THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne – now in it’s 10th year!
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Having recently reviewed WWE’s latest Hulk Hogan collection, I’m now going to take a look at their other attempt to promote a TNA star with Jeff Hardy, My Life, My Rules.
Against the backdrop of Hardy’s final match against C.M. Punk, the documentary looks at his final three year run in WWE. Hardy spoke openly about everything, including his two wellness policy violations and his three title reigns. There’s plenty of tributes from his fellow superstars, such as his brother Matt and long-time friends Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms, as well as the likes of Punk, John Cena and Triple H. However, Kayfabe is very much the order of the day here, especially when Hardy and Punk talk about their rivalry. It’s a little disappointing, considering the business is wide open these days.
June 25, 1994: A very young Jeff faces Sean “1-2-3 Kid” Waltman on an edition of Superstars. It’s your basic squash match here. Jeff puts in a couple of moves, but it’s the Kid’s talents that are on display as he gets the submission win with what commentator Gorilla Monsoon describes as a pretzel.
April 2, 2000: The Hardy Boys, as well as Edge and Christian, challenge the Dudley Boys for the WWF Tag Team titles in the triangle ladder match at Wrestlemania. This three way feud for me was one of the highlights of the WWF back then, and this match was the match of the night in what was a rather lacklustre show. These six men were at the absolute top of their game, putting their bodies on the line with tons of big bumps, and in a foretelling of what was to come later, the Dudleys brought tables into the equation, although it backfired somewhat when Jeff put Bubba Ray through a table with a swanton off the big ladder in the aisle. It was Edge and Christian, though, who took the gold home, climbing the ladders and pushing Matt off the table that was perched between them before they grabbed the belts, beginning the era of awesomeness.
September 24, 2000: The Hardys challenge Edge and Christian for the WWF Tag Team titles in a steel cage match at Unforgiven. With the winner being decided by either pin fall or with both team members escaping the cage, this became a handicap match early on when Edge knocked Jeff off the top of the cage into the floor, eliminating him from the match. What followed was an extended period of double teaming from the champs on Matt, with chairs brought into the match by Christian, and Jeff getting back into the cage with a whisper in the wind off the top of the cage. The end came when both Hardys took Edge down with a con-chair-to on the top of the cage, climbing over the side to win the tag titles in what was a very good match.
July 12, 2001: Jeff challenges the late Mike Awesome for the Hardcore title on an episode of Smackdown during the Invasion angle. Awesome was the first alliance member to win a WWF title. A relatively short match, it’s a nice little title encounter with both guys putting in some good work, and Edge and Christian making a cameo appearance, taking out Awesome with a con-chair-to, with Hardy getting the title winning pin after a swanton from the top rope.
August 19, 2001: Jeff defends the Hardcore title against Rob Van Dam in a ladder match at Summerslam. These two had to go a ways to improve on their Invasion encounter, and they just about did it. Jeff and RVD were tailor-made for each other, with plenty of high flying and big bumps, as well as the ladder being used plenty of times. It made for a great spectacle, with RVD eventually climbing the ladder to retrieve the belt and regain the Hardcore title.
December 9, 2001: The first battle of the brothers on pay-per-view, as Jeff faced Matt at Vengeance, with Lita as special referee. I remember at the time it was widely reported that the powers that be weren’t too happy with this match, because it wasn’t the fast paced high flying encounter they wanted. But it’s inclusion in this collection obviously means that opinions have changed somewhat. For me it was a good, solid encounter, with the brothers showing that they can wrestler as well as flying around the ring, although there are moments when they do that, such as when Jeff took Matt out with the swanton and a slightly controversial pin, Jeff pulling Matt’s leg off the ropes as Lita made the three count. A different kind of Hardy match, but still good nonetheless.
February 17, 2003: Jeff teams with Shawn Michaels against Chris Jericho and Christian in a no disqualification match on Raw. It becomes a handicap match early on when Jericho and Christian handcuff Michaels to the ring. Michaels eventually gets the key off Jericho while Jeff is the proverbial punching bag in the ring. Hardy eventually recovers, and after Michaels kicked a steel chair into Jericho’s face Hardy got the pin after the swanton, ending an entertaining television encounter.
August 21, 2006: Jeff returns to Raw after his TNA stint to take on WWE Champion Edge. The two old rivals put on a quick and entertaining match, with Jeff almost getting the win after the swanton, as Lita helped her man by pulling Edge out of the ring. John Cena then arrived on the scene to attack the man who took the title from him the previous night at Summerslam. The bell rang, but no decision was announced, so I have no idea who won.
October 2, 2006: Jeff challenges Johnny Nitro for the Intercontinental title. The future John Morrison was another of those wrestlers Hardy had great chemistry with. Each guy pulled out their big moves in a match with plenty of back and forth action, with Hardy getting the title winning pin after back dropping Nitro from the top rope, sealing the deal with the Swanton.
April 29, 2007: The reformed Hardy Boys defend the World Tag Team titles against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch at Backlash. You know, I always had a soft spot for Murdoch. He always reminded me of the tough guy wrestlers of years gone by. A vintage performance from the brothers here, picking up where they’d left off a few years before. We also got a good performance from Cade and Murdoch, and it was a shame they were split up, because their team showed so much promise. So these two very good teams gave us a very good match, a nice example of tag team wrestling, with matt getting the pin on Murdoch after Jeff took him out with the swanton, retaining the titles in the process.
July 16, 2007: Jeff faces Shelton Benjamin, Santino Marella and William Regal in a four way elimination match on Raw, with the winner getting a shot at the Intercontinental title. I’d forgotten just how good a wrestler Santino was since he became a comedy act, pulling off a few good moves before he was eliminated by Regal, who was later taken out by Hardy’s twist of fate. This left Jeff alone with Benjamin. Hardy managed to get the win, even after missing the swanton, pinning Benjamin with a roll-up. Some nice quick action here.
September 17, 2007: Hardy faces Benjamin again on Raw, this time in an Intercontinental title defence. Jeff went into this one still suffering from the after effects of a match against the Great Khali the previous week. This proved to be a really enjoyable contest between two guys at the peak of their powers. Benjamin was as solid as always, the perfect opponent for Hardy, with plenty of near finishes before Hardy pushed Benjamin from the top rope and retained the title after the swanton. An impressive outing for both men here.
December 10, 2007: Another Raw encounter, as Jeff defends the Intercontinental title against Carlito in a ladder match. While it’s not the best ladder match Hardy has been in it’s still very entertaining, with Carlito putting in a good performance when he actually seemed to care about his performances. There’s the usual big bumps and some nice use of the ladder, with Hardy knocking Carlito off the top of the ladder so he could grab the belt and retain the title.
December 16, 2007: Jeff faces Triple H at Armageddon, with the winner getting a shot at the WWE title at the Royal Rumble. This was touted as the biggest match of Hardy’s career, and featured a great storyline, with Jeff unwilling to take those extra steps early on until Triple H slapped him in the face and challenged him to fight. The Game dominated early on, before Hardy made his comeback and it became a more even affair. Then, the surprise came, as Hardy countered Triple H’s pedigree attempt with a roll-up to get the winning pin. Great match.
January 19, 2008: In the run-up to their Royal Rumble match, Jeff defends the Intercontinental title against WWE Champion Randy Orton. The actual match lasted just a matter of seconds when Orton was disqualified for kicking Hardy below the belt. We then got the brawl, with hardy countering Orton’s big kick attempt by back dropping him off the stage. Ever the daredevil, Hardy then climbed the scaffold, coming down on Orton with a swanton, with both men getting carried away on stretchers.
January 27, 2008: Hardy faces Orton again, this time for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble. Some of Orton’s matches can be as interesting as watching paint dry, but not this one. It’s a great match, with hardy going all out for the big prize, and Orton playing the heel to perfection. The end came out of nowhere, with Orton countering Hardy’s twist of fate attempt with the RKO for the pin fall victory.
February 11, 2008: Dream match time, as Jeff squares off against Shawn Michaels on an episode of Raw. This certainly lived up to expectations as Michaels and Hardy delivered a pay-per-view quality match, with tons of back and forth action, delivered by two of the top stars in the business. It really is a great match, with Hardy getting one of the biggest wins of his career, taking Michaels down with the twist of fate and closing the deal with the swanton.
June 1, 2008: Jeff takes on the late Umaga in a falls count anywhere match at One Night Stand: Extreme Rules. It’s a very good power versus speed battle which sees them battling around the building before making their way to the car park, with Hardy getting the win after taking Umaga out with a swanton from the top of a lorry. It made for a great spectacle, with obstacles put in the way so we couldn’t see either men “hit” the ground after they came off the lorry.
June 2, 2008: Jeff faces John Cena on an episode of Raw, with the winner getting a shot at the WWE title. There was a slight interruption at the beginning of this one when a fan jumped the barrier and got into the ring, with this guy getting a better crowd reaction than either Cena or Hardy. Some nice back and forth action here in this first time ever meeting, with Cena rolling through after Hardy’s cross body block off the top, taking Hardy down with the FU to get the winning pin.
July 4, 2008: Jeff faces an old rival as he takes on John Morrison on Smackdown. The Morrison here is a far more rounded athlete that he was the last time he faced Hardy, and it made for a far more entertaining encounter, an exciting back and forth affair between the two evenly matched wrestlers, with Hardy securing the win after the swanton. Great stuff here.
October 5, 2008: Jeff faces Triple H again, with the WWE title on the line at No Mercy. As with the Nitro/Morrison matches, it’s an improvement on the previous encounter, with an absolutely electric crowd. It really is a great match, a perfect advertisement for both men, with plenty of near falls, with Hardy almost getting the win after the swanton, only for the Game to counter his pin attempt with a reversal, ending an awesome match.
November 14, 2008: Jeff faces the Undertaker in an extreme rules match on Smackdown. These two had a great ladder match on Raw a few years before, and although this is a good match, and it’s well executed, it’s not a patch on that one. It’s a brawl which takes in the ringside area, with both men pulling off some good moves, and a brief cameo from the Big Show, who attacks both men before the Dead Man take shim out with a chair shot. The chair shots continued as Hardy takes out the Undertaker, getting the big win after a leg drop from the top of a ladder. It was good, and it served it’s purpose. That’s all.
December 14, 2008: Jeff, along with Triple H, challenges Edge for the WWE title in a triple threat match at Armageddon. This was an outstanding encounter, with three great performances and some very innovative spots, with the three way which saw Edge spearing Hardy through the announce table a thing of beauty. There were also cameo appearances from Jeff’s brother Matt and Vladimir Koslov, before Hardy broke up Triple H’s pin on Edge after a pedigree with a swanton, pinning Edge himself and winning his first WWE title.
March 29, 2009: Jeff faces Dolph Ziggler in an extreme rules match on Raw. This was a quick one. Ziggler got in a few licks, but Hardy quickly turned things round with two twist of fates, one on a rubbish bin and one on a steel chair, before finishing the match with the swanton. Not bad, bit I’m not sure if this match really needed to be on this collection.
April 10, 2009: Jeff continues his feud with his brother Matt in a stretcher match on Smackdown. I’m a little surprised that their Wrestlemania or I Quit matches weren’t included on this collection, but it’s still entertaining nonetheless, especially Jeff surfing down the ramp on a stretcher so he can take out Matt with a flying clothesline. Some nice use of the two stretchers here, with Jeff crashing into one of them with a missed swanton, and Matt pushing him up the ramp and over the finish line for the win.
July 26, 2009: Jeff challenges C.M. Punk for the World title at Night of Champions. The rivalry between these two was one of the best things in WWE last year, and this is a good example of the chemistry they had. Their different styles blended perfectly, and that’s what made this match so with Hardy kicking out after Punk’s GTS, and finally taking his man out with the swanton to get the title winning pin.
August 28, 2009: The final match of the collection, with Jeff facing Punk again, this time in a steel cage, with both Punk’s World title and their WWE careers on the line. This one started early with Punk attacking Hardy as he made his entrance. Once they got into the cage it was a fiercely intense battle, with both men coming close to victory on several occasions before Punk pushed Hardy off the top of the cage before he dropped to the arena floor to claim victory, ending Hardy’s WWE career at the same time. An awesome way to end this collection.
In conclusion – if you’ve been living in a cave and know nothing about Jeff Hardy’s career, then this three disc collection is the perfect way to acquaint yourself with the extreme enigma. Although all of the matches vary in how good they are, and the documentary segment is a little disappointing, they’re still a great advertisement for Hardy, and it’s ironic that WWE released this when they did. They obviously expected Hardy to return to their fold, instead of signing with TNA, and it will be interesting to see if he’s as successful in his second stint in TNA as he was in his last with WWE.
Jeff Hardy: My Life, My Rules can be purchased online by visiting www.silvervision.co.uk.