The July 1, 2002 edition of Monday Night RAW produced one of the best matches in the 27-year history of WWE’s flagship show when The Undertaker defended his WWE Undisputed Championship in a ladder match against Jeff Hardy. A week before that match, Hardy impressed in a non-title match against Taker on RAW which led to the rematch for the championship.
Although Hardy came up short in the ladder match, he earned the respect of The Phenom by the end of the bout and took a big step as a singles star for the first time in his WWE career.
In a recent interview with Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy, Hardy reflected on that classic encounter which took place at Manchester, New Hampshire, thanking Undertaker for establishing him as a singles star.
“Me being a young Jeff Hardy and going in there with the legend, the Hall of Famer known as The Undertaker, he’s pretty much like superhuman,” recalled Hardy. “For him to do what he did for me, I owe him so much. He helped me so much as far as what he did for me back then in that ladder match and I’ll never be able repay him,” added Hardy.
During The Undertaker’s Final Farewell at last month’s Survivor Series, Hardy painted The Undertaker’s symbol on his face to pay tribute to The Deadman. Hard revealed that he looked at an Undertaker symbol in the locker room and painted it spontaneously on his face.
“The Undertaker’s symbol was on the locker rooms that day and I said, ‘I think I can paint that on my face.'”
Hardy continued, “And so I went in there, I had 45 minutes to paint it and it turned out so cool. The respect and just like bowing down to the Dead Man because he’s such a legacy and such a legend.”
Taker and Hardy last shared a ring at the 2009 No Way Out event inside the Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship. They had their last singles match during an episode of SmackDown back in November 2008.