We Have Liftoff - Jeff Hardy returns to RAW

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August 22, 2006

Jeff Hardy returned to the ring Monday night, appearing rested and confident as he high-stepped his way to the ring. However, as Hardy told WWE.com, the anticipation of his big entrance had his emotions on edge.

 “It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been before walking out in front of a crowd,” Hardy said, his words racing faster than his mind could keep up with them. “It’s been nerve wracking, but exciting at the same time. I think it wouldn’t be as meaningful if you didn’t have the butterflies. The whole day I was almost in a trance, but after the second appearance I chilled out a lot.”

Hardy showed no signs of ring rust as he made his long-awaited return to RAW after a three-year absence. Thousands of delighted fans waved signs welcoming him back and cheered his entrance with a raucous ovation. When WWE Champion Edge called for the start of the next chapter in the Rated R story, Hardy answered and the two faced off in Hardy’s first WWE match in three years.

The adrenaline rush was pumping as Hardy emerged for the first time, but it was his second time out when he really took stock of the fans’ reaction. The warm reception and adoration he felt from the crowd in Bridgeport, Conn. helped him remember what he had missed so much about life as a WWE Superstar.

“I was a lot cooler the second time I went out – the crowd really calmed my nerves. It was overwhelming to notice all the signs that were out there, because I really didn’t notice them the first time,” said Hardy. “It was great out there. Everything was fine once I went through that curtain. All the butterflies were gone. The crowd really calmed my nerves.”

Hardy even noted that the crowd gave him a lift physically. Although many may have expected Hardy’s trademark high-flying repertoire to suffer from the long layoff, the Daredevil looked acrobatic as ever. He nailed Edge with a Twist of Fate, and connected on his signature Swanton Bomb, officially stamping his arrival and sending the crowd into a frenzy.

“I felt good, actually. I was surprised that I didn’t [tire out] quicker, but I felt really good out there, and I think I owe it all to the crowd, that’s for sure,” said an appreciative and relieved Hardy.

While the fans are clearly ecstatic to have one of their favorite Superstars back in action on RAW, perhaps nobody should be happier about Jeff’s return than his brother, SmackDown Superstar Matt Hardy. Together, they formed one of the most entertaining and formidable tag team duos in WWE history, and the younger Hardy is looking forward to the day when the Hardy Boyz are on top of the tag team world yet again.

“Up until tonight, I was looking forward to my big entrance, hearing that music again. Now that that’s happened, I’m totally looking forward to the Hardy Boyz getting back together,” he said.

For now, it’s one huge RAW appearance under the belt, and one huge sigh of relief for Jeff Hardy following a successful return to WWE television. He is excited to be back, and hopes to quickly return to where he left off – dominating the competition and awing the legions of WWE fans.

“I feel like I have so much to live up to and still do, so I plan to follow through with it and live up to what people think of me,” Hardy said, his voice growing excited. “Just thinking about all the time on the road [missed during the last three years], I know I need to go and do this while I can.”

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