Matt Hardy Addresses Backlash To Jeff Hardy's AEW Return
Matt Hardy on the backlash to Jeff Hardy's return
After close to a year away from the promotion, Jeff Hardy returned to All Elite Wrestling on the April 12 edition of Dynamite, making the save for Matt Hardy and his associates from a Firm beatdown.
While the pop inside the arena was loud and many reacted positively to Jeff's return, there was also a backlash to Hardy's comeback due to his DUI arrest in June 2022 which caused the 45-year-old to be absent from AEW TV for so long. The case has since been settled and Jeff was sentenced to 38 days in jail that was credited as time served. His license was also suspended for 10 years, and he had to complete community service and pay a $4000 fine.
It was noted in the police report for Jeff's arrest that he was weaving across lanes and driving well under the speed limit. His breathalyser test showed Hardy was three times above the legal limit and he admitted to drinking double shots of Fireball whiskey before driving.
Matt Hardy addressed the backlash to his brother's return on the latest Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast and the former TNA World Heavyweight Champion stated he thinks Jeff will make people a believer.
"This is the most work I've ever seen him do on himself. He had 10 months. He seems different. He seems different. I don't want to sit here and vouch for him, I don't want you to take my word for it or take anyone else's word for it. Watch him and follow his actions. He'll make you a believer. I am confident that his actions, conduct, and behaviour will make people a believer. He's made me a believer. I've seen a lot of him and gotten to follow his journey and I know the work he's put in and how dedicated he's been to legitimately changing and trying to get his s**t together once and for all. I'm so extraordinarily proud of him. He's done great," Matt began.
"Everyone was happy to see him. He's happy to be there. It was so adorable, right before we went out, he was so nervous and so worried because he hasn't been in a ring, at all. He came out to my house on Monday, got in the ring, ran the ropes, took a few bumps. He was worried how the people were going to react to him. Jeff is one of the few individuals who has 'it' and people are connected to him. When he came out and the people went nuts and were cheering and chanting, it was great, a magical moment. Really glad we got to this point and very excited to see where we go forward from here," he continued.
"Coming off his past, he has stuff to prove to people. I'm the ultimate optimist. My mentality doesn't work for everybody, but I say, people change, give them a chance, especially if they've legitimately put the work in and have tried. I do that with everybody. Either he'll prove you wrong or prove you right. I have a very good feeling about this point Jeff is at in his life."
Following his DUI arrest, Jeff was suspended without pay by AEW and his return was conditional on Jeff going to rehab and maintaining his sobriety. Hardy spent three months at an inpatient facility.
Matt Hardy also noted that Jeff's eye still has blood in it but The Charismatic Enigma will be good in six to eight weeks. Recent reports noted AEW had alternate plans for Jeff that would keep him out of the ring.
H/T to Fightful