How did TNA handle the aftershock of what transpired with Jeff Hardy this past Sunday? How did TNA cope with the embarrassment knowing that Victory Road’s main-event was a 90-second suck-fest? Easy. Sting delivered such a great promo that we were able to forgive and forget (at least I did).
Sting made his way into the Impact Zone garnering the new TNA World Championship (finally!!) on his shoulder (not around his waist, Bully Ray!), while holding Jeff’s purple face title. He started off by blaming Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff for their influence on Jeff Hardy. How when Jeff first arrived to TNA, he was so gracious and respectful, greeting Sting and expressing how happy he was to be there. But that it didn’t take long for Hogan and Bischoff to corrupt his mind with promises of power and money that lead absolutely nowhere.
Hogan responded by chucking Jeff’s custom belt, and proceeded to bury him, while still keeping face with Immortal. Hogan and Bischoff extended the olive branch to Hardy to be a part of Immortal. Not only did Jeff accept to be in Immortal, but he asked for it. Because Jeff knew that Immortal would be the most dominant faction in professional wrestling. However, Jeff failed Immortal, and on his best day, he could never live up to the grandeur that is (was) Hulkamania.
(Side Author’s Note: In case you weren’t keeping track to Hulk’s perception on wrestling: Hulk Hogan > Jeff Hardy > AJ Styles.)
So how tactful did Hogan and Sting handle the situation?
On the one hand, Jeff was a victim of Immortal’s influence. The charismatic enigma is simply buried deep inside the AntiChrist gimmick waiting to reemerge. When Jeff finally returns to TNA, with his “Immortal” belt now defunct, he may undergo a face turn.
On the other hand, Hogan surprisingly buried Hardy pretty deep. Not able to live up to Hulk Hogan’s success on his best day? That’s pretty harsh. Could this possibly be Hogan’s way of telling the fans that TNA is leaning towards releasing Hardy from his contract?
Either scenario would work out in Hardy’s favor. His soulless AntiChrist gimmick not only diminished his fan base, but it also had people stating that he was overrated. If he is released from TNA (he could at least live up to the success stories of Scott Hall, and Sean Waltman, huh?) the time away from professional wrestling would allow him to get his head on straight, while also being there for his daughter. That’s my optimistic view on everyone’s once favorite enigma.