Tony Khan and AEW had no creative plans for Jeff Hardy prior to The Charismatic Enigma’s debut in March 2022, according to Jeff’s brother Matt, who has been working with the promotion since 2020.
At the time, Matt was working as a heel in a program with The Hardy Family Office and was set to turn babyface. On the Dynamite following the HFO’s match against Sting, Darby Allin, and Sammy Guevara at AEW Revolution 2022, Matt’s group turned on him, with his opponents from the match making the save. Jeff would also make his debut and Team Extreme was reunited.
“I was going to turn babyface regardless if Jeff came or not. There were no Jeff plans,” Matt said on his podcast, The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy. “They didn’t make Jeff creative plans. Tony refused to do that; only after Jeff got released from WWE. I could’ve turned baby face, done a program with Andrade for four weeks or whatever, and then Jeff could’ve showed up. There was no plans at that time [for Jeff].” [H/T: Wrestling Inc.]
Jeff Hardy’s no-compete clause prevented the planning of his AEW debut
Although Matt’s face turn was inevitable, the fact that Jeff Hardy had a 90-day no-compete clause following his departure from WWE prevented Tony Khan from making any creative plans for the three-time WWE World Champion.
With the clause ending the day before Jeff’s eventual debut, Matt promptly texted Tony Khan to inform him that Jeff was available. Matt did not receive a response until the next morning, when Bryce Remsburg, AEW’s travel agent and on-screen referee, asked if Jeff was able to fly out and appear on TV that day.
Jeff arrived just a few hours before the show and plans were put in place for him to save his brother from a beatdown at the hands of the HFO.
The last-minute changes proved to be a big hit, as the crowd erupted at the sound of the Hardy Brothers’ theme music — akin to the duo’s WWE return at WrestleMania 33.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy” with a H/T to Wrestling Inc and Sportskeeda.