Jeff Hardy is having his struggles with substance abuse used as inspiration for a new angle on “WWE Smackdown”.
Friday’s episode of “Smackdown” kicked off in controversial and memorable fashion. An apparent hit-and-run wound up WWE superstar Elias in a hospital. Canada’s Renee Young reported on the scene. The vehicle was subsequently determined to belong to Hardy who was fictionally arrested. The former WWE champion appeared to be stumbling and smelled of alcohol.
— GIFSkull IV – @jack fix your DMCA! – #AEWDoN (@GifSkullIV) May 30, 2020
Hardy, 42, has a very real history with substance use and the law. He was first arrested on Sept. 11, 2009, on charges of trafficking in controlled prescription pills and possession of anabolic steroids. He eventually pleaded guilty to charges and was sentenced to 10 days in jail between Oct. 3 to Oct. 13 of 2011.
He was again arrested on July 13, 2019, for public intoxication and less than three months later for driving while impaired.
Jeff’s brother, Matt Hardy, recently departed from WWE for rival upstart promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Matt, 45, did not directly address the controversial angle but did take the timely moment to reiterate how happy he is with the new company.
Just to reiterate..
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) May 30, 2020
Interestingly enough, Matt has also had his personal life dramatized in WWE. In 2005 and 2006, WWE dramatized a tense real-life love triangle between Matt, Canadian wrestler Edge and Lita.
This is not the first time Jeff’s substance use has made its way in front of the cameras, although it is the first time it is done so in a dramatized way. Jeff competed against legendary wrestler Sting on March 13, 2011, for wrestling promotion TNA’s “Victory Road” pay-per-view. Jeff was visibly intoxicated and the match was trimmed to 90-seconds because he was unable to perform.
Fans were also not impressed by the move by the WWE:
— T H E B I G D O G 1 1 1 #QuarantineDays (@phenomenalsvg) May 30, 2020
— drewsroka (@drewsroka) May 30, 2020
Are WWE REALLY doing a wrongful arrest / detaining angle this week… really… fuck sake #Smackdown
— Liam* (@Allez_LesRouges) May 30, 2020
Im sorry but this drink driving isnt funny. I know its a storyline but wtf. I honestly feel for Jeff who had to do this fucking stupid storyline. Have some respect @WWE
— Jane (@JanexTweets) May 30, 2020