Jeff Hardy has been a significant part of WWE for the better part of his career, and, on a personal note, is the reason I got into professional wrestling in the first place. I can still remember the night I was channel surfing and stumbled across a midnight showing of Friday Night Smackdown; it was Edge vs. a newly crowned WWE Champion in Jeff Hardy. Jeff had just won the title at Vengeance the Sunday night before and was looking to keep his winning streak going against Edge. Something about the entrance, facepaint, and the way he moved in the ring, had twelve year old me enthralled, and I was hooked.
Fast forward thirteen years, and Jeff Hardy seems to be on his way out of the company once again. Jeff and his brother Matt signed contracts before WrestleMania 33, and Matt's contract ran out right before WrestleMania this year, and Matt elected to take his ball and play in AEW's court. Jeff, however, was sidelined with an injury, and the time on his contract had been frozen, WWE also added six months to the end of his contract, so it is rather hard to know precisely when his contract ends. If my math is correct, it should run out in November, which is just around Survivor Series time. I considered, since this is a fantasy booking piece, and I theoretically can do whatever I want, extending him through Mania for the sake of the storyline, but I decided to keep things the way they are and let him walk after Survivor Series.
With Money in the Bank already in the rearview, we only have two Pay-Per-Views to go before SummerSlam. That leaves us only five PPV's until Jeff's contract expires at Survivor Series, so this will all move rather quickly.
So, without further adieu, let's get into the fantasy booking. This article will also assume things continue getting better instead of worse as far as the COVID-19 situation goes, and WWE events are allowed to continue as planned.
Currently, Jeff is in a feud with Sheamus, and we will continue that feud through Backlash, which is the next PPV WWE has scheduled. Jeff will come out on top in this feud. At the PPV, Braun will drop the WWE Universal Championship to Miz and Morrison with Miz getting the pinfall, only after the pair cheat their way to victory.
After losing in the IC title tournament due to Sheamus interfering in the semifinal match against Daniel Bryan, Hardy will seek to go after the Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles at Extreme Rules in a ladder match. Hardy and Styles will have a classic match, but Styles will come out on top after hitting a phenomenal forearm that knocks Hardy off the ladder, allowing Styles to climb to the top and secure the victory.
Also, at Extreme Rules, Miz and Morrison will fight each other for the right to be called the sole Universal Champion. Morrison will come out on top, and the pair will face off again at SummerSlam, with Morrison coming out on top once again.
At SummerSlam Hardy will team up with Daniel Bryan, and Drew Gulak, to take on the team of Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura. The winning team's competitors will earn the right to face each other on the following episode of Smackdown to become the number one contender to the Universal Championship. After a phenomenal match, Bryan will get the pin, and give his team the right to fight each other for the number one contenders spot on Smackdown.
The following Tuesday night on Smackdown Hardy, Gulak, and Bryan face-off in the main event, with Morrison sitting ringside. It's a back and forth style match with each man getting a chance to showcase what makes them great. Jeff does his normal high-flying moves on the outside, not to be outdone though both Gulak and Bryan hit some dives of their own. Jeff goes for a whisper in the wind on the outside, off the announce table onto Gulak, but he moves out of the way at the last minute, leaving Jeff lying in a heap outside the ring. Bryan and Gulak go at it in the ring for a while, and Bryan finally gets Gulak in the 'Yes Lock.' Just as it looks like Gulak will tap out, Hardy hits both men with a Swanton Bomb off the top rope, causing Bryan to roll out of the ring as Hardy gets the pin on Gulak.
(This is where things get tricky because WWE-as of this writing-hasn't announced the names of the two PPV's they have scheduled between SummerSlam and Survivor Series. So, I'm going to use the names of the two PPV's from last years schedule instead. Night of Champions was the September PPV, and Hell in a Cell was the October PPV. Just so we're clear.)
At Night of Champions Hardy and Morrison face off for the Universal Championship, the pair of high flyers, look to one-up each other in the risk-taking department. If Morrison hits an acrobatic dive over the top rope onto Hardy on the outside, Hardy has to hit the flying leg strike he usually hits in the corner off of Matt's back, on Morrison leaning against the barricade using the stairs to replace Matt.
John and Jeff have a fantastic back and forth match, leaving both men worse for the wear, but in the end, Jeff comes out on top after Morrison tried to hit Starship Pain only for Jeff to move out of the way at the last second. Jeff then climbed the ropes and hit a Swanton to win becoming the WWE Universal Champion in the process.
The following Tuesday night, as Jeff Hardy celebrates his Championship win Daniel Bryan comes out to congratulate and challenge the Charismatic Enigma, only to be followed by Drew Gulak, King Corbin, The Miz, and John Morrison. As the five men stand in the ring arguing over who should get a Championship shot, Roman Reigns' music hits as the "Big Dog" makes his return to WWE TV.
A fight breaks out between the five men, and Reigns is left standing tall, as he climbs down off the ropes though to finish his celebration, he turns around into a Twist of Fate by Hardy. As Hardy backs up, the ramp Triple H comes out to announce a number one contenders match to close out the show.
Hardy sits ringside as the six men vying for a shot to face him at Hell in a Cell do battle in the ring. Roman comes out of the gate early, looking strong, showing no signs of ring rust. Reigns and King Corbin are the two men left standing after the early onslaught, and the former foes go toe-to-toe until Reigns gets the upper hand and throws Corbin over the top rope. Reigns soon follows with a dive over the top rope, taking out all the other competitors, Reigns grabs Gulak throws him into the ring and goes for a pin. Morrison jumps into the ring off the top rope and drops an elbow into the middle of Reigns' back, forcing the break. Morrison then goes for the pin, only to be pulled off, and out of the ring by Miz, Bryan then slides into the ring to go for the cover on his former training partner, only to be pulled out by Corbin leaving the four men brawling on the outside.
Morrison hits his kick he normally hits off the middle rope in the ring, off the ring apron on Miz, while Corbin hits Bryan with an 'End of Days' on the bottom of the ramp. Morrison and Corbin start to brawl on the outside of the ring until Reigns tries to get involved trying to spear both men. Morrison is able to move out of the way, and Corbin and Reigns go through the barricade and into the timekeepers' area.
Morrison turns and sees Gulak finally starting to recover in the ring, and slides in to go after the former Cruiserweight Champion. Gulak and Morrison are able to go back and forth for a while, with Gulak trying to lock in submission holds, and Morrison trying to hit high-flying moves from all over the ring. Morrison is finally able to get Gulak backed into the corner, and walks across the ring the get a running start on his attack. As he takes off, though, Bryan slides into the ring and hits Morrison with a running knee at full speed. He goes for the cover, but Gulak is able to break it up in time.
Gulak and Bryan start to showcase their technical abilities, but only have a few minutes to do so before Reigns gets back in the ring and back into the action. Shortly after Reigns gets involved, Miz slides back into the ring, and shortly after that, Corbin follows suit. The action quickly falls apart, and all the men are battling each other. Miz is the first to be put out of the action following an 'End of Days' from Corbin. Corbin stands up and turns around into a running knee from Bryan. Bryan gets caught in a 'Cyclone Crash' from Drew Gulak, who turns around into a spear from Roman Reigns for the win.
Reigns and Hardy face-off in the ring after the match, as the fallen five men look on outside the ring.
Reigns and Hardy meet at Hell in a Cell in a standard match. (Because not all Championship matches have to match the stipulation of the show they're on.) Reigns and Hardy have an instant classic match. Reigns slows the pace early, hitting Hardy hard with every strike. Reigns continues to punish Hardy for most of the match until Reigns goes for the 'Super Man Punch' only for Hardy to move out of the way and dropkick Roman in the back, forcing him out of the ring.
Jeff doesn't have time to rest, though, as Reigns quickly gets to his feet, and Hardy has to hit a dive to the outside. Hardy quickly slides back into the ring to get some distance between him and Reigns. Reigns climbs back up on the apron, and Hardy kicks his feet out from beneath him, causing Reigns to hit his face on the ring apron. Hardy goes on the attack on the outside, pushing Reigns into the ring post, then throwing Reigns into the ring steps. Hardy then grabs Reigns, throws him into the ring, and tries to get a pin, Reigns kicks out, but stays lying on his back. Hardy sees his window of opportunity and goes for the 'Swanton Bomb' Reigns gets his knees up, though, and sets up in the corner for the 'Super Man Punch.'
Reigns hits the 'Super Man Punch,' and leaves Hardy lying in the ring, Reigns walks back into the corner and sets up for the spear. Hardy stands to his feet and gets hit hard by the spear. Reigns goes for the cover, but Hardy kicks out at the very last moment. Reigns sets up for another spear, but this time Hardy rolls him up and gets a two count. Reigns stands up, and Hardy hits him with a 'Twist of Fate.' Hardy then climbs to the top, hits the 'Swanton Bomb,' and picks up the win.
As Hardy celebrates, the lights start to go out section by section. When they come back on, The Fiend is standing in the ring, with Reigns in his clutches. Hardy slides out of the ring with the Universal Title in his clutches, The Fiend hits Reigns with the 'Sister Abigail,' and stands to face Hardy. The lights go out again, and this time they're only out for a second, but when they come back on, both Reigns and the Fiend are gone from the ring.
The following Tuesday night, Hardy opens the show, calling The Fiend out. Bray Wyatt answers the call from the Firefly Funhouse and trades barbs with Hardy. Hardy challenges The Fiend to a match at Survivor Series for the Universal Championship, and Wyatt accepts on behalf of The Fiend.
Over the next few weeks on Smackdown during Jeff Hardy's matches, Bray Wyatt constantly comes on the jumbotron to remind Hardy of his past demons. Wyatt does this until, during the go-home episode of Smackdown, Hardy has had enough and decides to go looking for Wyatt, only to find the Firefly Funhouse empty and covered in Hardy's mugshots. Hardy begins to seeth as The Fiend appears behind him and goes on the attack, leaving Hardy in a heap, as The Fiend stands over him laughing maniacally. Smackdown goes off the air with The Fiend saying his catchphrase into the camera.
Hardy puts up a brave fight at Survivor Series, but The Fiend is too much for the Charismatic Enigma and overpowers the smaller Hardy. The Fiend dispatches of Jeff and begins his reign of terror on the blue brand.
After the match, we see a broken down Jeff sitting in the ring. He tells the fans in attendance, and the fans watching at home, that things didn't turn out the way that he wanted them too, but he gave it his all. He says that he's going to miss WWE, but it's time for him to move on. He ends this promo the same way he did when CM Punk ousted him from WWE the first time. "This isn't goodbye forever, it's only goodbye for now."
How would you book Hardy's final few months in WWE? What would you do differently? You can follow me on twitter @ShayneCarnahan, and tell me all about it.
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