Moving onto wrestling, the first thing I’ve got to ask, is what’s your reaction to the reports that SpikeTV won’t be renewing their contract with TNA, and all of the crazy stories flying around?
I don’t know, I’m not a social network guy, I don’t even read timelines or tweets. But I’m sure negotiations are – I still have hope. It’s not really my problem, but I hope we remain on Spike, I hope they can work something out. Gosh, I hope 1 or 2 years from now we’re still coming on every Thursday night on Spike. I don’t know, I go to the shows, I do the best I can in the ring. That’s my commitment to the company, is to do what I can do to make the show good. It’s their job to use me in the right fashion. As far as re-signing with Spike, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope we remain.
You’ve gone through a lot of character changes in the last year. How did bringing your Willow character to TNA come about, and when and why did you go back to being Jeff Hardy recently?
Years ago, I think my 2nd year in TNA on this 2nd run, my buddy Shannon Moore and his wife, she’s a phenomenal seamstress, and she made me a Willow mask. We’d thrown the idea around, but my hair was short, so I was like: ‘I need to grow my hair back if I want this to really look right.’ She made the mask, and then some time passed, and then maybe a year and a half or so later, my hair got longer. Jeff Jarrett and I started talking about the possibility of bringing Willow to TNA. I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I was kind of intimidated, but it’s one of those things that when I look back on my career, I’ll be glad I that I did it.
It’s something I would have loved to do years ago, but the timing was never right. WWE never would have went for it. They would never want ‘Jeff Hardy staying covered, because [he’s] this money maker.’ But that’s what’s so cool about TNA being open-minded, they take a few risks, especially with me, and letting me do that. Because instead of that aggressive heel bad guy character that Willow was back in the OMEGA days, I think now that we’ve experimented with it, it can be a more kid friendly type of deal. Because my daughter Ruby just loves Willow, Kurt Angle’s son Kody loves Willow too. When Jeff Hardy came back, I was just starting to see masks in the crowd, it was just getting rolling good.
But then the reason for Jeff Hardy’s return, is obviously because Matt Hardy came back, and naturally we wanted to do some Hardy Boyz tag matches. That’s the big match this week on Destination X, Thursday night at 9PM on SpikeTV, it’s going to be the Wolves and the Hardy Boyz for the World Tag Team Titles. But that’s basically why Willow is not around right now, because the Hardy Boyz have reunited.
You mentioned Matt being back in TNA, your facing the Wolves on Impact, and Team 3D on an upcoming episode. What’s it like tagging with Matt again after awhile being at such a good place in your life now? Also what was it like being back in the ring with Team 3D after so many years, and do you think you will continue tagging in TNA, maybe some other matches, like getting Beer Money back together?
Oh, that would be amazing if that happened. But as Matt goes, I don’t know if he’s going to sign a long term deal, I don’t know what he wants to do. But I think the coolest thing for me, I did a few independent shots with Matt back in June, we had two tag matches and they were just great. The guys we worked were just awesome, and we just felt like we were just as good as we were back in the day. Now bringing that back to TV, after Matt and myself, we went through our dark period, and to come out of that and the other side still rocking it, it feels really good to say that we can still go out there and be the Hardy Boyz, and for the fans to still vibe on our style.
That run ended obviously with the Victory Road thing with Sting, and you had a match with Sting on Impact too and wrestled him a few times. What was your relationship like with Sting over the years, when he was in TNA?
It was great, I was still always a bit starstruck every time I would say hello to him at TV’s, because he’s the man. He’s a huge influence for me, back in the day it was him in the NWA, and The Ultimate Warrior in the WWF, that was the combined Jeff Hardy. It really shows now, I’m 36 years old, I think that influence shows pretty clearly through who I am now. But yeah it was great, I can’t wait to see him pop up here in the future.
A guy you did a lot with in the past was CM Punk, who recently reportedly retired. There have been different things said between you guys during the years, but it’s been 5 years now, how do you look back at that now as being a key feud in your career?
It was one of the biggest, pretty close to the best. We had a good chemistry, completely different people, but at the time it was perfect. He is so good, he is so good. That’s another collection as far as feuds go, that I am going to look back at and go, wow I am glad I got to work with that guy and create some immortal artwork that is going to go down in the history books. It’s all good now, I went through my times as far as the way I felt about him, but he’s a good guy, and a good wrestler, he’s done great.
In a perfect world, who would you like to wrestle before you retire? May it be from WWE, TNA, ROH, or wherever?
I think deep down, it would have to be Jushin Thunder Liger. When I first started watching Japanese wrestling way back in the day, he just stood out to me. A lot of the inspiration for Willow back then, was from [him], as far as the mask, superhero, or villain. Oh my gosh, to know he’s still flying over here and working every now and then, makes me want to say: ‘Hey, I want to be part of that dream match.’ So more than anything, I’d say it’s Jeff Hardy vs. Jushin Thunder Liger.
Whether or not he was worried that he wouldn’t get one more chance with TNA a few years ago following his personal problems:
Oh yeah, definitely. It was a dark, depressing time in my life after Victory Road 2011 was real … it was a sad time for me cause they could have easily fired me and let me go. As far as them giving me that second chance and letting me prove myself, TNA saved me. They saved my life pretty much.
His thoughts on the talk that Spike TV will not renew Impact Wrestling once the current deal expires:
I just hear that negotiations are ongoing. People have their doubts but me, I’m the type of guy that, you know, I have faith in TNA wherever we end up. I have faith that, you know, a year from now we’re still going to be on Spike. I don’t read Twitter timelines. I don’t follow the social network at all. So, I don’t know. I feel good about being in TNA and as far as I’m concerned I’m going to be on Spike this time next year.
If he would like to finish up his career with a return to the WWE like Kurt Angle has said he wants to do:
From time to time I’ll turn on Raw and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the WWE Universe man, because they, what a … the crowds. When I watch, it hurts a little bit. I’m going ‘oh man, that’s my creatures man, my fans’. They’ve supported me so much. And even on the Instagram posts that’s all I ever see. ‘Go back to WWE. You said you’d come back. It’s never forever, it’s just for now’. I mean, ultimately, when the time is right, who knows. But I started there and whether it’s 10, 15 years down the road I would like to end there.