I’m going to admit right off the bat that I was never a huge Jeff Hardy fan. Honestly, I’m still not all that enthused by him. But while Jeff was in the WWE, he always gave a lot of his body for the fans, and was the hottest WWE Superstar for about a year until he left the company in August 2009.
Since Jeff likely left WWE with the thought of coming back, this career retrospective was different than the usual ones they produce. Jeff’s WWE career highlights were covered, though most only briefly. These were interspersed with his (as of this writing) final WWE match with CM Punk, which I thought was really cool. It was like a story within a story – the story of his career, and the story of how his WWE career ended.
Extras include Jeff talking about things like music and his dog with brother Matt Hardy, which I pretty much just skipped over. The die-hard Jeff Hardy fan might like it, but I figured I’d spend my time watching Jeff’s matches.
While Jeff on his own wasn’t always spectacular in my book, I always liked how he was the fresh youngster up against the titans that were Shawn Michaels or Triple H. In particular, with any of his matches involving Triple H on this DVD, I felt like The Game did a good job in putting Jeff over while still keeping himself in a good position. Some people disagree with that, but looking at the matches and where the SmackDown brand was at the time, I think it was best that Triple H still be a top talent and Jeff to get that rub.
I was surprised they didn’t include Jeff’s Intercontinental title win over Triple H on SmackDown in 2001, or Jeff’s resilient ladder match with the Undertaker in 2002 on RAW. That Undertaker match was briefly referenced by Jim Ross on the commentary during the extreme rules match between Hardy and Taker on the DVD.
WWE also did not include Jeff vs. CM Punk from Summerslam 2009 in the TLC match. I’m guessing it was a good match, but due to it already being released on the actual Summerslam DVD, they probably neglected it. After the cage match where Hardy finished his WWE tenure, they cut out his farewell speech. I thought they should have at least included that.
And I’m being biased here, but I wish they would’ve included CM Punk’s imitation of Jeff Hardy the next week on SmackDown. That kid at 1:16 looks hilarious.
In observations not related directly to Jeff Hardy, I remembered how well Jim Ross can tell a story as I listened to him call the matches, and I think all of WWE’s announcers should study his insights. JR always came prepared. The current WWE announce team is doing okay, but I would love to see JR come back to the announce table somehow. Obviously JR doesn’t have a marketable look due to Bell’s palsy, and some may be turned off by his Oklahoma drawl, but neither of those have any effect on how he calls a match.
I also remembered how much I miss Lilian Garcia’s gorgeous presence with her flashy outfits. I watched a match on some DVD where she announced Triple H from an episode of SmackDown from its early days, and she improved so much between that time and the day she left. Justin Roberts is doing just fine, but I miss hearing Lilian’s booming but elegant voice announcing the WWE Superstars entering the arena.
Overall, I’d say this WWE DVD is a good catch for a diehard fan. I’m assuming most of those people by now have bought this DVD since it’s been out for a year, but just in case anybody was still on the fence, I’d say take the leap. The main feature isn’t my favorite, but the presentation is different and the matches make up for it.
Top 5 matches
vs. Triple H – Armageddon, 2007
vs. Shawn Michaels – RAW, 2008
vs. Triple H – No Mercy, 2008
vs. Triple H vs. Edge – Armageddon, 2008
vs. CM Punk – SmackDown, 2009
I’m a big Triple H fan because the guy can really work when he wants to. Shawn Michaels also played the similar veteran role. The feud with CM Punk really got me to notice both Jeff Hardy and CM Punk as performers, and I thought this was an excellent fresh feud from two guys who have worked hard to be at the top.
And now, your thoughts…