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Dave Gagnon




Jeff jumps to the top rope and Bradshaw chokeslams him to the mat and damn near folds him in two. JEFF IS MY FUCKING HERO! He'll be paralyzed by the time he's thirty, but I'll be sick of him by then anyway.
- Scott Keith in his review of WWF Fully Loaded 99.

Keep this quote in mind.

Just for kicks, let's pretend that we are in August 2000.

What? You forgot that period already? No problem, here it goes: Everytone thought that The Rock was soooo overrated, Rikishi was way over with the fans, Austin wasn't talking about his wife's cookies, Kurt Angle was a rising superstar and Stephanie McMahon was, depending on who you talked to, fat and/or flat chested.

Summerslam 2000 looked like it would be a very strong card. It turned out that it was. Shane O Mac once again risked his life in order to push a supposedly resurgant Steve Blackman. Turned out that even attempted murder can't get face pops for "The Lethal Weapon". The card also saw Benoit and Jericho booked in a best 2 out of 3 falls match. The love triangle between Angle, HHH and Steph was so hot that even the WWF couldn't mess it up.

Oh wait, they did. Oh well. That's not important. Because above all, history was made. An instant classic happened. In fact, everybody knew, even before the bell rung, that the match would be something special. The 3 best teams in North America with three of the most popular gimmicks in the same match. Throw in WWF's hottest female in the mix and you just knew that the match would rocked the house. The Dudley Boyz....The Hardy Boyz....Edge and Christian....Tables....Ladders.....And Chairs.....Oh My!

But the icing on the cake was that the match was taking place in Greensboro NC, the home of The Hardys. Finally, The Hardy Boyz would gain revenge on their foes and win the gold right in their hom town.

It didn't happen that way. Yet again, those crazy canucks robbed the gold and wreaked havoc while reeking of awesomeness. The Hardys were robbed and we felt the backlash. The fans couldn't believe that once again he hottest team of the WWF got screwed. It was amazing to see so much passion for a midcard match.

It's kind of a moot point anyway because The Hardys won the gold one month later in anticlimatic fashion. The point that I want to bring up is that The Hardys were the coolest thing around. No catchphrases, no stupid eyebrow, no silly worm, no gimmick. Whether you are a Austin fan or a Rock fan or a HHH fan, there will always be smart marks laughing at you, pointing how your favorite wrestler isn't as good as Benoit. However, everybody agreed on one thing: those Hardys are cool. They would enter the ring, sacrifice their bodies, work their asses off, only to hear the roar of the crowd.

Now, here we are, in 2001. Listen to a Hardy Boyz match and you will still hear the roar from the crowd.

They are chanting for Lita.

That's right. Forget about all the injuries they had by risking their bodies for our entertainement. Forget the risks they have taken. Forget how much they have shortened their career so that they could get pops. Jeff is a broken man and he is already forgotten. Matt will get zero pop when his thong wearin' slutty girlfriend isn't around. Yet, one year ago, Jeff Hardy was the next Shawn Michaels.

There was actually hope for Jeff Hardy when he won the intercontinental title from HHH but let's face it, he wasn't ready. Nobody ever said this on the web but Jeff had zero pop when he came out for his rematch. Why? Because there wasn't any ladders involved. Jeff Hardy is no more than a circus freak nowadays and the people will only watch when there's a chance to see him die or at least get seriously injured. That's such a rush for the crowd, you know?

The bookers clearly saw that and had no choice but to let Jeff do what he can do best: taking risks. So they booked him as hardcore champion and the parade of stiff chairshots to the head, insane table bumps and ladder spots is on once again. The fans once again pop for Jeff Hardy because he is just a crazy bumping machine. And they can forget about Lita for a little while because they'll see Stephanie's new boobs or Stacey's legs and they'll get their little erection.

So, everything is back to normal, right?

Wrong. The first high profile challenger for Hardy's hardcore title is Rob Van Dam. It was a sad sight, really. Here you have Jeff Hardy, limping badly with his hardcore belt. As a matter of fact, the broken hardcore belt probably looks like Jeff when he is taking a shower. The fallen hero, once again trying to be the hottest thing around. He climbs the BIG ladder, only to get pushed off and fall hardly on the ground.

Why he did this? He did this to hear the roar from the crowd, that's why. He heard the roar from the crowd when he almost killed himself, falling from the big ladder. They were chanting for RVD. Now, RVD is the coolest thing around. Jeff Hardy is yesterday's news.

When I first saw Jeff Hardy on RAW, in 1997, I never thought for one second that he would become a superstar known for his crazy bumps. When he was in this ring, he probably never thought for one second that he would become a superstar known for his crazy bumps. And when he looked at his opponent on that faithful RAW episode, he porbably never thought for one second that he was looking at the man that would dethrone him.

That night, he faced Rob Van Dam. And he lost. Just like today.

And that my friends is the aftermath.

Dave Gagnon

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