The Biz: Here Lies Jeff Hardy

Nick Perkins

 

I’ve determined that I’m “The Undertaker” of Wrestlezone.com. I make sporadic appearances, but when I actually do show up, I amaze. While that may seem arrogant and perhaps even blasphemous, it’s nonetheless true. And just like Smackdown, there’s a lot of great competition out there, so I need to come back and make sure that nobody “gets over” more than I am. That’s saying something, because I know I’m awesome, but I also know that everyone else here at Wrestlezone is too. From Nick’s Raw/Smackdown/Impact ladders, to Chris’ top ten lists, to Justin’s and Anthony’s and Christopher’s intriguing columns, Wrestlezone.com is chalk-full of men who are extremely intelligent wrestling fans (that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one) that love to share their opinions… Oh yeah, and there’s Madden too. He’s ok.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’m back for good. As promised, now that fall is mostly here and the hectic schedule has calmed down a bit, I’m here to give you my opinion, and read and respond to yours. You can now count on me to give you a weekly dosage of wrestling prose.  You’re welcome.
Now, onto business. Of course, the biggest news coming out of this past week, besides the fact that Bob Barker is still alive, is that Jeff Hardy was charged (not proven guilty) of having a helluva lot of anabolic steroids, cocaine, and other forms of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged (again, not proven guilty) of having the intent to sell. All sorts of wrestling personalities, from fans to journalists to wrestlers themselves have offered their opinions about this. Bear in mind that these are all, in fact, just opinions. The only person that truly knows what’s really going on is Jeff Hardy.
When I first read these charges, unfortunately, I was not surprised. I was not surprised, but I was very very worried. My first thought was that unless something happens, and fast, Jeff Hardy has a very good chance of becoming just another wrestling tragedy. Now, most people will claim that I don’t know all of the facts, and I don’t. But I don’t need to. I’m not judging Jeff Hardy. I don’t think Jeff Hardy is a bad person or a “screw up.” I just think that Jeff Hardy has a lot of things that he’s going through, and there’s a good chance that he’s turning to drugs to deal with all of these things. He’s not much different than anyone else who has ever turned to drugs or alcohol or some other “vice” to deal with life’s issues. The only difference is that Jeff Hardy is a public figure, and is thus under an extremely fickle microscope.
Make no mistake about it; Jeff Hardy does not owe us, the wrestling fan a thing. He doesn’t need to explain himself to us, or try to make us understand where he’s coming from. We don’t really have the right to decide whether Jeff Hardy is guilty or innocent. That is for the court to decide. Jeff Hardy doesn’t need us to condemn him. But he also doesn’t need us to enable him. I’ve been a fan of Hardy for years, and after every time something like this has happened to him, he’s put the blame elsewhere. Jeff has claimed he doesn’t have a drug problem and that he doesn’t need to go to rehab. He’s claimed that he’s misunderstood. Yet history proves otherwise. Throughout these last 10 years, Jeff Hardy has amazed us. He’s provided us with memories we’re likely never to forget. He has etched his name in the stone of wrestling immortality. But at what price? The fact of the matter is that wrestling, when done long enough, starts to hurt. Hardy has jumped off ladders for ten years, and like it or not, that starts to take a toll. It seems as though Jeff Hardy has turned to narcotics to help ease his pain and calm him down. Whether you agree with the morality of this or not, the fact of the matter is that drugs, when done long enough, kill people. I don’t want Jeff Hardy to die.
I believe Jeff Hardy is going to need all the support he can get. But I beg you not to view Jeff Hardy as a wrestler for WWE. Look at Jeff Hardy as a human being that is going through a very hard time. I’m worried about the fans that, even after this latest development, will beg Jeff to go back to WWE. That’s the last thing that Jeff Hardy needs right now. I pray that World Wrestling Entertainment, more specifically Vince McMahon, knows this. Jeff Hardy needs support, and good thoughts, and prayers right now. What he does not need are fans that cannot separate fact from fiction. Fictionally, Jeff Hardy is the ultimate underdog that is the everyman’s champion. He’s the face-painted, nail polish-wearing “charismatic enigma.” Factually, Jeff Hardy is a man with a family and he is facing very scary allegations. He is a man that needs his fans and his friends and his family to help him. Otherwise, years, or maybe even months down the line, there’s a very real chance that Jeff Hardy will be just another wrestling tragedy and we’ll all be forced to trade the images of a superhero flying through the air for that of a solemn tombstone with the words: “Here lies Jeff Hardy.”
I’m not going to go through letters today, because I really want you to think about what I just wrote about Jeff Hardy. Later this week, I’ll have a column up just answering emails. What are your thoughts about the Jeff Hardy situation? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? Let me know by writing to Westernrebellion@live.com and I’ll post what you have to say next week. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
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