The legendary wrestler spoke to talkSPORT about this weekend’s highly-anticipated event
The Charismatic Enigma promises fans a match for the ages and he gets ready to step into the Hell in a Cell.
After a career that has span two generations, there are very few milestones Jeff Hardy hasn’t checked off his wrestling bucket list.
From competing with the industry’s biggest names to being a pioneer of WWE’s ‘Attitude Era’, the multi-time world champion has seen and done it all.
However, this Sunday the 41 year-old competes in a rare first, as he steps into one of WWE’s most daunting structures to face Randy Orton in Hell in a Cell.
The signature match, which has been part of WWE programming since 1997, has been responsible for some of the most iconic moments in the company’s history, and given Hardy’s thirst for pushing the envelope, it’s no surprise the stipulation appeals to the daredevil nature we’ve come to expect from the North Carolina native.
So, on the week of his first ever Hell in a Cell bout, what can fans expect when he faces off against ‘The Viper’ this Sunday in San Antonio…
Read the full interview below:
On competing in Hell in a Cell:
“I’ve talked about it a lot because the one thing I’ve never done in WWE is a Hell in a Cell match and now here we are. I’m in a Hell in a Cell with Randy Orton and I can’t wait to see what I can do inside that cage. It’s going to be very memorable and I’ll do something that people won’t forget. I think my thoughts are too big for my size sometimes, but I’ve got a lot of good ideas of what I can do inside that structure and this Sunday is when we find what will happen. It will be a very memorable Jeff Hardy match. Expect the unexpected!”
Is it a match he’s lobbied for?
“I never asked for it and I actually thought it was one of those things that would never happen. But when I found out I got really excited about it, like a youthful spark from a Jeff Hardy in his twenties. I never asked, but they sure are giving it to me, so we’ll see what happens.”
How does he prepare?
“All I’ve done is watched previous matches and then seen in my mind what I think might pan out. The cool thing, but also the kind of scary thing, is what I see always changes when it comes to the actual reality. The previous Hell in a Cells I’ve been watching, Randy Orton has been in six or seven of them, which is crazy. He’s very familiar with the structure and I’m not, but I’ve got a lot of big ideas and I’m going to try and pull them off.”
Is Randy Orton right that he deserves more respect?
“I don’t know what chip he has on his shoulder, because he’s been know as ‘The Legend Killer’, ‘The Viper’, ‘The Apex Predator’ and he’s a future hall of famer. I don’t know where this no respect idea has come from because I think the WWE Universe has great respect for Randy Orton. I think it’s something personal he has against me, whether it’s me wearing pantyhose on my arms or painting my face like a rodeo clown, I’m not sure what his issue is. I think he just doesn’t like the way I live my life and project myself.”
On his piercings:
“It had been done one time before in another company, so the image has been out there. It doesn’t really hurt as once those gates are open on that part of your body it’s pretty much anything goes. But that’s just Randy, he’s the Apex Predator and he’ll use anything against you to get what he wants. It hasn’t completely ripped yet, so hopefully he’ll stay away from my ear come Hell in a Cell.”
What memories does he have of previous Hell in a Cell matches?
“I’ve watched so many in the last few weeks just to update myself on what the match consists of and I can’t get over the first Undertaker Mankind Hell in a Cell. I don’t think that one will ever be topped because Mick Foley was amazing that night; he was superhuman to survive that. When he got thrown off the cage, then came back and got chokeslammed through the cage, oh my God. What people don’t understand is that ring was so hard back in the day and you’d have to be over 300lbs to even make it move, so the way he hit the canvass was so impactful. It’s insane and it’s my favourite.”
What next for Jeff Hardy?
“I would like to win the World Title once again, that’s for sure. After my brother and I returned at WrestleMania 33, we won the Tag Team Championships again, but now we’re doing our thing in singles competition it be good to be world champion once again.”
What’s the secret of his longevity?
“I never really thought about it back then, but I think what helped me was going away for a while and then coming back, so I haven’t always had the brutal schedule for the whole time. The seven years I had off in other companies was good for me because I had a lot of time off to heal. Same with Matt, we’ve been back and forth and I know we can’t do this forever, but I feel good right now and I’ll just take it week-by-week and see how my body holds up. It’s good to be back now and when we eventually retire be at the place where we all started.”