Jeff Hardy was recently interviewed by Chuck Carroll of CBS Local Sports in which he was asked about his commitments to Ring of Honor and the rumors that The Hardys are on their way back to WWE.
Hardy said that both he and his brother "Broken" Matt Hardy are planning to stay with ROH through the summer and have no plans to head back to WWE right now.
Below are the highlights:
When we talked in December everything seemed so certain that you were going to re-sign with Impact. The Broken gimmick was working so well. What actually happened? There are a lot of rumors out there.
"It's pretty simple. When we last spoke, Billy Corgan who is a good friend of myself and Matt, he was out at my property when we were filming Delete or Decay. He was going to own the company, be the president and all that good stuff. Basically, if he owned the company right now I'd still be under contract. But so many changes happened. When they bought him out or had a falling out with this other company and then another company, Anthem, came in. This other company leaves that I was negotiating with.
"And so, wow we don't have a deal or anything. It was a fresh start with this Anthem crew. Things were just too uncertain and it was just weird. I just thought that I had to make things different for my career. Right now the time is right. There were signs, I believe, from a higher power. Bottom line if Billy was still there I'd still be there. But the way that all went down I was just ready to move on."
One of the things that had been reported was that they were really slow in getting you guys the contracts and then pretty much gave you an ultimatum to sign them or get out. Is there any truth to the abruptness of how it all went down?
"Yeah, for sure. I was good to go with mine, but then Matt had some issues going on. So, time just moved on slowly. … Long story short, we couldn't come to an agreement. They were very late. We offered to come drop the titles at the TV tapings in March and they said we couldn't do that unless we were under contract. And I was like, "That's so silly. Oh my God, this is pro wrestling anything is possible. Let's do the right thing and come drop them to another team." But that wasn't good enough so we basically vacated them and never lost them.
"I wish them all the best. Seven years, I had a good time there. They were great to me and helped me through tough times. But it was just time to move on. So, yeah, very late contract negotiations."
We're at a point now where there has been some public back and forth by both sides. Are you surprised at the way they're trying to protect the Broken gimmick? That has to be a little disappointing given that you did invest seven years with the company.
"It's heartbreaking. I'm so passionate about any character I portray whether it's Willow, the Anti-Christ, the Charismatic Enigma, Itchweed… I'm so passionate about that. Nero is my legit middle name. Me not being able to be called Brother Nero is very offensive and heartbreaking. The highest rated show last year was The Final Deletion and that's a fact. The majority vote wins and people dug that. And then they kind of (pooped) on it. That's not cool.
"And now with this lawsuit, we did this Ring of Honor pay-per-view out in Las Vegas and we got these cease and desist letters. I couldn't believe it. In the print it said TNA developed these characters specifically for Matt and Jeff Hardy and that is so untrue. Matt developed himself and Brother Nero started to flow. I developed Brother Nero with the eyes and how I act. It's all ours and it is very sad and disappointing. It's almost surreal like, 'Is this really happening?'"
Rumor has it that WWE has presented you guys with contracts. Is there any truth to that?
"No, because you have to go through so much testing and all of that. It's a long process. But, no. We know some people there and naturally after WrestleMania dies down, maybe a couple of months from now, we'll see what's possible. But there is no truth to that whatsoever."
"For sure. They were part of the Apocolypto deal. We had a little match with them. I still want to have a decent match with them. I love them to death. They're the best. Hopefully I don't know where or with what promotion, but we'll have that dream match. But full congrats to them because they deserve it."
Your band PEROXWHY?GEN just finished recording. You now have a live show under your belt. Does that mean we could see you guys out on tour?
"Yeah, hopefully so. As a matter of fact I'll probably mention something to Ring of Honor this weekend about playing at a live gig at one of the shows. I've always wanted to mix the music with the wrestling. So hopefully that will come true eventually. And definitely I hope to play many more shows throughout the year. I was actually so close to playing two dates on the Warped Tour this summer. They offered through my guitar player and that's huge. That's like being in there with the major leaguers. I was like so scared because I didn't know if we could do it. That needs to be the full band with the heavy songs and all that. It was just too soon. So hopefully summer of 2018 we'll be able to jump on that. Evidently a Jeff Hardy fan was in the system there and said it would be great to have you on. I don't think we were ready this year, but hopefully next year we'll have a few dates on the Warped Tour which is going to be breathtaking."
You just mentioned talking to Ring of Honor about doing a live performance at one of their shows. Have you guys re-signed there? Are you going to re-sign? What I was told was that you were signed for the "immediate future." That sounds like a short-term deal, but you tell me. How long are you going to be sticking around there?
"It's short-term. It's through the summer. What's cool about Ring of Honor is that we can still go out and work the indie dates. That's another thing about the TNA deal was that they wanted to take our indy dates from us and I really enjoy working the independent circuit. You meet some crazy, cool, interesting people and the shows have been so great as of late. I would say our Ring of Honor deals are through the summer. It's a short-term deal and we'll see how things go. We'll test the waters for a while and hopefully help the company grow."
So Saturday isn't going to the be the last time we see you guys in a Ring of Honor ring?
"Oh, no. No, there's going to be many more shows. Many more honorable shows."
When we last talked you just put out your solo debut EP, "Spawn of Me," and now you've done a live performance and did some live tracks. How'd that show go?
"It was awesome. I went out to Nashville Thursday evening and rehearsed all day Friday. Then I did a wrestling show in Clarksville and stayed in the ring to do in-ring pics with a huge line. Then I changed and went straight to the bar and did 11 or 12 songs. And my voice was gone. Even during the meet-and-greet it was so embarrassing. I was so afraid because my voice was horrible. Luckily somehow I got through it. It wasn't bad. It could have been worse. It was so natural and it gave me such confidence that I can't wait to do it again. It was a blast. The charisma was there. It was a great experience for me and gave me hope for the future."
You said you're going to be better on the next show. So, what were your takeaways from this?
"Not to blow my voice out the day before the show. I mean, we sounded good in rehearsal but man my voice was gone that Saturday morning and I was freaking out. Oh my gosh, but I got through it. And then I was sick with allergies and weird weather. It took about eight days for my voice to come back. I was freaking out like, "My God I'm never going to sing again. I'm going need to get that surgery that all these professionals get." But it's back now. I just won't rehearse as hard next time. Now I know how easy it is to wreck your voice."