What’s Next For Jeff Hardy After AEW Suspension?

What's Next For Jeff Hardy After AEW Suspension?

Following his recent DUI arrest, wrestling legend Jeff Hardy has been suspended by AEW. Here’s what the future may hold for him in the company.

Jeff Hardy’s latest DUI arrest put AEW in a tough spot, leading to his suspension, and what comes next could be complicated. It’s no secret that Hardy has struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol for many years, a battle many professional wrestlers end up fighting due to the physical and mental toll the job takes on them. When he is clean and sober, though, there are few people more willing to put their own safety on the line to entertain the audience than “The Charismatic Enigma,” a multiple-time world champion who first established himself as a star in a tag team with his brother, Matt.

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Hardy has a very special connection with wrestling devotees, never failing to get cheered wildly no matter whether he’s working for WWE boss Vince McMahon, TNA, ROH, AEW, or various independent promotions. His story is extremely relatable, having grown up a diehard wrestling fan with dreams of making his own mark on the scripted sport. To say he’s done that would be a massive understatement, as Hardy is a worthy inclusion into just about any wrestling hall of fame.

Related: Why AEW’s Contract Dispute With MJF Is Both Real & Fake

Unfortunately, his immediate future definitely isn’t going to be easy. Following Hardy’s arrest, his third for DUI in the last 10 years, AEW boss Tony Khan suspended Hardy without pay and announced that he would only be able to return to the company after completing a rehab program and committing to his sobriety. This will preclude Hardy from appearing at AEW’s NJPW crossover pay-per-view Forbidden Door event on June 26. While Hardy has successfully done this before, staying clean for years at a time in the past, there is also the issue of his upcoming court case, as the charges facing Hardy carry a potential prison term. Presuming that does not happen, though, wrestling audiences will most likely be willing to welcome a rehabilitated Hardy back to AEW with open arms. Hardy is said to be under contract to AEW for two to three more years.

Jeff Hardy in AEW

Driving under the influence is certainly not something anyone should be doing, and if Jeff Hardy emerges from court with his freedom intact, there are several paths for a newly clean “Brother Nero” to take in AEW. He could continue his nostalgic Hardy Boyz tag team run alongside brother Matt, or he could be used as a solo attraction, wrestling potential dream matches against people like Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, MJF, Bryan Danielson, or even old late-2000s WWE rival CM Punk. There are many possibilities for what Hardy can do in AEW, and should he meet Khan’s requirements, he deserves an opportunity to fully explore them.

On the other hand, Hardy has not been shy about the fact that after decades of diving off ladders through tables and such, his body is not in the greatest shape, at 44 years old. It is not unusual for aging wrestlers to keep going despite injuries, and people like Kurt Angle and the recently returned “Stone Cold” Steve Austin have proven that brilliance can still be possible in the ring even when dealing with physical hurdles. That said, perhaps Khan would be wise to move Hardy into more of a special attraction type of role, not requiring the daredevil from Cameron, North Carolina, to perform in-ring on AEW programming so often. Whatever Khan and Hardy ultimately decide to do, there is no doubt wrestling fans wish Hardy the best.

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Michael Kennedy
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Michael Kennedy is an avid movie and TV fan that’s been working for Screen Rant in various capacities since 2014. In that time, Michael has written over 2000 articles for the site, first working solely as a news writer, then later as a senior writer and associate news editor. Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant’s new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along. When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture. A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come.

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