Now, onto the debate at hand:
***WILL JEFF HARDY EVER BE GIVEN THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP? ADDITIONALLY, DOES HE DESERVE TO CARRY THE STRAP? IS HE FIT TO HOLD THE TITLE?***
– The Pro Jeff Hardy Arguments –
Shawn Bates from London, Ontario Canada, believes Hardy will take it to the extreme at the Survivor Series:
“I think that with the build up they have done for the past few months with Jeff and Triple H telling everyone that it’s just a matter of time until Jeff gets the belt, that Jeff will finally take is place in WWE history and take the title away at Survivor Series. The new “Extreme” version of Jeff Hardy, forcing his way into the WWE title match, will take things to the “next level” to get over the wall that he has run up against each time he faces Triple H…Even if Jeff only holds onto the title until Royal Rumble, he can say that he finally did it, like CM Punk.”
Adam Pembrey presents a Royal Rumble scenario, which knowing my WWE booking, sounds like a very viable possibility:
“Well the questions seem to be, will he? Does he deserve to? and is he fit to? Well for me personally I think the answer to all 3 is ‘Yes.’
Will he? Well for me it looks like he is being built up to win the strap either at the Rumble or more likely Wrestlemania. My prediction is that after HHH wins the title match at Survivor Series, Hardy will be told he won’t get any more shots. He then makes it into the Rumble some how and wins, going on to win the belt at WMXV. So my answer to will he is yes.
Is he deserving? Again I have to say so, he has been wrestling for what 15 years now? He always gives his all when in the ring and leaves nothing in the dressing room. He has more than paid his due’s.
Is he fit to wear it? Well Jeff has had problem’s no doubt. Most of which was self inflicted I’m sure. However how many top stars have had personal or professonal issues? HBK in the 90’s had problems, which led to suspensions. Steve Austin had problems, which at one time led to him walking out on the WWE. Randy Orton was suspended in 2006 I believe? I think Edge has had suspensions as well. My point is not all these young guys with lots of time on their hands are going to be whiter than white all the time. Jeff hasn’t commited any major crimes as far as I’m aware and those he has have been punished. My point is, Jeff is deserving of a chance to be the top guy, the fans love him, the other wrestler’s respect him and he has that passion for the business.”
Lee Baker sees the victory going down at the biggest stage of them all:
“Suspensions/indiscretions aside, I personally think that Jeff is way too popular and way too good not to become a World champion some day. He’s provided wrestling fans with some of the most memorable moments of the last ten years, and more recently he’s had some great matches with Triple H where it looked like he could have really won.
However, I never expected him to actually win at either of the last 2 pay per views; and in some ways I was glad that he didn’t. If Jeff Hardy is to win the WWE Championship, I think he should do so in a bigger way, at a bigger event. Can anyone say “Wrestlemania 25″?”
Jack V. from my stomping grounds of NYC, is clamoring for that one sentence that will be beautiful music to his ears:
“Many people have been waiting for this to happen and I am one of them and hopefully it will happen soon which I believe that it will. “The winner of this match and NEWWWW WWE CHAMPION, Jeff Hardy!!!!!” Now tell me if that doesn’t sound incredible or not. It does….It does.”
Kyle Kirkland presents a case for the second coming of Bret vs Owen:
“I think Hardy is not only deserving of the title, but the kind of change WWE needs right now to bump up those 2’s they’ve been pulling in the ratings. HHH is one of the best in the business, this I will not argue. But that doesn’t mean he needs the strap. Look at Jericho/HBK before Jericho won the Undisputed title. That was the best storyline going and it had no title ramifications, nothing other than 2 men’s will and pride. While Hardy has had some setbacks, he is the only one right now the fans would LOVE to see get the title. (…)
I tell you that title match, when/if Hardy won, that place, wherever it was, would go nuts. It’d be new, it’d be different, it would breathe new life into the title race. While I think they work amazingly well as a tag team, can you imagine if Jeff won the belt, then Matt started talking about how he’s the ecw champ and he should get a shot at the big one? With the right build, it could turn into another Hogan/Warrior. Obviously not on the same level as far as icon status, but they could play it as Face vs. Face. Brother v. Brother. Choose a side. That could be a storyline for the ages.”
Jared Adams believes that size doesn’t matter:
“Ratings were up for a while when CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, and Priceless were all champions…they aren’t huge muscle guys and the fans relate to that better.”
WZ Reader, Ozer, makes two interesting points. Jeff draws in the kids, and also, let’s be real…past indiscretions haven’t hurt others in the past:
“To answer your question: Yes, Jeff Hardy will win the WWE Title. He continues to attract kids, who are accompanied by their parents. The parents will then buy their kids WWE toys, and pay to take them to shows. So as long as Jeff continues to help the company gain more revenue, he’ll continue to be pushed.
Another point to consider is that his suspension won’t stop him from winning the belt. Let’s not forget that JBL did a Nazi impersonation in Germany and went on to become WWE Champion. Randy Orton supposedly trashed a hotel room in 2007, not to mention other incidents over the years; yet he still went on to become WWE Champion. So I don’t think this suspension will stop the company giving Jeff another chance.”
Alex Kaiser feels an emotional connection, and Jeff’s journey has been much longer than this past year:
“Whether or not Jeff Hardy deserves the title is a question I donâ<80><99>t think any of us could justifiably answer at this time. Heâ<80><99>s probably done as much to squander his opportunity as he has done to earn it. Heâ<80><99>s put his body on the line again and again, possibly more so than any other wrestler to come WWEâ<80><99>s way. However, the risks he puts his body through arenâ<80><99>t exclusive to inside the ring.
Without question Jeff is over like no one in todayâ<80><99>s business can be, and has been for a long time. No matter what mistake he makes the fans are always willing to forgive and in time we will see if the WWE is as well. What they have on their plate is something special with Jeff Hardy. No superstar has been over so much for so long, since such a young age and never won a major title. This has the potential to be an all time great story within the fabrics of professional wrestling. We watched Jeff grow up, from a teenage kid flinging himself off of ladders, through the many problems with drugs and now into a man deserving of the main event spot light. Same gimmick, same attitude, same Jeff Hardy. He is OUR superstar and what a moment it would be if he could shatter that glass ceiling. Does he deserve it? Thatâ<80><99>s a matter of opinion and always will be. But for our sake, the sake of WWE, and for Jeff Himself, he needs this title, we all do. If not for the business it would garner, then to just feel emotionally connected to pro-wrestling one more time. God knows itâ<80><99>s been awhile. At least for me anyway.”
David Cater reminds of that this could ultimately be like Deja Vu:
“Now if I was going to go by first impression and if he was to ever win it, it will only be as short as Batista’s recent World Title run. With Hardy’s neck on the line with two suspensions and the “airport incident”, Hardy could only have the title if he was to have it for a short period. We’ve seen Kane only have the title for one day and Randy Orton have it for 20 minutes last year, Vince would satisfy the fans’ long long wait to give it to them and then take it away. Triple H has had the title for too long and the fans aren’t ready for Koslov as champion, Hardy is the only choice that Vince could go with, but additionally at this time, if Hardy wins, it means Triple H will be a 13-time World Champion shortly after and have the most WWE Titles. This is beginning to feel like deja-vu? Oh yeah, Triple H and Hardy for the Intercontental Title in 2001, Hardy wins only to lose it a week later.”
– Arguing the Middle Ground –
Tiffany Franklin from TN is looking for a resolution in either direction:
“Remember wHHHo is in charge on Smackdown. While I’d love to see Jeff as champ, he has a major uphill political battle to climb. But either way, let’s get on with it already! It’s time to **** or get off the pot! If they’re going to pull the trigger on this storyline, it needs to happen much sooner than later…it’s getting old.”
Andrew feels a Title victory is coming…but not for pro-Jeff reasons:
“I feel that Jeff Hardy will one day win the WWE Title (likely at Survivor Series, so both he and Matt will hold titles at the same time). But, I believe he will win it in a transitional role, such as 1 or 2 months at most, simply so Triple H will win it back quickly, to further his inevitable rise to 17 title reigns, thus, passing Ric Flair.”
One unnamed mystery reader feels Jeff’s credibility lowers with each passing loss:
“At this point, everyone is pretty much tired of Jeff Hardy’s run for the title. By having him lose every chance he gets, his credibility for being a title contender lowers. Ultimately, as someone else beats Triple H, Jeff Hardy will end up in contention for as high as the US Title. What could be done is add more time between title matches with him, as well as not having so many matches that have both of them. Maybe Jeff winning the royal rumble and finally beating Triple H at Wrestlemania would be great. If Jeff does not win by Wrestlemania, maybe he wont win at all…”
– Speaking Out Against Jeff Winning the WWE Title –
Jeremy Simpson feels that Jeff’s lack of passion for the industry means he hasn’t earned his shot:
“Will Jeff Hardy ever win the WWE title? Yes. Should Jeff Hardy ever win the WWE title? No. The end of the year is typically the time where the WWE is willing to take risks with it’s champions. The holiday season means that fewer people are watching and there’s plenty of time to install the champion you want going into Wrestlemania by the Royal Rumble. If the plan is for Jeff Hardy to win the title this year it’ll happen at Survivor Series or Armageddon and only last 1-2 months. This is no dream come true. The WWE is scared to give a long term title run to a guy with a past as checkered as Jeff’s.
In my opinion, Jeff should never get the title. He’s never demonstrated any sort of commitment to the company. They’ve given him chance after chance and he’s spit in their face by no showing events and violating the drug policy. Why should the WWE commit to him if he won’t commit to them? If this short term title reign happens it’ll only be because of the crowd response Jeff still generates. They feel about as safe with him as champion as they did Rob Van Dam. We all know how that one turned out.
Jeff Hardy is talented at spotfests but he’s not a solid all around wrestler. He’s doesn’t make wrestling a priority in his life. If the WWE wants to reward someone with talent who eats, sleeps and breaths wrestling they should give the WWE title to the better brother: Matt Hardy. Enjoy your short term title reign if you get it, Jeff. You haven’t earned it.”
Tony Miller chimed in on the business risk for the WWE:
“I don’t think Jeff will ever hold the top title in the WWE. To start with he’s too big of a risk to put the title on. His drug (Wellness) test failures are well known to the public and one more will cost him his job with the company. Vince isn’t going to risk having his top title holder getting fired over a failed drug test. Even though a storyline would be used to take the title off him Vince isn’t going to risk the title that way.”
John, from Buffalo, NY believes Triple H will stand in the way:
“No. For a couple of reasons. First of all, he’s on Smackdown with Triple H, and Triple H is not going to be asked to lose the title. He’s a great wrestler, but it’s getting kind of annoying how he always has the title.”
WZ Reader, Gouki, doesn’t buy into Jeff Hardy’s daredevil style as being viable for a World Champion:
“Nope, don’t think he should be WWE champion. MAYBE ECW champion but not WWE champion. I think Jeff Hardy is nothing more than a poor man’s Sabu”
Paul Wuiff is makes a compelling argument that Jeff’s popularity actually means he should not get the strap:
“My opinion of that subject is this: I remember reading an article that if a character/entertainer (not wrestler) is popular enough, he does not need a title. A title is only given to someone to push them. This was the case with the Undertaker for so long. He never was champion, when he was, it was only for a week. When he beat Sid, it was a bit longer. Then injuries kept him from keeping it. Jeff is popular enough that he does not need a title. With his background and troubles off television, he wonâ<80><99>t get it. From what I can see, a heel push is likely his next move. I liked Jeff but he is looking more stiff and sore when he does his â<80><9c>stumblingâ<80> entrance to the ring. If you recall Jericho in WCW, I think they are making his turn heel mirror that. Maybe this is what Jeff Hardy needs, a bit of heel in him to get what he wants. As of now, he wonâ<80><99>t get the title. With Smackdown, I can recall a comment Triple H said â<80><9c>heâ<80><99>s going to be champion for the next decade.â<80> If Jeff is champion, it will only be for a month or so just like CM Punk was.”
Chris Frech thinks that Hardy’s look and the WWE’s big man mentality, are Jeff’s biggest stumbling blocks:
” I know I’m probably going to catch a lot of flak for this from some readers but I’m going to say what i firmly believe. I don’t think Jeff Hardy will ever win the WWE Title because he just doesn’t have the “Big Champ” look or feel to him. I’m not saying he’s not talented, because he most certainly is and maybe it’s just how many other WWE and World Heavyweight champs have been the last few years that I say this.
I can’t help but think of Rey Mysterio’s World Heavyweight title run, they pushed the underdog angle too much and it seemed to lessen his entire reign as champ and to at least me and a few others I know made his time as champ entirely forgettable. I fear that’s what they’d do to Jeff because it seems that WWE creative doesn’t have many ideas for high flyers with the strap. The most successful champs of the past few years have all been power wrestlers or technical. HHH, Batista, Cena all power wrestlers. Orton, HBK, Edge primarily technical wrestlers.
One can look a RVD’s relative short reign as champ and say “hey that worked pretty well” but knowing the WWE it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to come up with story lines that good for Jeff. As they say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but we have to remember that’s a lie but it’s still unlikely.”
– CONCLUSION –
A whopping 78% of readers presented arguments that were in support of Jeff Hardy winning the WWE Title sometime between now and Wrestlemania. Of the many readers who voted in the affirmative, most were clear cut in stating that he is fit to hold the strap, deserves to hold it, and will hold it. The overall sentiment was one of definitive excitement, as it seems the WZ readers feel strongly that Jeff Hardy winning the title will be a welcomed change of pace.
As for this writer’s not so humble opinion, I am actually split on my answers to the main question. As for whether or not he will hold the strap…I feel rather strongly that will prove to be a yes. From a storyline and character standpoint, I can not see it ending any other way. As to whether or not he is fit to be the champion and/or deserves it…it’s hard for me to say. Without knowing Jeff personally, it’s difficult to speculate on where he’s at personally at this current juncture. I do believe in second chances…maybe even third chances. But fourth, fifth, seventeenth chances? Not so much. So that leads us to whether or not he should hold the title…and to that, my answer is a resounding no. The man is a huge risk and many time over liability to the company. I can put this very simply…if you owned a billion dollar company and it was your personal livelihood on the line, would you allow Jeff Hardy to be your big dog? I 100% would not. And that’s not to say that I don’t think his probable forthcoming title run won’t be a good one…I think it very well may be, but if I were Vince, with so many others options – it’s not a risk worth taking.