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NXT Live's return to San Antonio just got bigger: WWE Hall of Famer and San Antonio native Shawn Michaels will don the zebra stripes for the huge title bout between NXT Champion Drew McIntyre and challenger Adam Cole on Friday, Nov. 17. Tickets are available now at NXTTickets.com.10/18/2017 - 18:15
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Bound by blood and fate
Refocused and rehabilitated, Jeff Hardy is prepared to join his brother, Matt, as he returns to the place where he began his career 13 years ago.
As reported on WWE.com, former Superstar Jeff Hardy has been rehired by World Wrestling Entertainment, more than three years after his release from the company. Showing up late for a slew of WWE events and with his in-ring performance slipping, Jeff's sudden descent three years ago was reportedly the result of a poisonous drug addiction. After refusing to go into drug rehabilitation, Hardy was released from WWE in May 2003.
WWE.com spoke with a reflective Jeff Hardy who was driving through his home state of North Carolina with his brother, SmackDown Superstar Matt Hardy. Talking honestly about his release from WWE in 2003, Jeff said he isn't as focused on where he's been, but rather on where he's going.
"I didn't need [rehab]," said Jeff adamantly. "When I was released from WWE, it wasn't just about demons or demonic metaphors that relate to drug use. I failed numerous drug tests because I just didn't care…didn't care to wrestle anymore. A sense of me believes that it might have just been a way out [of wrestling]," he added. "That's in the past, and that's forgotten about. I'm in a positive place now…and that's what motivates me."
Intent on starting anew, Jeff said he doesn't want to be referred to as "the one who overcame his demons" when he returns to WWE.
"I'd really like to drop that," he said. "I'd rather it be: ‘He's back, and he's full throttle'."
Having lost his mother at an early age, Jeff said that being off the road for the last few years has afforded him the opportunity to become close with his and Matt's father.
"I've been hanging out with my dad," Jeff said. "[We] have spent a load of time together; we've built a good pasture. One of the most important things to me in life right now is to making sure my dad lives his life to its fullest for the rest of his life."
Bound to his family, Jeff explained that he's watched his brother, Matt, on television every week since his departure and he is looking forward to once again joining his former partner in the ring and on the road.
"Two things [Matt and I] have in common more than anything are Pearl Jam and [sports entertainment]. Our creativity when it comes to wrestling is pretty much unparalleled. The things we created -- the moves, the new ideas -- it just flowed."
Possibly no one is more excited about Jeff's return to sports-entertainment and WWE than Matt Hardy.
"Regardless of what's happened -- through thick and thin -- [Jeff and I are] there for each other. WWE is his home, and he was put on this earth to wrestle," said an elated Matt. "I'm ecstatic that he's coming back home. It makes me look forward to the future."
The former WWE and WCW Tag Team Champions are equally excited about potentially teaming together and displaying the dynamic in-ring chemistry that both electrified WWE fans and forever altered the WWE tag team landscape.
"What I've missed most are the massive crowds that you perform in front of," Jeff explained passionately. "I've missed that more than anything. [The feeling is] untouchable."
"I would love nothing more than to team with Jeff again," added Matt. "He loves to go out there and entertain fans and inspire people and tell them they can beat the odds. We were two normal guys who made it to the big time. We want to send that message out to other people. If you have a dream," he said, "you can chase it. You can do it."
After watching from home for three full years, the free-spirited Jeff Hardy will soon relive his passion in a WWE ring. Whether it be in singles action or teaming with his brother, he anxiously awaits the chance to take new risks, reach new heights and pursue new championships, even if they are suspended 20 feet above the ring.
"I'm ready to jump off bigger ladders and go through thicker tables," Jeff said. "I just gotta let it fly."
His own fate twisted - Jeff Hardy signed by WWE