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Jeff Hardy’s body is battered and bruised. After more than 20 years of jumping off things through tables for just for our entertainment, you’d forgive him for wanting to tone down.
Nowadays he doesn't do his high-flying madness on every show and instead saves it for special occasions.
But Hardy’s undying love for death-defying dives cannot be taken away. He still wants to top one of his craziest stunts, an insane Swanton Bomb from 33 foot onto Randy Orton in 2008 to mark a change in set on Raw.
33 ft was great, but what about rounding it up to 40 ft? And what about jumping off a 20 ft ladder for good measure? That’s the mindset of the Charismatic Enigma.
“I remember being so scared but it being so beautiful and safe – nobody got mangled or injured,” the WWE legend told SPORTbible.
“That was 33 ft and I kind of want to go up to 40 before it’s all said and done. I do think it’s possible at a WrestleMania, to pull out an actual 20 ft ladder – those things are terrifying and the base of the ladder is about as wide as a ring.
“I think you could drag one of those things out and do a Swanton in the aisleway or something. That’s another dream I’m obsessed with – actually pulling out a 20 ft ladder and putting someone through a table Swanton Bomb style.”
At the ripe old age of 44, Hardy is not a youngster anymore. He can’t afford to be jumping off ladders every week like he did back in his pomp during the Attitude Era for the sake of his health.
Retirement, however, is not in his plans.
“Right now, I’m feeling good,” Hardy added.
“[My] back and neck’s got beat up a little bit but the chiropractor and masseuse here has been great.
“It’s kind of just a day-to-day, week-to-week thing. I live my life pretty much one day at a time, focusing on the day, hopefully sleep and do it all again tomorrow.”
The WWE legend is back “home” on SmackDown and is slated to represent the brand at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view.
He continues to be a hit with crowds in the states and overseas. Yet Hardy and his creative mind often "future trip" on showing a new side to his on-screen persona.
And one idea that pops up is channeling some inner frustration about his position within WWE.
“I think there’s a way to kinda turn heel without turning on the fans,” he states.
“It’s like turning on the company, where it’s something like, ‘Ok, I’m 44 years old, I’ve been doing this for so long and I’m really being mistreated – what's going on here?’ Should I ask for my release from World Wrestling Entertainment?’.
“This is not a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question, it’s a ‘Yay!’ or ‘Boo!’ question – let them yay or let them the boo and let them decide.
"That’s just an idea that popped into my head but it might be a route to take.
“I feel like there’s something to be unleashed inside me that wants to get out and rage to a certain extent and hopefully we’ll figure that out.”
For the last few months, Hardy has been working with a lot of the younger talent – including taking part in a selfie segment with Austin Theory before he was drafted from Raw.
“There’s no way to get around it and not look stupid. It’s me helping him out because he’s the future and I’m not.
“It’s cool to give them the rub in pro wrestling as they say – and hopefully it helps in the longer run.”
Don’t get it twisted though, Hardy is no joke. He’s a three-time world champion, a five-time Intercontinental champion, a one-time United States champion and a nine-time tag-team champion.
And he still longs for one more world title run.
“’I’ve kind of dreamt about that - especially the universal championship. I’ve talked about that a lot, with Roman Reigns and the Usos – the Bloodline is so strong now and I feel like I could fit in – especially the way the crowds have been with me.
“They are really with me and they give that adrenaline that was missing in the Thunderdome era.”
“But now that I’m still here I feel like that [the Reigns match] has to happen. I've never worked with Kevin Owens and I always forget to mention Kevin Owens.
“I got to work with Sami Zayn and AJ [Styles] in that last ladder match, which was amazing. If it’s not Roman Reigns, maybe Kevin Owens when I go back to Raw next year whatever happens.”
Hardy, as expected, was not a fan of wrestling in front of empty crowds during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But then on the first night that fans returned, Hardy wanted to make it extra special. For the first time in over a decade, he came out to his iconic ‘No More Words’ theme song and the WWE Universe were sent into raptures.
The return to the infectious track was part of Hardy’s latest two-year contract.
“The first night I came out to it, it felt like it almost wasn’t going to happen. But I had this weird feeling in my head, like, ‘They’re not going to give into it’ - because that was the deal when I re-signed for two years, like, as long as we get back to live audiences, we get ‘No More Words’ back’ because they own the song.
“That was the deal so I signed. When they finally said we got the green light, man, people knew it like it was ‘09. It was amazing.
“All these new people that don’t really know me from back then, really. It still fits well with the music.”
The years have well and truly been rolled back. But if we’re repeating history, surely it only makes sense for Hardy to mix up with long-time rival Edge, who is back doing his thing again.
“Actually, last month I spoke to Edge and I think he said something, ‘I think we gotta do it one more time’.
“Totally. Even in the rumble last year, I didn’t last no time – I was in and out and he won the rumble. I had said beforehand that it would be cool if me and Edge had this face off, just for a moment because of our history.
“As long as he keeps his health and I keep mine, that’s another big match.”
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