– The following are highlights of a new Ring Rust Radio interview with Jeff Hardy:
Donald Wood: You and your brother Matt, The Hardy Boys, are reuniting for Thursday’s Destination X edition of Impact Wrestling and will be squaring off against The Wolves in a Tag Team Championship match. What are your feelings about teaming up with your brother and challenging for the titles heading into the marquee match?
Jeff Hardy: This week on Impact is beyond great. When you talk about tag team wrestling, this is the top of the mountain, man. The Wolves are one of the best tag teams in the world, and my brother and I, the Hardy Boys, are back in TNA and we’re going for the titles one more time and you do not want to miss this match this week on TNA Impact Wrestling,. It’s a show-stealer.
Mike Chiari: With yourself and Matt wrestling a couple matches as a team in New York, is the Hardy Boys reunion in TNA just a short-term deal or do you anticipate and expect to be teaming together for the foreseeable future and getting back into the tag team scene on a more permanent basis?
Jeff Hardy: It’s kind of the unknown. I mean, I don’t know what Matt’s going to do or what he wants to do as far as a long term deal. I’d like it to be long term, but right now it feels short term, but I can’t speak for Matt. So, we’ll see what happens.
Brandon Galvin: Jeff, you and Matt have always been among the most innovative tag teams in the business. Now that you have a bit more freedom in the ring when working together, how often do you two discuss new maneuvers and has there ever been something you’ve wanted to try in the ring but haven’t had the opportunity to do so?
Jeff Hardy: I’ve had some recent new ideas that I’ve talked to Matt about but we haven’t debuted them yet, but are pretty possible. It’s like riding a bicycle. Matt and I teamed for a long time and we did an Omega show at the high school that Matt and I graduated from and wrestled the Briscoe Brothers and the whole show from beginning to end was so good and the Briscoes vs. the Hardys was a killer main event. I also did a few other Indy shots with Matt and we were just as good as we’ve ever been. And now, to be wrestling the Wolves and they’re an amazing tag team and we tear it up. There’s so much to do that hasn’t been done, it’s just about following through and trying to conquer it.
Donald Wood: The Hardy Boys teamed up in TNA in 2011, but the run was short lived. With both of you being in a much different place in your lives, do you appreciate the ability to work together again more now that you have overcome adversity?
Jeff Hardy: Oh, now more than ever. We both went through the dark periods and on the other side of those dark periods, we came out on the better side and to be performing the way we are, whether he’s on an Indy show or Ring of Honor and I’m doing my thing, we’re still rocking. To reunite and to be just as good as we’ve ever been pays off for us and the fans. It’s a good feeling. I’m 36 years old and to get back together and still rock the house is a good feeling.
Mike Chiari: There’s no question that the Hardy Boys are one of if not the greatest tag teams in the history of professional wrestling. As someone who has seen and done it all in the tag team ranks, who do you consider to be the greatest tag team of all time aside from yourself and Matt?
Jeff Hardy: I don’t think there’s such a thing as the greatest of all time or the greatest in the world. If I had to choose, I mean, the Legion of Doom, I loved those guys as a kid but then the Rockers, the Rock N’ Roll Express, back in those days. I don’t think there’s one best in the world or best of all time, but I’m going to go out on a limb and speak with confidence and say Matt and myself are in that category.
Donald Wood: If you had to pick one, Legion of Doom or Demolition, who ya got?
Jeff Hardy: I’ve been doing interviews all day and I think this is the perfect answer: In my opinion, for me in the NWA it was Sting, WWF back in the day it was the Ultimate Warrior; myself combined I was both of those guys. In the tag team world, I mean, LOD NWA and WWF Demolition, I was those as well combined, that’s my style, that’s my vibe. The other worldly vision of these painted faces and huge men that are just incredibly talented and going to war. If I had to choose, I’d go with LOD, but I don’t have to choose.
Brandon Galvin: Jeff, I often feel the Hardy Boys vs. Dudley Boys’ first-ever tag team table match in WWE is overlooked when discussing the Hardy Boys’ top defining moments. Do you too feel that match is overlooked when discussing the history of the Hardy Boys and how do you feel about having the opportunity to wrestle the Dudleyz again now that both teams are in TNA?
Jeff Hardy: It’s almost surreal. If you had asked me what I would be doing 10 years from now when I was 26, I would’ve never said ‘oh, we’ll be wrestling Team 3D in TNA’, but that’s how everything just falls into place in the universe. The stuff we did back in the day, with Edge and Christian as well, those few matches and in TNA today as well with myself, Matt, Devon and Bubba, it’s incredible that we’re still able to do what we do from what we put our bodies through and to be as good as we are.
Donald Wood: Impact Wrestling is returning to New York City and the Manhattan Center on August 5, 6 and 7. What was it like to return to a wrestling-centric city like NYC for the last set of tapings and do you expect more of the same from the raucous crowds when you return next week?
Jeff Hardy: I think so, yeah. I had done one live event there in that building previously and there’s been so many killer shows that took place at that venue and naturally the fans are harder and you’re going to hear some graphic chants. It’s intimidating to many people and leading up to the New York tapings last time it was intimidating to me, but the overwhelming response I got and the matches I had I mean, I hope we remain there as long as we can.
Mike Chiari: You showed your range as a performer over the past few months with the Willow character. Having always worked as yourself in TNA and WWE, what type of satisfaction did you gain from switching things up from a creative perspective and going in a totally different direction with Willow?
Jeff Hardy: One thing that none of my fans truly know is that Willow is Jeff Hardy. In the days of Omega, I was Jeff Hardy, with the painted face, the babyface, and then I was Willow later in the show, wrestling my brother later in the show as the bad guy, the demon from down under and I was completely different back in the day, but that was before I got tattooed up and now it’s very hard to cover my tattoos and it’s just not reasonable. The thing about Willow and Jeff Hardy is that Willow is the idea I had and a figment of my imagination that has inspired so many of Jeff Hardy’s moves and Jeff Hardy’s style and the cut up sleeves on my arm that originally came from Marilyn Manson, I thought that all would be great for Willow and I would be rocking that back in Omega where it originated and it became one of the top merchandise items of all time. The coolest thing about TNA letting me do Willow is that they were unafraid to let Jeff Hardy express himself, like an extended version of himself, and they weren’t afraid to put a mask on me, which WWE probably would’ve never done, but I truly believe, and you’ll see in the future, that it’s going to work. Jeff Hardy, with his Imag-i-nation and the figment of it that is Willow, you’ll be able to see a cool visual of what actually goes on in my mind and you might see Willow every now and then, but for the most part it will be a glimpse into my mind.
Donald Wood: You are one of the top singles competitors in the sport today. While joining forces with your brother is something the fans are going to enjoy, do you still have the taste for the World Heavyweight Championship and is that something you’d like to achieve in TNA again?
Jeff Hardy: Oh, for sure. That’s that feeling that never gets old and when you talk about holding onto something as long as you can. Whether I retire a year from now or not I would like to hold that title one more time and keep it until that point that breaks me, whatever it may be. I would love to end my career as World Champion. I can’t be Jeff Hardy without taking chances, if I feel like I do now, I’m going to keep going out there like I did against Bobby Lashley a few weeks ago. I’m going to go all out and go hard and go for it to win that title.
Donald Wood: Would you go through your brother Matt to win the world title?
Jeff Hardy: Oh my god, I would love it. I think it could be done so tasteful it would be insane in TNA. I would love that more than anything. I’d love to work Matt, especially for the world title, it would be so good.
Mike Chiari: TNA has obviously done a good job of locking up a lot of its talent to long-term contracts in recent months. Have you given any thought to your contract situation? Would you be interested in a long-term deal to remain a focal point of TNA?
Jeff Hardy: Possibly, yeah, I mean I’m locked in pretty much for two more years because I re-signed, and it’s up to TNA to keep me around. I’ll make that decision as we get closer to the time, but right now I pretty much have a dream job. I have a three year old daughter and I’m fortunate enough to be able to have this dream job and so much time at home each day with her and I take advantage of it. As long as I keep going now with this schedule, it’s perfect for me. As far as 5, 10 years down the road, I can’t say.
Brandon Galvin: If you had the opportunity to book your last match, would you guys prefer to wrestle against Matt or as a tag team with him?
Jeff Hardy: Oh, that’s a good question, ultimately it would be killer to wrestle Matt because we dove into this journey wrestling each other and we’ve done it so many times. Yeah, that would be the perfect last match, to wrestle Matt.
Check out the complete interview below.
– Also, in case you missed it yesterday, the following are highlights of a new Main Event Radio interview with Jeff Hardy:
What have been your favorite memories working for TNA Impact Wrestling? “For sure it was coming back after Victory Road 2011. 2012 was the best year of my pro wrestling career. Being clean and straight up. Looking great, loving life. 2012 was huge with me, every match. Winning the World title in a killer match-up against Austin Aries. The #1 year for me.”
Victory Road 2011 – I would assume that that had to be the worst night of your career? “I was too f—ed up to even try to get through the match. You see yourself on video, not knowing how bad you were. It’s embarrassing; it’s terrifying watching yourself. Me seeing myself in that shape devastated me. A huge let-down for the fans. Everything that was bad in me pretty much died that night.Thank God they didn’t fire me that night. After Victory Road, that was a huge eye opener. I had a huge decision…I had the chance to do a 120-day outpatient rehab. It was good for me. It saved me.”
When you came back later that year, how did it feel to be forgiven and embraced by the fans? “When I returned I had to go and apologize to everyone in the locker room. I could barely talk, it was horrible. I went in there and went through it, begged for forgiveness. I begged everyone for one last chance. I came out of that whole situation better than ever.”
Recently you were portraying the character of Willow, which we know you’ve done in the past – What brought Willow back in TNA? “We through it around maybe my 2nd or 3rd year. But my hair was cut short and I had to grow it longer for the character to work. One of my best friends, Shannon Moore, his wife made me this awesome mask for it. But it just wasn’t the right time for it. Me and Jeff Jarrett actually talked about it. Some time went on and then I had some time off in January and February this year. Then they called me and I tried to get it ready really quick. Try to develop my approach to the character. Debuted at Lockdown, lasted awhile, and was pretty cool as far as I’m concerned. It will be around, basically as a part of Jeff Hardy’s imagination.”
Reuniting with your brother Matt, the Hardy Boys “It was great. Matt’s been doing his own thing on the indies and Ring of Honor. I’ve been doing my thing in TNA. He went through his own dark period too. Now both of us are on the other side of that.”
Who he would like to work with: “The Wolves, I saw them in ROH and I thought these guys are special, crazy talented. There are so many young talents. We will work with anybody. Devon’s back in TNA. We’re older now and we have so much history with Team 3D. So amazing considering what we’ve put our bodies through and still going out there and doing what we do.”
Do you plan on bringing back the TLC match/Full Metal Mayhem (as it’s known in TNA), maybe at BFG vs the Wolves and Team 3D? “That would be a crazy main event and a definite show-stealer and is entirely possible.”
You recently had a world championship shot against Bobby Lashley. You did a Swanton Bomb and landed directly onto the steel steps. You’re now 36, I’m thinking that your body doesn’t heal as quick. Why put yourself through such risks? “People have texted me while watching Impact saying that I look great. I wish I felt great. It was rough after that match and I had to tape a few more days. I’m so blessed to be in TNA. I can go hard for 3-4 days then I have 2 weeks to heal. I see a chiropractor 3 times a week. I work hard then I go home to heal then I go hard again. My mentality will probably never be right. Each time I go out there and wrestle I think it could be my time, my luck could run out. Luckily I still have a little in me. I’m going to let my body decide. If I feel the same way I do in 5 years from now I will still keep doing what I’m doing right now.”
If you could go back in time and talk to a younger version of yourself, what would you say? “Don’t f*** up man. You know better. Don’t let a substance control you. There’s a long road to recovery and it’s crazy how long it took me to get it. I basically say get it now before it’s too late. Thankfully it never became too late; I never died. But I let the substances control me.”
TNA TV Deal thoughts: “I hope in two years you’re still watching me on Spike every Thursday night. I love being on Spike. I hope they work something out in their negotiations. They use me for my talents and I show up and do the best that I can. It’s not up to me to make that decision, out of my control and I just hope for the best. Ultimately, I would love to remain on Spike.”
Your current goals, as a singles competitor and as a tag team? “I’m not sure if Matt wants a long-term deal or not. As long as he is around we will team. We’ve both got great solo careers also. To win the world title again would be great but I just want to do the best I can. I want to make Jeff Hardy and Willow work in the “3 faces of Foley” character kind of way. In a way that the fans get a glimpse into my mind. When I’m getting ready for a match, the fans see me in as a dark room as Willow seeing what he is telling me in my mind and the fans get to see it and get pumped up. I want to make that work as the Charismatic Enigma.”
Check out the complete interview at MainEventRadio.com.