Dueling Diaries: Day 1
Dueling Diaries: Jeff and Matt Hardy
By Craig Tello with photos by Rich Freeda and Eric Johnson
April 1, 2009
Limousine ridin' ... , 3:00 p.m.
Relaxed in the chilled air of a limousine, Jeff composes himself en route to the first of many events during these most important (and heavily booked) days ahead. In an environment typically associated with pinstripe suits and high level business types, Jeff sits comfortably in his usual, most casual attire.
Stepping out, 4:06 p.m.
Moments before the arrival of his brother in downtown Houston, Matt Hardy finds solace on an unoccupied staircase. Matt embraces the embittered feelings that seem to only boil more rapidly with each passing moment. Inside, his WrestleMania opponent's finely painted works line the walls for all attendees to peruse, including pieces entitled "Pink Eyes" and "Strong Jaw" -- enough to make Matt grimace.
WrestleMania media blitz, 4:55 p.m.
Chewing back the pain of his brother's broken loyalty, Jeff put forth his characteristic pleasant disposition when met by a thrush of reporters and camera crews. As painstaking as his past few months have been, Hardy doesn't allow them to suppress his excitement and enthusiasm for such a momentous week. In the alcoves of the Houston Public Library for an exclusive WrestleMania Art event, The Charismatic Enigma fields questions and describes the excitement that comes with WrestleMania in one of the nation's biggest cities.
"Where's your art, Matt?", 5:26 p.m.
Away from the throngs of fans and media, Matt tries to maintain a more mellow attitude at a less crowded region of WWE's art show. He picks at some appetizers and sips some water before an unwanted interruption by a Superstar known for making waves.
Salt in the wound, Mr. Kennedy -- who also had some of his own works on display -- swings around a corner to come face-to-face with the morose Hardy. The outspoken Superstar is acerbic in his tactics, asking Matt Hardy where his masterpieces could be found before complimenting Jeff's piece at the opposite end of the building's corridor. Cooler heads prevail as the sour Superstar decides to leave Kennedy's question unanswered and take a closer look at some of the exhibits.
Creative expression, 5:53 p.m.
The instant focal point of the WrestleMania Art exhibition is Jeff Hardy, who is carefully covering an oversized canvas with bright acrylics in between dabbing his paintbrush with canary yellow paint globs. Without a question, the former WWE Champion is a highly expressive individual with a passion for art in many forms -- written word, murals or in-ring performance. His current labor of love: A large, ominous face.
"A lot of times, this is a good release for me, a good relaxation process," Jeff admitted. "When I'm painting, I get into a zone. The ultimate goal I have is to finish the product and be happy and satisfied with it."
Cold as ice, 6:34 p.m.
As large a city Houston is, this was bound to happen. It was just a matter of time before the schedules of both Matt and Jeff intersected, but neither realized it would be on the very first day of the WrestleMania festivities. Sickened by his younger sibling's spirit and unimpressed by his brush strokes, Matt snickers from afar and propels an icy glare.
Remaining unfazed, 7:09 p.m.
The photo flashes and awe-spun crowd prove to be too much for Jeff's older brother to endure, drawing Matt too close for comfort and yielding an unexpected confrontation between the two. Briefly removing Jeff from his zone, Matt jaw jacks just enough to make several spectators uneasy.
Tolerating Matt's falsely encouraging words to "enjoy the moment" while he can, Jeff retains his composure.
"I won't let his presence harm me at all. It doesn't faze me," claimed a resolute Jeff Hardy, seemingly more upset that he was unable to use spray paints to forge his mid-event masterpiece this evening.
A deep look, 8:42 p.m.
The auction portion of the WrestleMania Art event generates success for the public library's fundraising, partly thanks to Jeff Hardy, whose untitled canvas work secured a substantial final bid.
Jeff and the other Superstars and Divas in attendance have already left for the evening, leaving only Matt Hardy, who conspicuously approaches his brother's finished masterwork. Peering eerily deep into the round eyes of the immense portrait, Matt Hardy begins to angrily address the sight in front of him.
"Jeff drew this thing that seemed to be the highlight of the whole event. I don't even know if you can classify this as art," Matt gruffly muttered. "It's nothing more than an oversized coloring book with a silly face. Yet, he gets this great credit for being this amazing artist, kind of like the same credit he gets for being an amazing wrestler."
He continued, "This Sunday, people will learn once and for all that I am the superior Hardy in every way."
Diaries: Intro | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
Photos: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
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