Real reason WWE decided to release Jeff Hardy in 2003 surfaces

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Even though he was a big star, Jeff Hardy was not bulletproof.

The career of Hardy has been one with ups and downs. Hardy has worked for several promotions while in the pro wrestling business including the WWE, TNA, ROH and indies.

He got his start when he was a kid as he wrestled for Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA), which was created and ran by his brother Matt.

The Hardy’s worked as enhancement talents for the WWF from 1994 through 1998. This is when the sports entertainment company decided to sign them to full-time contracts where they would later become famous for their Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches.

They also started a stable alongside WWE Hall of Famer Lita known as "Team Xtreme" where they become a popular group.

Alongside Matt, Jeff won eleven world tag team championships between WWE, TNA and ROH.

Moving along to 2002, the sports entertainment company decided to split the team and they became singles stars where Jeff would go onto hold the Intercontinental Championship four times and the European Championship once.

He departed from WWE in 2003 where he would later go onto work for TNA until 2006 when he decided to go back to the WWE.

Moving along to 2008, he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship twice. After leaving WWE once again, he went back to TNA where he would become a World Champion three times.

By looking at the history books, Hardy is the 18th Triple Crown Champion and 9th Grand Slam Champion in WWE history.

During a recent episode of Something Else To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard on the WWE Network, the former WWE executive reflected on Jeff, who is currently the WWE United States Champion.

In this podcast, Prichard talked about Hardy’s 2003 release from the sports entertainment company, which marked was Hardy’s first release from the WWE.

At the time, Hardy was dealing with drug addiction, erratic behavior, and was even reported as showing up late to events. He was released by the sports entertainment company in April of 2003.

In this podcast, Prichard revealed the real reason they decided to part ways with Hardy, which came down to the fact that WWE wanted Jeff to go to rehab but Hardy refused and that was the end of it. Here is what the longtime WWE executive had to say (transcript courtesy of Jon Fuentes of SEScoops):

“Jeff did have a drug problem, and everything that you just said was taking place. All of the sudden, we had a different human being on our hands, and it wasn’t someone that anyone really liked to work with anymore.

If he did show up, he would go on high, and you couldn’t find him all day long, or he’d show up and then leave again.

“It was difficult times being with Jeff Hardy. Jeff had a drug issue—Jeff admitted having a drug issue—but Jeff didn’t want to go to rehab. The condition was ‘Jeff you have to go to rehab or we’ve got to let you go.

We’ve got to release you.’ And they released him because he refused to go to rehab. In my opinion, Jeff had a drug problem. Jeff had a lot of issues going on and wasn’t handling them well.”


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Vince McMahon
Jeff Hardy

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