When Jeff Hardy took the ring at Double or Nothing for his first non-cinematic AEW match in almost a year, excitement was through the roof at the T-Moble Center in Las Vegas.
Suddenly, after a DUI halted a potential tag team championship run alongside his brother Matt Hardy, the Hardy Boyz, or should I say the Hardy Brothers, were back and in the lone preshow match of Double or Nothing, the duo was looking to make a statement alongside Hook in a match to decide on who controls “All Ego” Ethan Page's contract moving forward.
Unfortunately, opinions soured as the match went on, as the younger Hardy looked… off in the match, taking a brutal fall on a Whisper in the Wind attempt that left some to wonder if he returned to the ring too early.
Fortunately, Matt decided to attack those rumors directly on his The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast and noted definitively that Jeff was totally fine, just a bit nervous for his big return.
“Good. Jeff was very nervous. All throughout the day, he said, ‘I just can’t wait. I can’t wait until we get this s**t over with.’ He was ready to get through that match. He just wanted to get it done,” Hardy said via Fightful. “It’s so funny because Jeff said I know people are going to have low expectations for me, they think I’m not going to be good, they think I’m not going to be crisp. He was in great shape, cardio-wise, everything else, he was in great ring shape as far as that goes. So it was Jeff’s decision, we programmed once specific spot where it looked like he made an error, which he didn’t make an error, and it was specifically just to stop him after he made this big, beautiful comeback. The amount of people that it’s still so easy to get in pro wrestling, it never ceases to amaze me, especially when something is done intentionally. Sometimes there’s things done intentionally for the help of telling a certain story.”
So Hardy violently falling off the ropes was intentional? Fortunately, Hardy elaborated on that topic further and delivered a definitive answer.
Matt Hardy designed his Double or Nothing match to make Jeff Hardy shine.
Discussing the prospects of putting together their Zero Hour match at Double or Nothing, Matt noted that while the match was built around his long-term storyline, he wanted nothing more than to make Jeff Hardy look like Jeff Hardy in his big-time return to AEW.
“The original thought [at] the beginning of the night was that I would beat Ethan, and I don’t think I needed to beat Ethan,” Hardy said. “I did in the Firm Deletion. To me, that was my moment, and doing it in a cinematic match here at the Hardy Compound, that’s as good as it gets, for me getting my comeuppance on Ethan. Then it could have been Jeff or Hook, and both Jeff and I decided that Hook should ultimately take the finish. So we were gonna highlight Jeff, let him be a big star, let him go on a kicka** comeback, do all his stuff, and to transition to segue to getting Hook in there for doing the finish, that is why we implemented that Jeff Hardy slips on the Whisper in the Wind spot, to get Hook get in there and let Hook ultimately take the finish and get the win and get the rub by winning the match that includes Matt and Jeff Hardy.”
Turning his attention to the spot in question, Hardy was asked if Jeff was injured on the spot.
“Yeah, he was fine,” Hardy noted. “Full transparency, he wanted to go up and just slip the one leg off, but he got his one leg caught over the top rope a little bit, which is something he didn’t want to do, but the slip is obviously something that had been thought ahead of time. It was okay though. It was hard, and it looked nasty, and everybody thought, ‘Oh my god, that looked so crazy. Was he alright?’ Yeah, he was fine.”
Welp, there you have it; while Jeff did sort of slip during his Whisper in the Wind spot, that was planned, as it allowed the future WWE Hall of Famer to work the remainder of the match from behind, and secure the comeback win at the end of the contest via Hook's 1-2-3 pin. Though some may dispute that statement, that's Matt's story, and he's sticking to it.