Height: 6 foot 1
Weight: 225 pounds
From: Cameron, N.C.
Signature Move: Swanton Bomb, Whisper in the Wind, Twist of Fate
Career Highlights: World Tag Team Champion; Intercontinental Champion; Hardcore Champion; European Champion; Light Heavyweight Champion; WCW Tag Team Champion
Associates: Matt Hardy
WWE Debut: 1993
Trained By: Dory Funk, Jr., Michael Hayes
Simply put, Jeff Hardy is an artist. His world revolves around writing “emoetry,” recording music (“alternative, alternative music,” according to his brother Matt), and employing tinfoil and paint to craft intimate, personal, and sometimes bizarre works of art. His house is decorated with toys, artificial plants and life-size Japanese fiberglass sculptures. One of his most cherished creations—a thirty-foot “Aluminummy” statue called Neroameee, from Nero, his middle name—stands tall outside his studio.
Still, this artist has always been drawn to another, very different canvas—that of the squared circle. Growing up with Matt in the pinewoods of Cameron, North Carolina, 11-year-old Jeff—influenced by the likes of Ric Flair, the Fabulous Freebirds, and the Rockers—took a ramp he built for his bike and painted it to resemble an entrance stage for his “wrestling ring,” the backyard trampoline. As he grew older, so did his desire to take greater risks, whether it was to feel the rush of executing hundred-foot-high triples on his motorcross bike, or jumping off the roof of his house as a member of the brothers’ “Teenage Wrestling Federation.” It was such fearlessness and desire that would bring the 16-year-old daredevil to World Wrestling Entertainment, and after several years catapult him to worldwide fame and main-event status, first as one-half of WWE’s high-flying “Team Extreme,” The Hardys, then in singles competition.
Though many of his paintings are abstract, this free spirit is a Rembrandt inside the ring, signing his name not with the traditional paintbrush or pen, but with wildly unorthodox, high-impact maneuvers off top ropes and 20-foot ladders. His credo is simple: to create, then surpass his creation.
Unfortunately, most true artists must sink to their lowest point before attaining their greatest heights. For Jeff, the wear-and-tear of living life on the road would help prompt him to leave WWE in 2003. But after a three-year personal journey of refocusing his passion and energies, he now finds himself “in a positive place…and that’s what motivates me.” Since returning to WWE in August 2006, this reinspired risk-taker has gone back to creating the art he loves most—entertaining WWE fans in arenas around the world. And his most extreme masterpiece awaits.