Sunday night TNA made a bold and possibly stupid choice. They turned Jeff Hardy, the most popular wrestler in their company, into a lead heel. They also gave a man facing drug trafficking charges their World Championship and made the the center of a large storyline. This may not work with their crowd at the moment, and here’s why.
The Impact Zone crowd regularly just cheers whatever wrestler they feel like while ignoring the heel and face distinctions that TNA is trying to make. When Fortune laid out EV2.0 with a massive attack the crowd responded with “This is awesome” and awarded the heels for the big beatdown. Will they continue to cheer Jeff Hardy now that he is a heel? Will that make fans actually like him, even if he is supposed to be evil?
Jeff Hardy’s own promo ability is also an issue. At best he is a passable, unique promo. His ability, much like that of his brother, depends on who he is interacting with and if the crowd is behind him. Jeff Hardy can hype up a crowd, but can he cut the kind of promos he will be counted on to lay out as the lead heel in TNA? What if Hulk Hogan had never been able to cut a passable heel promo? WCW would never have had the big angle that they got with him. It would have fizzled out almost immediately.
It looks like Jeff Hardy will move into a program with Rob Van Dam. This will be a best friends turned enemies type of storyline. My worry is that there is no superior mic worker between the two of them. RVD has shown in TNA that he refuses to get mad during a feud. In his phone interview promoting his match with Abyss, he showed that he was too cool for TNA’s feuds. Jeff Hardy may be able to look evil, but it will most likely be more like Matt Hardy’s evil promos in 2009 where he messed up one of the best opportunities of his career.
Could it be that Jeff Hardy will be a failure as the lead heel? Will his weaknesses be hidden by the group that he seems to be a member of (Hogan, Bischoff, Abyss, Jarrett)? Can Jeff Hardy now prove that he is more than one of the best babyface wrestlers in the business?
Tomorrow make sure to check out my review of Countdown to Lockdown by Mick Foley and later this week expect me to get around to discussing disks two and three of Breaking the Code: The Best of Chris Jericho.
For more on TNA Bound for Glory check out Pulse Glazer’s report card of the event.
Tags: Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, TNA, Will Pruett