Jeff Hardy is a true veteran in the pro wrestling world, having worked in various promotions in his career. Hardy has always managed to reinvent himself and stay relevant throughout his pro wrestling career. Unfortunately, Jeff Hardy’s personal demons plagued his entire career. Now it appears Jim Ross recalled how WWE gave Hardy an ultimate to go to rehab or get fired back in 2003.
Throughout his career in WWE, Jeff Hardy has achieved great success, winning championship titles as both a solo wrestler and as part of the Hardy Boyz tag team alongside his brother Matt Hardy.
Following the first-ever WWE Draft, Jeff Hardy remained on Monday Night RAW while Matt Hardy was drafted to Smackdown. Many believed Jeff Hardy was on the cusp of greatness, but he left WWE in 2003 due to burnout and substance abuse issues.
While speaking on a recent episode of his Grilling JR podcast, former WWE’s Head of Talent Relations Jim Ross talked about the events leading to Jeff Hardy’s departure backing 2003. He recalled how WWE gave Hardy an ultimate to go to rehab or get fired at the time.
“I think he was burned out, quite frankly, I think you hit the nail on the head there. He just wasn’t ready to settle down and to play by the rules. I remember I had, look Connie, I had several sit downs with Jeff, and probably more than I normally would have. I liked him. I still like him. I’m glad he’s with AEW, he’s a big addition to what we’re doing. So, but it was hard, it was hard for him.
He wasn’t sure what he wanted. But I knew what I wanted. I wanted a guy that was not getting high before he wrestled. I mean, that’s just insanity, suicide, can’t do it. So I think he’s a little bit burned out, you know, and some guys handled pressure and their ascension to the top of the card in different ways. It’s not an automatic fit. And I don’t know that he was ready for his ascension.
Again, I had a great interest in Jeff’s success, but the main thing, my interest was health. And then he took that down one notch. And then there you got there you got Jeff, you know, trying to wrestle impaired. And that’s just insanity. We can’t do it. And I remember telling him that I said, you know, you got to go to rehab again, or we can’t use you. And it wasn’t a, there wasn’t a debatable topic. You know, it wasn’t a debatable topic, we’re not going to discuss, or what if we did this? What if, what if we do this, you get help. And if you get help, we will do business with you. And you’ll make a lot of money. You’re just, you’re getting over. But he didn’t, he didn’t see it that way.”
Jim Ross even previously stated that Jeff Hardy was in denial about his substance abuse issues. Thankfully, Jeff Hardy is in a much better place now that he returned to AEW earlier this year. We hope Hardy remains healthy and keeps himself out of trouble for everyone’s sake.
What’s your view on this Jeff Hardy story? Are you glad he is doing better now? Let us know in the comments below!