A Swanton Bomb and a dream
Despite being a four-time Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy arguably has been overlooked as potential world champion.
He is a youthful veteran of ring wars, debuting in WWE 14 years ago with his brother Matt. He has held numerous titles in WWE, including the World Tag Team Championship six times and the defunct European Championship. But the WWE Championship -- and an extended series of opportunities at sports-entertainment's most coveted prize -- have always eluded the Cameron, N.C. native, and he hopes you, our fans, can help change that by selecting him to face Randy Orton for the title at Cyber Sunday.
"Jeff Hardy's been living an incomplete dream," Jeff told WWE.com recently. "And the only way to complete that dream is to obtain the WWE Championship. For me to feel comfortable about my career in WWE, I have to complete the collection of titles I've held here."
"I've been a tag team champion on numerous occasions," he continued. "I'm the current four-time Intercontinental Champion. And if the fans vote for me, I can guarantee I'll take any risk to win the title and even more risks to hold on to it."
This doesn't sound like the carefree, often affable daredevil who has a legion of loyal fans who have stood by him for more than a decade. In recent weeks, Jeff has shown more intensity and focus than he ever has before as he has lobbied for your Cyber Sunday vote. Jeff sounds -- and has behaved like -- a man who has thought seriously about his career and his legacy and will not be satisfied until he holds a singles world championship.
WWE Championship opportunities have been few and far between for Jeff Hardy. Years ago, he came within milliseconds of defeating Triple H for the WWE Championship, but that didn't earn him a series of matches for the title. It's difficult to pinpoint why some might not have taken Jeff seriously as world championship material. Maybe, it's because he's never been traditional.
Jeff has never styled and profiled like great champions of the present and past such as Ric Flair, Triple H and Batista. He's an artist who has a passion outside the ring in sculpture and music. His hair color seems to change every week. Jeff looks like he's just as comfortable in an artist's studio in New York City's Village -- and perhaps that's part of his charm. He's always been fiercely independent and marched to his own beat, and that has always been reflected in his unique, devil-may-care ring style.
But now, after years of battling burnout and criticism from some who questioned his passion for the business, a determined and more mature Jeff Hardy has emerged. Perhaps the first sign of his maturation came in September when he defeated the seemingly indestructible Umaga -- after barely falling short in previous occasions -- for the Intercontinental Championship.
Since then, Jeff has been more confident than ever. And as much as he respects Shawn Michaels, one of his great inspirations who might just be considered a frontrunner to win the opportunity to face Orton, Jeff believes his time is now.
"I kind of sense it may be time for some groundwalking," he said. "And if I'm lucky enough, and fans vote for me to face Randy Orton, I'm looking forward to giving them something they haven't seen before, and that's me holding the WWE Championship."