After two week’s worth of largesse and pleasantries it is time to get back to black, starting with young Jeffrey. As most readers of this esteemed website are doubtless aware, news broke on Friday of the arrest of Jeff Hardy. An investigation of indeterminate length (conducted by the Moores County Sheriff and Fayetteville Police Department) led to a search warrant for Hardy’s home being issued. Upon inspection of the property copious amounts of both prescription and recreational drugs were discovered. Jeff was arrested and spent the night in jail on $125,000 bail.
The gravity of this incident is not to be underestimated. This is not a simple marijuana bust. The joint authorities found nearly five hundred Vicodin and Soma tablets, alongside five-hundred-fifty-five millilitres of anabolic steroids and a little Bolivian marching powder to boot. Hardy is facing a distribution rap along with two possession counts. Realistically, he will be looking at a custodial sentence of a minimum six months and probably much, much longer than that. He can count on an eye-watering fine for good measure.
For Jeff’s many fans and supporters (not to mention his brother) this must be immensely disappointing. After the hard work and prominent contributions of the last four years Jeff left WWE on a personal high. The most consistently popular performer on the roster by a country mile, everyone from Vince McMahon down begged Jeff to stay. I would?ve paid damn good money to have been privy to Vince’s reaction upon learning of Jeff’s latest disgrace. I?d contend a mixture of disappointment and blind fury was the order of the day.
Although no longer a WWE employee, Jeff only left employment two weeks previously so the company will not avoid bad press by association. The question will once again be asked of the Wellness Scheme and its effectiveness. How could a man working in an apparently stringently drug free environment be able to amass a pharmacy’s worth of medication and enhancers? If it emerges he was using the steroids and abusing cocaine (the issue of the prescription drugs will depend on the overall legality of the prescription) how was this not detected? For all the good he did in the squared circle, Jeff Hardy has potentially damaged the already coal-black reputation of WWE on drugs control.
Speaking of ?black?, the ?blacklist? is where Jeff will reside for the foreseeable future. Whatever the outcome of Jeff’s iron bar-laden future, he is for the moment at least unemployable. The PG-13 WWE will not be able to maintain credibility in an association with Jeff and if he were still under contract they would have been under immense pressure to sack him. If Jeff goes inside it will be a long-hard road back to prominence. Jeff’s ability and charisma is such that I believe he can and will return from this one day. Still only thirty-one, Jeff has more years than some in which to recover past glories. My earnest hope in all of this is a spell in the choky may finally bang some sense into the terminally irresponsible Hardy. He is an American and not a resident of the sixties. For the good of himself and his future he needs to grow up and consider a life beyond the petulant, ignorant and downright foolish existence he presently entertains. As impressed as I was with his evolution as a performer, I am dismayed by this latest personal transgression. As the late, great Brian Clough might have put it: ?Jeffrey, you are one very silly young man??
Moving on, I?d like to relay my utter indifference to the new promotion jointly announced by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Supposedly touring initially in Australia (Home of the Ashes? Oh, wait a minute!) this new mega venture, imaginatively dubbed ?Hulkamania?, will set the world on fire or something. Quite honestly, I?ll be impressed if this silly idea ever sees the light of day. The names involved and the setting clearly betray the shaky foundations upon which the ?promotion? is built and inspire plenty of emotions independent of confidence. The whole enterprise is essentially a Hulk Hogan foundation. Hollywood’s philandering has cost him a pretty penny and this hastily assembled nostalgia trip is designed to raise funds to pay for Hogan’s perma-tan well into his dotage. I can just see the great pantheon of Hulk-loving codgers lined up to lay down in rapid order; albeit in very slow motion?
Ric Flair is apparently being lined up as Hogan’s central opponent on the shows. At this point its necessary to mention the matches between these two have been a clich? since 1994. It got so bad towards the end of their first run you could quite literally list the spots and the order of execution before it all occurred in every single one of their contests. The major addition to this tour de force will be another fifteen years on the already Jurassic body clocks. The terms ?broken down? and ‘slow motion? have never carried such an ominous tenor.
In case you haven?t guessed, I?m none too impressed by the Oceanic Wrestling Group. I wish Flair would rise above his own NASA-sized ego in situations which will inevitably lead to his ritual humiliation. As for Hulk, nothing he says or does surprises anyone anymore. I can only assume he and Bischoff fancied riding their Harleys in a more exotic climate. I only wish they would do that sans Beefcake, Knobs etc. Just maybe, it will be a resounding success and I?m wrong about it all. Then again, thinking about Hogan and Flair in the same ring, wrestling, in 2009, maybe I?m not?
Daniel R. Browne.