy for [him] as it was for me I guess. Matt [Hardy] went through a dark period and I was just getting through my stuff and that was tough on me. I was like, "Oh my god, people are different." I've never suffered physical withdrawals from not doing drugs, but that's what separates me from everybody else, I guess, because I'm not like everybody else. I wish I could explain why some people don't succeed but I don't know. I mean all I know is how and who I am.
Speaking of your brother Matt, what was your take on weird stuff Matt was putting online about ghosts and whatnot?
Yeah, I hated it. I hated everything he put up. I was embarrassed for him. But that was just stuff that he was going through. If I'm going to put something on YouTube it's just going to be fun.
Matt recently worked with Ring of Honor. How do you feel about that and how do you feel about your brother's road to recovery?
I'm excited for him. He's doing great. He loves professional wrestling. It's just been a year since a lot of that went down and so he's doing extremely well. Yeah, we both went through dark, dark days and I can't wait to see him perform whenever he does the Ring of Honor.
When you started making your comeback and when he posted that recently statement about his recovery, Internet wrestling fans gave you both plenty of shit. How do you deal with haters like that?
I don't. It's pure ignorance as far as I'm concerned. I don't need approval as far as what people thought of my match or how I looked or what I did or if I'm going to fail. I'm not an Internet guy at all...I don't even take time to read ignorance. It's amazing the power that people have behind those computer screens and whatever it is that makes them feel the way they feel that they need to say or type whatever they're saying about somebody is such insecurity and that's why I don't deal with any of it.
Will Matt ever make it back to TNA or even WWE?
I don't know, it's up to him. Time will tell.
Would you ever consider going back to WWE when your TNA contract expires next year?
Man, I really can't answer that. I'm happy where I'm at right now with TNA. But you never say never in this business, so it depends on where I'll be at in a few months.