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Jim Ross Recalls Jeff Hardy’s Jump From WWE to TNA in 2009, If He Was Surprised

August 26, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Jeff Hardy TNA Impact

– Speaking on the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross looked back at Jeff Hardy’s jump from WWE to TNA in 2009. The move came at the end of a main event push for Hardy, who had a run as World Heavyweight Champion and a feud with CM Punk. Hardy lost a match against Punk in August with his career on the line, which was intended to have Hardy take time off to heal from injuries. However, when TNA made its move to Mondays in January of 2010, Hardy surprised everyone by showing up.

Hardy, it should be said, was arrested soon after he left WWE television in a drug bust of his home that turned up 262 Vicodin prescription pills, 180 Soma prescription pills, 555 milliliters of anabolic steroids, a residual amount of powder cocaine, and drug paraphernalia. He eventually pled guilty and served 10 days in jail along with a $300,000 fine and 30 months of probation. His substance abuse issues would continue in TNA and lead to an infamous moment at Victory Road 2011, where he came out to face Sting for the TNA World Title but was too intoxicated to perform and was pinned in 90 seconds.

Ross’ comments on the topic, and the full podcast, are below:

On Hardy’s issues that led to his departure: “We had several opportunities to deal with these issues with Jeff. I just think that, in looking back on it, him and Matt were two of my favorite guys. Still are. And I just believe in what they’ve done, and the hard work and the sacrifices they’ve made, and all these things … But I think Jeff just had so many interests, and maybe some habits that he probably should have managed better, honestly. But he gets burned out. And we should have, all of us should have realized that. But he was such a valuable cog in what we were doing. We all believed that Jeff was magical in singles, and thought he could be very, very special in singles. And I still think he had those legs. Whether he has it today or not is another story, but at that time, he certainly was viable to be another top main event singles guy. But you know, he just — the burnout would affect him, and he would alter his mind just a little bit. Might be drinking or whatever it may be. So it was sad. But I knew he’d be back, because it was in his blood. I just didn’t know when. And we would have a place for him when he came back without a doubt, ’cause there was too much talent, and he’s likable as hell. So it’s hard not to want to support the guy even to this very day.”

On Hardy’s jump to TNA: “Yeah, I was surprised to some degree. Nothing really surprises me in wrestling because the — I don’t know, some of the business principles are lax. It was a money grab for Jeff. I’m sure they offered him big money by Dixie Carter and her family, and it was too good a deal to turn down. So instead of being at home and healing, and getting himself back together, he’s back on the road, back in that dangerous environment. So I wasn’t disappointed that Jeff got work, because that’s a no-brainer. And I wasn’t surprised whatsoever. I just felt like for his own good, he should be at home healing. As you said, Conrad, he had a litany of injuries. And he’s not going to change his style. So he’s gonna be still taking the sensational bumps, putting his body at risk multiple times a night, multiple nights a year. So then it becomes inevitable that at some point, the body’s gonna break down. And on the path to breaking down, we’ve gotta do things to mask the pain and relax the muscles, and all these type things. And then if you have a beer or two with that stuff, all of a sudden you’re in deep water when you don’t need to be. So I was a little surprised. Happy he got work, but not happy he wasn’t healing.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

Jeff Hardy, Jim Ross, TNA, WWE, Jeremy Thomas