March 17, 2008
I was swamped with email this past week, and it seems every email I received was about either Jeff Hardyís suspension or me revising my WrestleMania predictions. I guess when you look at it even the revising of my Mania predictions is related to Jeff Hardyís suspension so I figured that would be a good place to start this week.
It is of course very unfortunate that Jeff violated the WWE Wellness Policy, yet again. With this being a 60-day suspension this is actually his second failure and he is now on his last chance with WWE. I was very sad when I heard the news, of Jeffís suspension. I was in WWE, often working with Jeff, when he was released the last time, for what I assume were drug related conduct issues, and I was really hoping he had turned that corner and cleaned up his act. Jeff was a lot of fun to work with and a genuinely great guy, so like many fans I was thrilled when he returned to WWE and was doing so well.
Everything seemed to be going Jeffís way. The office was getting behind him and finally stepping him up to that top tier, fans were getting behind him in a big way, and he was in turn rising to the occasion. It finally looked like a World (or WWE) Title run might actually be in his future.
WOW! What a difference a week makes.
Jeff violated the Wellness Program for the second time. He dropped the Intercontinental Tile on Monday and was suspended for 60-days. WWE pulled him out of the Money in the Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania, and with his next failure warranting a mandatory release, it is doubtful WWE will get behind Jeff again with a top tier push. This is huge. In immediate lost income Jeff is likely looking at between $50,000 and $100,000 for this suspension. Add to that the lost revenue of the downscaled push that is likely to follow his return to WWE, and over time this suspension could end up costing Jeff in excess of $500,000.
If that wasnít bad enough, and this is where things get really sad, on Friday his house (which was apparently uninsured) burned to the ground. Jeff lost his house, all his possessions inside, as well as his dog, which was home alone at the time of the fire. I canít even imagine the sense of lose Jeff is facing right now and this tragedy turned my disappointment in Jeff, over the Wellness suspension, into sympathy and concern for a guy going threw a real hard time.
Jeff has suffered a huge career setback and then piggy backed that with a genuine real life tragedy and lose. My best wishes go out to Jeff, and I hope he finds a way to deal with this huge set back and move forward some how.
This is getting a little deeper than I hoped and Iím not sure what else can be said, other than to wish him well, and hope for the best.
In an attempt to lighten this up a bit I guess Iíll move on to revising my WrestleMania picks. With Jeff out of Money in the Bank, this match gets a lot tougher to predict. I figure the top two contenders are Jericho and MVP, but Iím going with Jericho, and I will even speculate that he will use MITB to eventually jump to SD.
WWE also added the 24-man Battle Royal match where the winner immediately faces Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Title. This is such a long shot especially when I donít even know who the 24 guys are. Just a stab in the dark here Iím going with Kahli to win and also defeat Chavo for the ECW Title. My brain says WWE wonít switch all three singles titles on one show, but what the hell. I keep hearing they want to feature and push Kahli for his international drawing power, so here is a way to do it and not detract from the top domestic draws on RAW and SD.