Circle of Champions: Jeff Hardy grants Mitchell's Wish
HERSHEY, Pa. -- Wearing his signature black, white and green Jeff Hardy armbands, with black painted fingernails, Make-A-Wish child Mitchell Hannigan, 11, sat anxiously in his VIP suite in Hershey's Giant Center. He was waiting for his wish to meet his favorite WWE Superstar, Jeff Hardy.
"I realized Jeff was my favorite Superstar when I first saw his fashion style and his [high-flying] wrestling technique," said Mitchell, moments before meeting the Legend Thriller for the first time. "I don't know what to expect. I just think he's going to be a very nice guy."
Mitchell traveled nearly 500 miles from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, with his family to see his dream become a reality. His father, Dan, got into the WWE spirit by trimming his beard to mimic Hardy's. He also painted his fingernails black, all for his son.
"I think it's really cool my dad did that. Now, Jeff will think he has a twin," Mitchell explained, smiling.
SmackDown color commentator Mick Foley dropped by to pay a visit to the Circle of Champions honoree. Mick received fashion advice about his rainbow-colored pants and talked about rollercoasters, Mick's favorite topic.
"I absolutely enjoy riding on them. If you see me on TV and it seems like I've been losing weight, it's so I'm allowed to get on the roller coasters," the Hardcore Legend joked.
The moment Mitchell had been waiting for ever since seeing Jeff Hardy land his first Swanton Bomb finally arrived. The shirtless ring warrior, with his blue and green dyed hair pulled back in a ponytail walked into the VIP suite.
"I tried to put my tan on before I saw you," Hardy told Mitchell before presenting him with a giant five-pound Hershey chocolate candy bar.
The four-time WWE Intercontinental Champion signed autographs, posed for pictures with Mitchell and his family, and presented the Circle of Champs honoree with the new Hardys Purple Logo pendant, Hardys baseball cap, wristbands, and Hardys double dog tags. Jeff Hardy also answered Mitchell's questions about his motorcycle collection and the creative process and inspiration behind his notable artwork.
For Hardy, a huge supporter of the Make-A-Wish FoundationÃ‚Â®, the meet-and-greet with Mitchell was his first since moving over to SmackDown from Raw through the 2008 WWE Draft. He walked away very impressed with his Circle of Champions experience.
"It's cool as always to enlighten kids and lift their spirits," Hardy explained. "I remember what it was like for me as a kid, when I would see my favorite Superstar and how much I wanted to meet him. I know how much it means to Mitchell.
"What we do is provide kids with motivation to live life to the fullest. It's always good to make someone feel good. My motto is that we're all human, so it just makes me happy to know that someone cares about me that much. It means the world to me."
And for Mitchell, after his dream was fulfilled, he continued to smile.
"I was absolutely shocked. I was so surprised I got to meet Jeff Hardy. He was so nice. I will always remember this moment because I got to meet my favorite Superstar in the entire world," said an exuberant Mitchell. "I can't wait to go home to show my friends all of the stuff that I got. I'd like to say thanks to Make-A-Wish and WWE for making my wish come true."