The Hardy Boyz

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Not to be confused with The Hardy Boys or Hard Boyz.
The Hardy Boyz
The Hardy Boyz, Jeff (left) and Matt
Tag team
Members Jeff Hardy[1]
Matt Hardy[1]
Name(s) Team Xtreme[2]
The Hardy Boyz[1]
The Hardys[2]
Los Conquistadores
The New Brood[3]
Heights Matt:
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[4]
Jeff:
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Combined
weight
451 lb (205 kg)
Hometown Cameron, North Carolina[1]
Former
member(s)
Lita (as Team Xtreme)[1]
Terri Runnels[1]
Debut October 15, 1993
Years active 1993-present
Promotions WWF/E
TNA
OMEGA
NDW
NWA 2000
BTW

The Hardy Boyz (also known as the Hardys or Team Xtreme) are a professional wrestling tag team, consisting of real-life brothers Jeff/Willow and Matt Hardy. They are best known for their time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), later renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), while also working briefly together in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).

They first began teaming together in 1993 in independent promotions in North Carolina, winning the NWA 2000 Tag Team Championship in NWA 2000, and founded the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts, where they held the OMEGA Tag Team Championship. They both signed contracts with the WWF in 1998, and were given Michael Hayes as their manager. After dumping Hayes, they had a quick stint with Gangrel, and then Terri, before gaining a permanent manager in their real-life friend Lita. The addition of Lita led to them being renamed "Team Xtreme". They split as a team in 2002, but reunited in 2006 to feud with MNM, before focusing on their singles careers again in 2007, although they occasionally teamed together. Following a scripted feud between the two brothers in early 2009, Jeff left WWE in August, with Matt departing in late 2010. The Hardys reunited in TNA in January 2011 as members of the Immortal stable. In August 2011, Matt was released from his contract with TNA.

The Hardy Boyz gained fame for their participation in ladder matches and Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. Overall in WWE they are seven-time tag team champions, having won the World Tag Team Championship six times and the WCW World Tag Team Championship once. Both brothers also won singles championships during their run as a tag team.

History[edit]

Independent circuit (1993–1998)[edit]

Real-life brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy formed a tag team in 1993 after Jeff's debut in the Trampoline Wrestling Federation (TWF). The promotion went by several names, and in 1997, it was modernized as the Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA).[1] The duo worked in several North Carolinian independent promotions holding the OMEGA Tag Team Championship and NWA 2000 Tag Team Championship.[5]

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment[edit]

Rise to popularity (1998–1999)[edit]

See also: The New Brood

Originally the brothers competed as teenagers in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as jobbers—wrestlers who consistently lose to make their opponents look stronger—both in singles and tag team competition.[1][5] After being signed to a contract in 1998, they were trained by Dory Funk, Jr. in his Funkin' Dojo.[1][6]

The Hardy Boyz started their run as a popular tag team with a win over Kaientai (Men's Teioh and Shoichi Funaki) on the September 27, 1998 episode of Sunday Night Heat.[7] Soon after their Sunday Night Heat win, they built up a fan base following through their high-flying tag team tactics. They started to become serious contenders for the Tag Team Championship after they became managed by Michael Hayes, formerly a member of The Fabulous Freebirds.[8] On the June 29, 1999, episode of Raw is War (aired July 5), they defeated The Acolytes (Farooq and Bradshaw) to win their first WWF Tag Team Championship,[9][10] but they lost the title back to The Acolytes a little less than a month later at Fully Loaded.[11]

They eventually dumped Hayes as their manager in August 1999, becoming villains and briefly associating themselves with Gangrel as part of The New Brood.[3] After winning a series of matches against the team of Edge and Christian—dubbed the "Terri Invitational Tournament"—they won the services of Terri Runnels as their manager by winning the first ever tag team ladder match at No Mercy, and then dumped Gangrel the next night becoming faces.[1][12] The fans also gave both teams a standing ovation the next night on Raw is War.[13] This began an over two year rivalry between the Hardy Boyz and the team of Edge and Christian. During this time, they also gained notoriety as a faction with Lita.[1]

Team Xtreme (2000–2002)[edit]

With the addition of Lita, Matt and Jeff comprised the trio dubbed Team Xtreme, their name serving as a reflection of their "extreme" high-flying moves.[14] In 2000, they were involved in feuds with Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) in many ladder matches and TLC matches.[15]

The Hardys with Lita at King of the Ring 2000.

They faced Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz at WrestleMania 2000 in a triple threat tag team ladder match.[16] The Dudley Boyz started the match as the champions, and Edge and Christian won the title.[16][17] The Hardyz faced Edge and Christian for the title at Insurrextion and defeated them by disqualification, which meant that Edge and Christian retained the title.[5] At King of the Ring, the Hardy Boyz squared off in a Four Corners Elimination match for the Tag Team Championship which included the champions Too Cool (Brian Christopher and Scotty 2 Hotty), T & A (Test and Albert) and Edge and Christian.[18] The Hardyz were able to eliminate T & A before getting eliminated themselves by Edge and Christian.[18]

At SummerSlam, the Hardy Boyz were defeated in the first ever TLC match for the Tag Team Championship, which Edge and Christian won, and in which the Dudley Boyz also competed.[19][20] At Unforgiven, however, the Hardy Boyz defeated Edge and Christian in a steel cage match to win the Tag Team Championship for a second time.[21][22] They lost the title back to Edge and Christian (who were dressed as Los Conquistadores) at No Mercy,[23] but they won the titles back the next night on Raw for a third time.[24][25] During the match, the Hardy Boyz were dressed as Los Conquistadores, but tore off their masks after the match, revealing themselves.[24][25] The team lost the title less than a month later to Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather) on the November 6 episode of Raw is War, when Edge and Christian came out and assaulted the Hardyz, allowing Right to Censor to pick up the win and the title.[26]

The Hardyz became involved in a feud with both Edge and Christian and Right to Censor. At Survivor Series, the Hardyz along with the Dudleyz defeated Edge and Christian and Right to Censor in a Survivor Series elimination match.[27] At Rebellion, the Hardy Boyz faced Right to Censor in a rematch for the titles but were unable to win the titles when Val Venis interfered.[5][28] On the December 4 episode of Raw is War, Dean Malenko defeated the Hardy Boyz' valet Lita to retain the Light Heavyweight Championship and earn himself a date with her three days later on SmackDown!. On the December 7 episode of SmackDown!, however, when Malenko took Lita on a date, he received a beating from the Hardyz.[5] The Hardyz began feuding with Malenko and his friends, The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Malenko and Perry Saturn).[29] The two teams faced each other in several tag team and singles matches on Raw and SmackDown!.[5] The two teams also squared off against each other at Armageddon with Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn taking on the Hardyz and Lita. The Radicalz won the match.[30]

Matt Hardy, one half of the Hardy Boyz, at WrestleMania X8.

On March 5, 2001, on Raw the Hardy Boyz captured their fourth Tag Team Championship when they defeated The Dudley Boyz, after interference from Christian,[31][32] only to lose the titles to Edge and Christian two weeks later on Raw.[32] The next month at WrestleMania X-Seven, the Hardy Boyz competed in another TLC match against Edge and Christian and the Dudley Boyz.[33] Just as in the first TLC match, Edge and Christian were victorious thanks to help from Rhyno.[33][34]

On the October 8 episode of Raw, the Hardy Boyz won the WCW Tag Team Championship from Booker T and Test.[35][36] They lost the title to the Dudley Boyz two weeks later.[37] On the November 12 episode of Raw, they beat Booker T and Test again, but this time for the WWF Tag Team Championship.[37][38] At Survivor Series, they lost the title to the Dudleys in a Steel Cage title unification match.[39]

At No Way Out, the Hardy Boyz participated in a Tag Team Turmoil match which was won by the A.P.A.[40] At WrestleMania X8, along with the A.P.A. and the Dudley Boyz, the Hardyz challenged Billy and Chuck for the Tag Team Championship in a Four Corners elimination match. The A.P.A. were eliminated by the Dudleyz, whom the Hardy Boyz managed to eliminate. In the end, however, they were pinned by the champions, thus losing the opportunity.[41] They then began a feud with the newcomer Brock Lesnar and his manager Paul Heyman.[42] At Judgment Day, the Hardy Boyz lost to Lesnar and Heyman in a tag team match.[43]

Split (2003)[edit]

The duo split up afterward, as Jeff began a storyline with The Undertaker, while Matt was relegated to working on Heat.[44] In the storyline, Matt then attacked Jeff, because Jeff had a match for the Intercontinental Championship.[45] Matt was then moved to the SmackDown! brand, where he dubbed himself "Matt Hardy Version 1" and the "Sensei of Mattitude", and picked up real-life friend Shannon Moore and briefly Crash Holly as followers. He later won the Cruiserweight Championship from Billy Kidman at the No Way Out pay-per-view in 2003. Jeff was released from WWE on April 22, 2003, for erratic behavior, drug use, refusal to go to rehab, and deteriorating ring performance, as well as constant tardiness and no-showing events.[46][47]

Following his release from WWE, Jeff debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) in mid-2004. After no-showing several events, he was suspended in 2006 before leaving the company soon afterward.[46] On August 4, 2006, he rejoined WWE on its Raw brand.[46][48] Meanwhile, in April 2005, Matt was released from WWE due to real-life issues with Lita.[4] He was rehired, however, just a few months later and was eventually sent to the SmackDown brand.[4]

The Hardys and sporadic teaming (2006–2007)[edit]

The Hardys during their ring entrance at December to Dismember in December 2006

In November 2006, it was announced on WWE.com that Matt and Jeff would team up for the first time together in over four years as members of Team DX at the Survivor Series.[49] The Hardys, as they were now known, were first given a "warm up match" on ECW on Sci Fi, defeating the Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido Maritato and Tony Mamaluke).[5][50] At Survivor Series, Team DX defeated Team Rated-RKO in a clean sweep.[5][51]

On the November 27 episode of Raw, The Hardys had their first shot at Tag Team gold in five years. They took on World Tag Team Champions Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton), but came up short when Edge hit Jeff in the back with a belt to get himself and Orton deliberately disqualified to retain the title.[5][52] That same day, The Hardys posed an open challenge to any team for ECW December to Dismember which was immediately accepted by a reuniting MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury).[52] After a run in on the intervening ECW on Sci Fi,[5][53] The Hardys defeated MNM at the pay-per-view,[5][54] starting a feud between all four men that spanned both brands. The Hardys got their first chance to gain the WWE Tag Team Championship at Armageddon, where the original tag team match was changed to a four team ladder match involving The Hardys, MNM, Dave Taylor and William Regal, and Paul London and Brian Kendrick.[5][55] Despite coming up short, The Hardys sparked another feud with MNM when Mercury was legitimately injured.[5][55][56] While Jeff and Nitro continued battling over the Intercontinental Championship on Raw, Matt and Mercury feuded on SmackDown!. Mercury and Nitro tried injuring both Hardys' faces as payback for what happened at Armageddon, claiming that The Hardys had ruined Mercury's 'Hollywood good looks'. The Hardys settled their feud with MNM at the Royal Rumble when they defeated them for the second time.[5][57] Matt and Mercury continued feuding, however, which was finally settled at No Way Out.[58]

The Hardys in the ring at WrestleMania 23.

On the April 2, 2007, episode of Raw, the Hardys won the World Tag Team Championship for the sixth time in their career after winning a ten team battle royal.[59][60] After losing singles bouts to both Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch,[5][61] The Hardys retained their World Tag Team Championship at both Backlash and Judgment Day against the team of Cade and Murdoch.[5][62] At One Night Stand, Hardyz retained the titles against The World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) in a ladder match.[63] The next night on Raw, however, the Hardys lost their championship to Cade and Murdoch, when Jeff missed a Swanton Bomb and was pinned by Cade after Murdoch pushed his foot off of the bottom rope of the ring. Cade and Murdoch attacked the Hardys with the championship belts after the match.[5][64] The Hardys got a rematch at Vengeance, but lost after Jeff was hit with a sitout spinebuster from Cade.[5][65]

The Hardys once again returned to WWE on the November 13, 2007 episode of ECW on Sci Fi to face Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) and Mr. Kennedy, a match that was originally scheduled for the November 16 episode of SmackDown!. The Hardys were unsuccessful in their return as Porter pinned Jeff for the win.[66] The Hardys, announced and referred to once again as the Hardy Boyz, reunited once again in 2008, on the June 23 episode of Raw in a losing effort to John Morrison and The Miz. The match occurred after Jeff was drafted to the SmackDown brand (the same brand as Matt). This loss, however, caused Matt to be drafted to the ECW brand.[67] On the July 15 episode of ECW, The Hardys reunited in their home state of North Carolina, defeating Morrison and Miz.[68] The Hardys then teamed up on the October 31 episode of SmackDown and on November 3, on Raw, winning both matches.[69][70]

Feud; departure from WWE (2009–2010)[edit]

Jeff (left) and Matt (right) arguing in the ring in February 2009.

Heading into the 2009 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Matt was attempting to regain the ECW Championship from Jack Swagger, while Jeff held the WWE Championship. After Matt lost to Swagger, he interfered in Jeff's match with Edge, hitting Jeff with a steel chair, and allowing Edge to win the WWE Championship.[71] On the January 30, 2009 episode of SmackDown, due to the events at the Royal Rumble, Matt announced the permanent disbandment of the tag team, and that he no longer considered Jeff as his partner or brother. Matt moved to the SmackDown brand, and began a scripted rivalry with Jeff. The pair faced each other in an "Extreme Rules" match at WrestleMania XXV, which Matt won.[72] They later faced each other in a stretcher match, in which Matt gained his second win over Jeff.[73] As part of the 2009 WWE Draft, Matt was drafted to the Raw brand on the April 13 episode of Raw.[74] Despite this, the brothers faced each other in an "I Quit" match at the Backlash pay-per-view, which Jeff won.[75] Matt also interfered in Jeff's World Heavyweight Championship match at Judgment Day, preventing him from winning the championship.[76]

On the August 21 episode of SmackDown, the Hardys reunited and teamed with John Morrison in a six-man tag team match to defeat CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty.[77] The following week, Jeff lost a "Loser Leaves the WWE" steel cage match to CM Punk, resulting in him leaving the company.[78] Over a year later, on October 15, 2010, WWE announced that Matt had been released from his contract, with Matt later stating that his release had been in effect two weeks before WWE made the announcement.[79][80]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling[edit]

Immortal (2011)[edit]

Jeff made his TNA return on the January 4, 2010 episode of Impact!, and went on to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory in October.[81][82] On January 9, 2011, at TNA's pay-per-view Genesis, Matt made his TNA debut as a surprise member of the Immortal faction, and defeated Rob Van Dam. Jeff, who was also a member of Immortal, went on to lose the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Mr. Anderson later that night.[83] On the January 13 episode of Impact! the Hardy Brothers reunited and defeated Van Dam and Anderson.[84] Following the Victory Road pay-per-view, Immortal severed their ties with Jeff.[85] On August 20, Matt was released from TNA after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.[86]

Return (2014–present)[edit]

Matt returned to TNA in June 2014. On June 26, at Destination X The Hardys unsuccessfully challenged The Wolves for the TNA World Tag Team Championships.[87]

Return to the independent circuit (2014)[edit]

On April 26, 2014, The Hardys defeated The Briscoe Brothers at OMEGA's Chaos in Cameron.[88] On May 31, 2014, The Hardys defeated C.W. Anderson and Jeff Lewis Neal in the main event for Big Time Wrestling.[89] The next night The Hardys defeated Jeff Lewis Neal and Bam Shaw in the main event.[90]

Other media[edit]

The Hardys appeared on the February 7, 1999 episode of That '70s Show entitled "That Wrestling Show", as uncredited wrestlers.[91] Jeff and Matt, along with Lita, also appeared on Tough Enough in early 2001, talking and wrestling with the contestants.[92] They both appeared on the February 25, 2002 episode of Fear Factor competing against four other WWF wrestlers.[93] Jeff was eliminated in the first round, but Matt became the eventual winner, winning $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.[93]

In 2001, the Hardys and Lita appeared in Rolling Stone magazine's 2001 Sports Hall of Fame issue.[94] In 2003, Jeff and Matt, with the help of Michael Krugman, wrote and published their autobiography The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire.[95] As part of WWE, the Hardys appeared in the DVD, The Hardy Boyz: Leap of Faith in 2001.[96] On April 29, 2008, WWE released Twist of Fate: The Matt and Jeff Hardy Story.[97] The DVD features footage of the brothers in OMEGA and WWE, and it also briefly mentions Jeff's initial stint in TNA.[97] The brothers also appear on The Hardy Show, an internet web show which features the Hardys, Shannon Moore, and many of their friends.[98]

In wrestling[edit]

Jeff Hardy performing Poetry in Motion on Billy Gunn.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • New Dimension Wrestling
    • NDW Tag Team Championship (1 time)[103]

References[edit]

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