THE HARDYS: WRESTLING’S LATEST TROUBLED FAMILY

August 22, 2011 | Shawn Credle

Everyone found it pretty funny when WWE made a DVD entitled “The Self-Destruction of The Ultimate Warrior.” While fans enjoyed that DVD, which was made to be a burial of The Warrior’s career, fans are not enjoying witnessing what seems like the self-destruction of two other superstars that were, at one time, the most popular tandem in the industry. Over the last few years, TNA Superstars Matt and Jeff Hardy have found themselves in trouble, either in the locker room, or with the law. Those issues have now cost one brother his job, and has left the other brother in limbo.

Jeff’s issues came to light first, as he was suspended multiple times in WWE for violations of the company’s Wellness Policy (a policy designed to eliminate the use of drugs (both recreational and performance-enhancing) and test for health issues, which otherwise would not have been discovered until it’s too late). One suspension even cost Jeff a spot (and a huge payday) at WrestleMania XXIV. After Jeff’s WWE contract had expired in August 2009, Jeff was arrested on charges of trafficking in controlled prescription pills and possession of anabolic steroids. A search of his home turned up significant quantities of Vicodin and Soma prescription pills, anabolic steroids and cocaine. Hardy was charged with felony trafficking in opium, two counts of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule III controlled substance, felony maintaining a dwelling to keep controlled substance, felony possession of cocaine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The case has been continued about 5 times since the original arrest.

Fast forward to earlier this year, when TNA officials decided to cut short Hardy’s title match with Sting on PPV. The match only lasted 90 seconds, as Hardy was deemed unable to compete in the match. Hardy has not been seen since.

Matt Hardy was not known for having similar problems as Jeff had. While some would say that Matt wasn’t as popular as Jeff was, Matt had an enormous fanbase. In 2005, he was the most sought-after free agent, after he had been released by the WWE, following the exposure of the Matt/Lita/Edge triangle. Five years later, Matt would find himself in trouble again. This came after Hardy had been sent home from a European tour in September 2010. It would be the second time this summer than Matt had been sent home for being “unable to perform”. The formal release would come on October 15, 2010. This past January, Matt debuted in TNA, with high expectations. However, by June, Matt would state that he needed some time off. That “time off” was actually a suspension, as TNA suspended him for constantly arriving late for TNA live events. Matt would then tweet: “Between dates, injuries, & outside issues, I’m gonna have a few week off & I’m ecstatic! The Matt Hardy Movement is going into full effect!” But no one would get to see what that movement would become, as Hardy was released from his TNA contract this past weekend following his arrest last Saturday. According to Moore County (N.C.) police officials, Hardy was arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of drunk driving after crashing his Corvette into a tree. Hardy was released from jail around 7:00 p.m. EST Saturday.

Does anyone see a pattern here? It is clear that both Matt and Jeff need help of some kind. And they need their closest friends to say something. Maybe they have said something already. But if their friends are saying something like “everything is OK”, instead of saying that something is wrong, then those so-called friends are enablers as well. When it’s clear that someone has a drug and/or alcohol problem, you are a better friend when you say you need help. What if that had been a person’s car instead of a tree that he hit? What if someone had died as a result of the incident? What if someone had overdosed from the drugs/medication found? What if? What if? What if? There are a lot of “What if’s” for both Matt and Jeff. Things could have turned out a lot worse than they did. But, we shouldn’t wait for the worse to happen before somebody does something.

Here’s hoping that the Hardy brothers can find the help that they need in order to live a full life, and possibly return to the careers that they love and enjoy. It would be great to see both of them come back and rise to prominence. But wrestling fans also remember The Von Erichs and The Harts. Fans do not want to wake up one day, and read that either or both have joined that group that have left us way before their time, which is far too common in the wrestling business, unfortunately.

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