Should All Elite Wrestling Hire Jeff Hardy?

To the surprise of everyone, former WWE Champion Jeff Hardy was released in late 2021 due to the fact that the former WWE star refused to go to rehab. The story was a messy end to the storied career that Jeff Hardy has had in his time in the company. On one hand, you can understand WWE’s decision on releasing the superstar. Despite Hardy’s insistence that he’s sober, it was odd that he left a match during a live event on December 4th through the crowd and never returned. Perhaps WWE jumped the gun and released him too soon, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed that Hardy has a documented history with drugs and the company definitely thought it was de-ja-vu.

Whatever the case is, Jeff Hardy is gone from WWE, and after turning down the opportunity to return by declining the Hall of Fame, it doesn’t appear he’ll be back anytime soon. However, another clue that Hardy won’t be returning soon was the fact that he literally spilled the beans by saying that he’ll be joining All Elite Wrestling: “I’m going to AEW,” Jeff said to Jared Myers. “I’m so excited, until this morning I didn’t really know. I’m so nervous and excited.” Now, Tony Khan has stated that there’s no contract in place as Jeff is still until his 90 day no-compete clause. However, all signs are surely pointing to Khan bringing over the former WWE Champion to AEW as Jeff’s name was even mentioned during an episode of Dynamite. But the question is, should AEW hire Jeff Hardy?

Here’s the thing, Jeff Hardy is a fantastic performer. Early in his career, the former WWE Tag Team Champion had the tools to be a big star. Who could forget his classic ladder matches with The Dudleys and Edge & Christian? Of even when the company tried to branch him out as a singles competitor, his ladder match against The Undertaker was the sign of the bigger things to come. Sure, it was mostly a squash bout, but it seemed to test whether Hardy can handle being in the main event scene. There’s been plenty of ups and downs in his career, but the former WWE superstar should be proud of all that he’s achieved in wrestling so far. That said, I think it’s a mistake if Tony Khan opts to bring in Jeff Hardy.

I’m well aware that AEW is doing a good job of pushing their home-grown talent. Guys like Sammy Guevara, Wardlow, MJF, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy The Young Bucks, and Adam “Hangman” Page are thankfully getting the spotlight and while there’s a mix of ex-WWE talent on the roster, it never feels as if Tony Khan is choosing them over their young AEW stars. However, Tony Khan has been on a mass hiring spree and at this point, the only additions that the owner should make are to the women’s division. Adding another veteran past his prime onto the roster will push aside talents who don’t have as much name recognition as Jeff Hardy. Yes, Hardy will likely reform a tag team with Matt and be a big force in that division, but its 2022, and the appeal of The Hardy Boyz is dead and gone at this point. There’s really nothing to add to their characters and again, they’re taking more television time from talents who truly deserve it. I’m as big of a Jeff Hardy fan as the next guy, but sometimes it’s okay to say no. This has nothing to do with the sketchy exit of Jeff Hardy. This has everything to do with the fact that the company has enough veterans that he’s not needed on the roster. In fact, it feels like overload that talent comes in each and every month in AEW now. Tony Khan needs to slow down and play with the toys on the roster for a while before he keeps going crazy by signing every marketable talent who enters free agency.

I don’t want to say that Jeff Hardy should retire because if the guy still loves what he’s doing then he should be allowed that free reign to do so, but AEW isn’t the only town on the block. Should Jeff Hardy step into the AEW ring then it wouldn’t damage the product (unless they push him hard), but it would be a numbing experience because there’s been so many debuts and it takes a spot away from one of the newcomers in AEW. As I previously mentioned, it’s okay if Tony says no, as Jeff Hardy just isn’t a necessity in 2022.

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