WWE Star Jeff Hardy Is Out To Create Another Summerslam Memory
If your wrestling fandom was at its height in the adrenaline-soaked Attitude Era, Jeff Hardy is a name you'll never forget.
Throwing himself off ladders and through tables with alarming regularity, the North Carolinian with the multicoloured hair left an impression on all who was him. Now aged 40, the daredevil former WWE champion is still going strong. The master of the Swanton Bomb spoke to SPORTbible about Summerslam, his glorious return at last year's Wrestlemania and how he has stayed at the top of his game for so long.
As one half of the Hardy Boyz, with brother Matt, the "Charismatic Enigma" wrote himself into Summerslam folklore with a classic Summerslam moment. At the 2000 iteration of the even the team squared off against Edge & Christian and the equally iconic Dudley Boyz. The ensuing stunt-fest will live forever in the history of WWE's summer extravaganza, but Hardy is thinking ahead to topping it at this year's event.
"I've got a lot of Summerslam memories, but what I'm looking forward to most this year is creating a brand new one,"he told SPORTbible.
"Last year before I had my rotator cuff surgery, Matt and I were on the pre-show. We were the first match out there as people were coming in the building. We were like 'oh man this is crazy, there's nobody even in here! We're kind of not really on the show.' So I look forward to this August and making a new memory for Jeff Hardy's career.
That is entirely possible, with Jeff as acrobatic and risk-taking as ever. On WWE television he's currently feuding with Randy Orton, himself well on the way to legendary status in the company. It is no stretch to imagine the pair having the most memorable match on this year's Summerslam card. But how does Jeff Hardy keep pushing himself to top his incredible previous performances?
"I think it's a lot of luck and hope and faith. Belief in myself," he revealed.
"Belief in myself. Over the years I've also tried to be confident in who I am and what I want to portray. Normal, down to earth. I think it's helped me over the years.
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"I'm 40 now and I've been pretty banged up lately .Four nights a week is a lot of matches and they just add up. Doing that Swanton every night is just rough. So I've actually cut that out of the live events and I've just been using the Twist Of Fate as a finish. It's helped my lower back out a lot so I pretty much now for television. It's left me feeling really good at live events."
With no end in sight for the evergreen Hardy's journey, it's no wonder fans were so delighted to see him return to the company alongside his brother at last year's Wrestlemania. A surprise last minute addition to the event, the crowd erupted as the familiar strains of the Hardy Boyz's theme music hit the speakers. For Jeff this was not just a new chapter in his legacy, but a defining career moment.
"It's almost better than winning your first championship, or winning your first heavyweight singles championship. Because the Hardy Boyz started here in 98 or 99 when we signed our first deals. Then we went away, came back. We returned later in our lives and just to see everyone with open arms. That was probably the highlight of my career."
Jeff Hardy is sounding motivated and keen to not just recreate past glories, but to surpass them. Whatever he does at Summerslam and beyond, it promises to be essential viewing.
SummerSlam will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. UK viewers can tune in on Sky Sports Box Office, or watch on the award-winning WWE Network.
Words by Joey Mills