With the recent arrest of Jeff Hardy for public intoxication in South Carolina, it should be noted that this is by no means his first. In fact, Hardy’s professional and personal life provides an extensive list chronicling his battles with substance abuse and the legal consequences of such.
Below, in chronological order, is a list of events throughout Jeff Hardy’s professional and personal life that have been direct results of his continuing war with substance abuse. This list also includes signings and releases from professional wrestling organizations, as well as noteworthy events within those organizations.
The purpose of this list is meant to serve as a reference for drawing your own conclusions about Jeff Hardy and his on-going struggles with addiction and self-destruction. We begin…
May 23, 1994: Jeff Hardy makes his debut with WWF in Youngstown, Ohio
June 6, 1994: Jeff Hardy makes his ‘Monday Night Raw’ debut against Razor Ramon
It would not be until 1998 that Jeff, and his brother Matt, would be signed to long-term contracts with the WWF. Under the training of Dory Funk Jr., the Hardy Boyz would go through months of “jobbing” and live events before being brought up to the main roster. From mid-1999 to 2003, Hardy would enjoy success not only in the Tag Team division but in Singles as well… until…
April 22, 2003: WWE releases Jeff Hardy
Reasons given for Hardy’s ’03 release included erratic behavior, drug use, refusals to enter rehabilitation, deteriorating ring performance, as well as constant tardiness and no-showing events. Hardy would downplay these accusations in a 2006 WWE.com article:
“I didn’t need [rehab]. When I was released from WWE, it wasn’t just about demons and demonic metaphors that relate to drug use. I failed numerous drug tests because I just didn’t care… didn’t care to wrestle anymore. A sense of me believes that it might have just been a way out [of wrestling].”
After performing in independent organizations OMEGA and Ring of Honor throughout the remainder of ’03…
June 23, 2004: Jeff Hardy debuts in TNA Wrestling
Hardy would perform for TNA for the rest of 2004 until his habits of no-showing for live events resurfaced.
May 15, 2005: Jeff Hardy no-shows for TNA ‘Hard Justice’ PPV
May 17: TNA suspends Jeff Hardy
Hardy had missed numerous flights to Orlando from North Carolina and ended up arriving much later after the PPV concluded. This was the most notable of numerous no-shows for TNA events throughout the course of 2005.
August 5: Jeff Hardy returns to TNA at ‘Sacrifice’ PPV
December 11: Jeff Hardy no-shows for TNA ‘Turning Point’ PPV and is immediately suspended
June 1, 2006: Jeff Hardy’s contract with TNA expires
August 4: WWE re-signs Jeff Hardy
August 21: Jeff Hardy returns to ‘Monday Night Raw’
This would be Jeff Hardy’s return to a WWE organization that had implemented its Talent Wellness Program earlier that year. Unfortunately, this would place his addictions under a spotlight rather than behind a curtain.
July 30, 2007: Jeff Hardy’s first WWE Wellness Policy violation, suspended for 30 days
Hardy would attempt to hide this fact on his website ‘TheHardyShow.com’ claiming that he needed time to heal from a bad fall taken during his match on ‘Raw’ the week prior.
March 11, 2008: Jeff Hardy’s second WWE Wellness Policy violation, suspended for 60 days
Hardy lost his Intercontinental Title to Chris Jericho the week before his announced suspension. This would also lead to his removal from the ‘Money in the Bank’ ladder match booked for Wrestlemania XXIV. Not within one week of his suspension, tragedy would strike.
March 14: Jeff Hardy’s home destroyed by fire
Reports from the Moore County (NC) Fire Department listed the cause of the blaze as “undetermined” and that foul play was not being investigated due to the fact that Hardy told investigators that he did not have insurance on his home. Matt Hardy confirmed that no one was in the home.
September 1, 2009: Jeff Hardy’s contract with WWE expires
On the August 28 episode of “Smackdown,” Jeff Hardy would lose to CM Punk in a Steel Cage rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship with the added stipulation that the loser would leave WWE. With the storyline put into place, this would allow Hardy to heal from his injuries. These included neck rehabilitation and two herniated discs in his lower back causing him to suffer from restless legs syndrome.
September 11: Jeff Hardy arrested on numerous drug charges after raid on his North Carolina home
These charges included felony possession of cocaine, felony drug trafficking of opium, two counts of felony possession with intent to distribute a Schedule III controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling for drug use and/or distribution and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He would be released from jail on a $125,000 bond.
The raid on his home yielded 262 Vicodin prescription pills, 180 Soma prescription pills, 555 milliliters of anabolic steroids, a residual amount of powder cocaine and drug paraphernalia.
January 4, 2010: Jeff Hardy re-signs with TNA
Hardy would return to TNA on their first live Monday episode of “Impact.” While it would be revealed that following day he had signed with TNA, it was also revealed that…
January 5: Jeff Hardy indicted on all charges stemming from his 2009 arrest
Continuances for his case would be filed at a frequency of every three months for the next two years, prolonging his inevitable fate while trying to keep his addiction out of the public eye. Over that year in TNA, he would enjoy creative freedom in the redesigning of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship he held. Then came the most public display of Jeff Hardy’s addictions and, in my opinion, one of the most disgusting moments in professional wrestling history.
March 13, 2011: Jeff Hardy performs under the influence at TNA “Victory Road”
I will let this recollection of the incident speak for itself:
March 15: TNA suspends Jeff Hardy
August 23: Jeff Hardy returns to TNA, asking for “forgiveness”
This return to TNA would take place only five days after his brother Matt was released from his TNA contract. While he acknowledged his professional struggle, it would come less than three weeks away from the consequences of his personal struggle.
September 9: Jeff Hardy pleads guilty to his 2009 arrest charges
Hardy would plead guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and a single count of conspiracy to traffic opium. All other charges were dropped in accordance to his plea deal.
Hardy would be sentenced to ten days in jail, thirty months of probation and fined $100,000. According to The Fayetteville Observer, Hardy’s prison sentence of 20-33 months was suspended on the condition that he continue to attend an outpatient drug-counseling program and comply with those terms during the probationary period. Prosecutors also initially sought to have Hardy serve a 30-day jail sentence, however the judge reduced it to ten and for it to be served at a time determined by his probation officer. The following years would appear to be the most stable Hardy’s professional career, spending over five of them in TNA.
March 1, 2017: Jeff Hardy released from TNA/Impact
April 1: WWE signs Jeff Hardy
April 2: Jeff Hardy returns at Wrestlemania 33
A magical and triumphant moment it was. Returning to where it all began, Jeff and Matt Hardy appear at Wrestlemania. Though the next two years would be troubling for Jeff on the injury front, they were predictable on the other.
March 10, 2018: Jeff Hardy arrested for Driving While Impaired in Concord, NC
According to the arrest report by Concord police, Hardy ran himself off the road in his 2016 Cadillac, struck 105 feet of guardrail before he spun out and stopped in the middle lane of Concord Parkway. This would cause an estimated $8,000 of damage to his car and $5,000 in damage to the guardrail.
While in custody at the Cabarrus County Detention Center, Hardy registered a .25 blood alcohol content level on a breath test.
June 11: Jeff Hardy pleads guilty to DWI arrest
His guilty plea yielded a 120-day suspended sentence, a $300 fine and the suspension of his driver’s license.
July 13, 2019: Jeff Hardy arrested for public intoxication in Myrtle Beach, SC
According to the police report, Hardy was arrested after being found passed out in a public staircase and smelling of alcohol. Hardy paid a $153 ticket for the misdemeanor offense.
Form your own opinions about Jeff Hardy and his struggles with addiction as you may.
I have my own opinions that are fueled by personal experience and local knowledge because I not only live in close vicinity of Hardy’s residence and arrest locations, but I have also lived through the consequences of my own personal addictions. Tune in tonight (8p EST) to ‘Wrestleview Weekly’ for those and the rest of the week’s headlines.