Several Former TNA Employees Share Backstage Stories On Jeff Hardy
RUDY CHARLES: I thought it was great for TNA to have a name of that caliber so early on. When Jeff first came in it was him and AJ in a match, I think I might have refereed that. I just thought it was pretty cool to have him as a part of the company, early on there was Jeff [Jarrett] there's Raven, but there weren't a lot of guys that had that WWF or WCW background so getting Jeff was a big plus for TNA at the time.
BILL BEHRENS: Jeff is somebody who I've helped going back to nearly the very beginning of his career and when he was in TNA I was the one that got him to the go area most of the time, Jeff was having issues at the time, Jeff was not the Jeff he is now, Jeff was not well grounded. The run he had was problematic but it had an awful lot to do with the fact that Jeff was doing it to himself more than anything else. We probably in 20/20 hindsight should have sent him home an awful lot earlier. TNA made a number of those mistakes, TNA sent Jake Roberts to the ring coked out of his mind and had a debacle as a result, and Jeff Hardy was not being good to himself at the time and was doing things that were not good for his health and were not good for his in ring performance all the way around. But one thing that did come from that was that Jeff was able to do some of the things he really enjoys doing, which he's now being able to visit at TNA as a much more stable young man and a much more grounded guy and that has to do with his creative side, his artistic side, his music, TNA unlike WWE let him do his own thing, whether you like his music or you don't whether you even understand his music or you don't, Jeff is very enamored with that and TNA allowed that and one of the reasons his time in TNA in the beginning worked was with a couple of exceptions he did show up and he did go out and he did work hard when he was in the ring.
PETEY WILLIAMS: I think he was probably more over in WWE when he got his second run after he left TNA and he went to WWE, it's just hard to build a company around a somebody that no shows a lot. Like you read about on the internet he gets suspended from WWE for showing up late. I remember I had to wrestle him once, he literally showed up like an hour before the show started. I had to put together the entire match, and then I was like hey Jeff what's up this is what we're doing. He was cool through everything, and I just felt like I'm the rookie he's the veteran. I shouldn't be telling him what to do but he was cool with it and we had a good match and I was happy with it.
CASSIDY RILEY: Really the only time you saw Jeff was late at night, you didn't see a lot of Jeff during the day before the shows. I'm not sure where he was or what he was doing. You might see him a few minutes once we all got there and checked in, and then you wouldn't see him again until right before he was going to go on. The majority of the time I wouldn't see him until later in the night and after the show when post game activity was going on.
Hardy's entrance music in TNA was a song by his own band Peroxwhy?gen called "Modest." A music video of the song even aired on Impact. During Hardy's TNA run he was very passionate about his art and music, citing Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots as two of his major influences. Hardy's fans started to attend Impact tapings as a group once he started to wrestle full time with the company. They dressed up as Jeff and called themselves the Hardy Party, with their ringleader being Hardy Party Joe. Joe was banned from the Impact Zone for a year after people claimed he shoved people to get to the front of shows. Joe's departure quickly led to the Hardy Party dissolving. Jeff Hardy himself went on to feud with Abyss and Raven. While Hardy was having some personal problems his matches did not seem to be affected by it. He had fantastic matches with Abyss at TNA PPV's in early 2005 and at Lockdown with Raven. At Hard Justice 2005 he was set to have a rematch with Raven, but he no showed and was replaced by Sean Waltman, which led to him being suspended from the company for 4 months.