CBS Sports Local interview with Jeff Hardy
Host: Chuck Carroll
Full interview available at Sports.cbslocal.com
On what happened with Impact Wrestling: It’s pretty simple. When we last spoke, Billy Corgan who is a good friend of myself and Matt, he was out at my property when we were filming Delete or Decay. He was going to own the company, be the president and all that good stuff. Basically, if he owned the company right now I’d still be under contract. But so many changes happened. When they bought him out or had a falling out with this other company and then another company, Anthem, came in. This other company leaves that I was negotiating with. And so, wow we don’t have a deal or anything. It was a fresh start with this Anthem crew. Things were just too uncertain and it was just weird. I just thought that I had to make things different for my career. Right now the time is right. There were signs, I believe, from a higher power. Bottom line if Billy was still there I’d still be there. But the way that all went down I was just ready to move on.
On reports that Impact Wrestling gave them contracts at the last minute along with an ultimatum to sign or get out: Yeah, for sure. I was good to go with mine, but then Matt had some issues going on. So, time just moved on slowly. … Long story short, we couldn’t come to an agreement. They were very late. We offered to come drop the titles at the TV tapings in March and they said we couldn’t do that unless we were under contract. And I was like, “That’s so silly. Oh my God, this is pro wrestling anything is possible. Let’s do the right thing and come drop them to another team.” But that wasn’t good enough so we basically vacated them and never lost them. I wish them all the best. Seven years, I had a good time there. They were great to me and helped me through tough times. But it was just time to move on. So, yeah, very late contract negotiations.
Whether he is surprised that Anthem is trying to protect the Broken Universe gimmick rights: It’s heartbreaking. I’m so passionate about any character I portray whether it’s Willow, the Anti-Christ, the Charismatic Enigma, Itchweed… I’m so passionate about that. Nero is my legit middle name. Me not being able to be called Brother Nero is very offensive and heartbreaking. The highest rated show last year was The Final Deletion and that’s a fact. The majority vote wins and people dug that. And then they kind of (pooped) on it. That’s not cool. And now with this lawsuit, we did this Ring of Honor pay-per-view out in Las Vegas and we got these cease and desist letters. I couldn’t believe it. In the print it said TNA developed these characters specifically for Matt and Jeff Hardy and that is so untrue. Matt developed himself and Brother Nero started to flow. I developed Brother Nero with the eyes and how I act. It’s all ours and it is very sad an disappointing. It’s almost surreal like, “Is this really happening?”
On reports that WWE presented them with contracts: No, because you have to go through so much testing and all of that. It’s a long process. But, no. We know some people there and naturally after WrestleMania dies down, maybe a couple of months from now, we’ll see what’s possible. But there is no truth to that whatsoever.
On the Rock ’n Roll Express going into the WWE Hall of Fame: For sure. They were part of the Apocolypto deal. We had a little match with them. I still want to have a decent match with them. I love them to death. They’re the best. Hopefully I don’t know where or with what promotion, but we’ll have that dream match. But full congrats to them because they deserve it.
On his band PEROXWHY?GEN recording and possibly touring: Yeah, hopefully so. As a matter of fact I’ll probably mention something to Ring of Honor this weekend about playing at a live gig at one of the shows. I’ve always wanted to mix the music with the wrestling. So hopefully that will come true eventually. And definitely I hope to play many more shows throughout the year. I was actually so close to playing two dates on the Warped Tour this summer. They offered through my guitar player and that’s huge. That’s like being in there with the major leaguers. I was like so scared because I didn’t know if we could do it. That needs to be the full band with the heavy songs and all that. It was just too soon. So hopefully summer of 2018 we’ll be able to jump on that. Evidently a Jeff Hardy fan was in the system there and said it would be great to have you on. I don’t think we were ready this year, but hopefully next year we’ll have a few dates on the Warped Tour which is going to be breathtaking.
On how long the Hardys will be with ROH: It’s short-term. It’s through the summer. What’s cool about Ring of Honor is that we can still go out and work the indie dates. That’s another thing about the TNA deal was that they wanted to take our indy dates from us and I really enjoy working the independent circuit. You meet some crazy, cool, interesting people and the shows have been so great as of late. I would say our Ring of Honor deals are through the summer. It’s a short-term deal and we’ll see how things go. We’ll test the waters for a while and hopefully help the company grow.
On whether Saturday is their final ROH date: Oh, no. No, there’s going to be many more shows. Many more honorable shows.
Powell’s POV: Jeff may be shooting straight, but could you really blame him or Matt if they put the word out that they are staying with ROH even if they will be showing up in WWE sooner than they indicate? Only time will tell.