Everyone always jokes that after the apocalypse there’ll only be Cher and cockroaches. I’d argue that the WWE would likely be around because, honestly…that shit does not die. Even daytime soaps have met some sort of an end, but wrestling? Especially the WWE, nah. From the theatrics to the physical feats, the WWE has gave way to a constant for so many years that superstars that have come from it have become more than just wrestlers, but permanent fixtures in pop culture forever.
So it was such a pleasure to get to finally talk about a WWE crush this week with Stephanie Hardy, the host of ‘The Hardy Wrestling Podcast.’ She does way more than that, and you’ll find out all about her endeavors, aspirations, and of course, her WWE crush later this week but first, the wrestler who flew off a ladder and right into my heart – Jeff Hardy.
Somehow wrestling failed to capture the attention of my brother and me in the early ‘90s when the likes of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior were at the top of the game. Our mom’s now ex-boyfriend would watch and we’d just laugh. Then in came a generation starring Stone Cold and The Rock, and my brother was hooked. Soon after, so was I. Monday and Thursday nights were now dedicated to wrestling on at least one TV in our double-wide, and as soon as I saw Jeff Hardy, I was as obsessed as my brother was. Only I didn’t try to do the moves. I was more of a let’s watch and collect the toys kind of fan. That’s because I wasn’t a wild-ass elementary school student. I was a mature 14 year old about to enter high school.
In a sea of crushes that have come and gone throughout my life, I think Jeff Hardy would definitely be a standout. I remember when he was on the cover of WWE Magazine alongside Matt Hardy and Lita. Local grocery stores didn’t have it, so when my mom found it on the way home from Arizona visiting family, she bought me four copies. Yes, four. Why? Well, two were to hang on my already cluttered walls next to other 2000s crush mainstays like Legolas, Hayden Christiansen, and Good Charlotte – and the other two were to stay fresh-pressed in a drawer. They were there until the day I had to pack everything up and head to college, and then well…that’s a sad tale for another day and I don’t want to recollect the heartbreak.
Collecting aside, Jeff Hardy was just it for me. Obviously, I found him insanely attractive and that’s part of the reason my eyes and raging teenage hormones took notice, but as the years went by my crush developed even further because of how fucking amazing he was in the ring. Every wrestler has their jaw-dropping thing, but it seemed like Jeff Hardy had several and I was never not amazed by the things he managed to pull off. Thinking back, his big match with The Undertaker, in which he lost, is still one of my favorite moments of his. The way he just kept trying was truly intoxicating.
Like a lot of crushes from my teenage years, my love of Jeff Hardy faded as my interest in wrestling started to do the same, but he remains a permanent fixture in my Crush Hall of Fame – forever and always.