69. JEFF HARDY
Aliases – The Rainbow-Haired Warrior; The Charismatic Enigma; Willow the Whisp; unnamed Jinx Brother; unspecified Conquistador
Hometown – Cameron, North Carolina
Debuted – 15th October 1993
Titles Held – WCW World Tag Team (1); WWF/E World Tag Team (6); WWE European (1); WWF Hardcore (3); WWF Light Heavyweight (1); WWF Intercontinental (4)
Other Accomplishments – plays Itchweed on TheHardyShow.com; has a band called Peroxwhy?gen; helped brother Matt form OMEGA promotion in their neighbourhood
“How do you learn to fall off a 20 foot ladder?”
That iconic question uttered by Jim Ross is in reference to Jeff Hardy performing another risky daredevil stunt. To Jeff Hardy it was just another day in the office.
Starting out as a professional wrestler at age 16, Jeff literally grew up in the business. His first televised WWF match was against the 1-2-3 Kid in June 1994. He and his brother worked as jobbers for the WWF through the mid-’90s while they worked at their own promotions, Trampoline Wrestling Federation and OMEGA.
In April 1998, Jeff and brother Matt got signed to official WWF contracts and the journey began. The pair worked as plucky undercard babyfaces until the summer of ’99 when Michael Hayes took them under their wing. The pair got a slight makeover and a harder edge and by June of that year Jeff and Matt won their first of six Tag Championships.
In October 1999 Jeff and Matt really took off as legitimate superstars thanks to their “Terri Invitational Tournament” with Edge & Christian that culminated in the WWF’s first ever tag team ladder match. Jeff & Matt would be linked to Edge & Christian for the next year and a half of their careers thanks to their long standing feud over the WWF Tag Championship and the series of ladder, table and TLC matches that also featured The Dudley Boyz.
Jeff had a brief feud against his brother in late 2001 but they were quickly reunited when their rivalry didn’t gain the attention that was expected. By the summer of 2002 Jeff was a singles star on RAW, capturing European Championship gold and reaching upper card status.
Hardy was released from the WWE in April 2003 after refusing to go to rehab, no-showing events, putting on poor performance and just overall “burn out.”
He laid low until April 2004 when he was signed by NWA-TNA. He was brought in with much fanfare and was given a main event push. He ran programs against Jeff Jarrett, Scott Hall, Abyss and Raven. But his erratic behavior developed again and he was suspended from TNA in May 2005. He returned in August and worked in the mid-card before no-showing a December 2005 pay per view pre-show match. He was suspended once more and never worked for TNA again.
Jeff made a much-heralded return to World Wrestling Entertainment in August 2006. He started a great run against Johnny Nitro that led to two Intercontinental Title reigns and transitioned into a really good Hady Boyz – MNM tag feud. Matt and Jeff also won their sixth WWE World Tag Championship the night after WrestleMania 23.
Currently Jeff is still considered one of the top babyfaces on the WWE RAW brand and is currently in his fourth reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion. Jeff earns his spot on this list not only for his singles achievements and tag achievements with his brother Matt, but also for his innovative daredevil, risk-taking style. He has taken the art of a ladder match to a whole new level thanks to his high-flying stunts. He has often been called the Shawn Michaels of his generation, and at the ripe age of only 30 Jeff still his ample time to make that prophecy come true.
The entire Top 100 Wrestlers feature can be found here.