Powell's Blog: TNA owes fans a better explanation for Jeff Hardy being pulled from the overseas tour
By Jason Powell
TNA has some explaining to do. The last minute removal of Jeff Hardy from the overseas tour that begins today seems sketchy. The TNA Champion was a big part of the advertising for the tour only to be pulled with an announcement on the TNA UK Facebook page just two days before the tour kicks off.
Multiple sources who worked the Impact tapings, where TNA claims Hardy was hurt, say they are unaware of Hardy suffering an injury. TNA has to know that fans are at least suspicious of a bait and switch. Here's a quick look at some possible scenarios that led to Hardy being pulled from the tour.
-Hardy is legitimately injured. It's possible Hardy has been working through an injury and kept it quiet. Maybe he was injured at the taping and our sources were simply unaware of it. Perhaps he felt fine at the taping on Friday, yet woke up the next morning with some type of ailment or illness that prevented him from appearing. As skeptical as I am of the injury claim, I can't rule it out entirely either. The problem is that TNA was vague in their statement on the UK Facebook page. They didn't bother to list the nature of the injury or provide any additional information. At the very least, their fans deserve a better explanation.
-Hardy's past legal issues prevented him from making the trip. As I mentioned in my POV on this story, I suspect this is the case. Did TNA think there was a strong chance Hardy would be allowed to appear overseas only to find out at the last minute that it a probation officer would not sign off on it? Clearly, his status should have been known before TNA advertised him. Still, fans can accept that a mistake was made, but they at least deserve the acknowledgement of said mistake.
-TNA blatantly false advertised Jeff Hardy knowing there was no chance he would appear: This strikes me as the least likely scenario. We've seen some sleazy promoting in pro wrestling over the years, but I'm giving TNA the benefit of the doubt. They do not have a history of intentionally misleading ticket buyers. Plus, they tend to do big business when they go overseas. There's no denying that Hardy is a top star in the company, but I have a hard time believing that TNA officials would feel that the financial reward of falsely advertising him would be worth the risk of creating ill will with their passionate overseas fan base.
-Hardy will make surprise appearances on the tour: I suppose stranger things have happened. It just seems like a lot of work just to set up a surprise. Maybe there's a legal snafu that will be cleared up in time for him to appear at the TV taping. Yes, I'm reaching with this one.
TNA deserves credit for adding a quality replacement in Sting to the tour, but there are unquestionably some fans who were driven to buy tickets with the idea of seeing Hardy and/or the TNA Championship in person. I assume TNA will deliver the standard pro wrestling refund offer at these shows and few, if any, will take them up on the offer. Even so, TNA owes the fans who paid to see these shows a better explanation than they have been given.
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