In his first full interview since leaving WWE and signing with AEW, Jeff Hardy talked about why he did what he did during that infamous December WWE live event and why he signed with AEW.
Appearing on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Jeff talked about the events that led to his dismissal from WWE.
"Certain things happen for a reason and subconsciously that was one of the smartest, maybe the smartest thing, I have ever done. Guided by something higher than me, I'll say," he said.
That was in reference to the December 4th live event in Edinburg, Texas, when Hardy tagged out of a trios match and then exited through the live crowd as the match was still going on. He was sent home by WWE the following day and later released.
"That night in Edinburg, Texas, for some reason, I finished my heat, I took the heat, and I just said 'I'm ready to go.' Went over the railing, disappeared into the crowd and naturally, they think I took something, like drugs or whatever, but I didn't.
"I thought 'Man, just another unpredictable thing that I can do and I'll get away with it' but it was more serious than that. But again, it was one of the smartest things I have ever done because everything worked out so perfectly mainly because my first day in AEW I felt valuable for the first time, just the care and love I was shown.
"Where at WWE, I just felt like they were just wanting to keep me there to sell more action figures."
Hardy later clarified that he wasn't trying to get released, but was doing something that felt right in the moment.
Hardy said that he was going to leave WWE when his contract was up regardless, but still had two years left on his deal. He said he did have some "glimmers of hope" in his last few months.
"The last glimmer of hope was the Survivor Series which was really good. It came down to me and Seth Rollins. I almost won and the crowd was so behind me. I felt like one of the most popular babyfaces in WWE because the crowd was so with me," he explained, later saying that he was frustrated with last year's SummerSlam when he was brought to Las Vegas and didn't do anything on the show.
It was a feeling he had before.
"Then there was other times I just felt like a ghost roaming the halls. Like, why am I even here? I don't feel important at all. But I kept doing my deal, I just would show up and do whatever they wanted me to do," he said.
He also spoke about WWE's offer to put him in the Hall of Fame, saying he "almost felt offended" and "very emotional" as it didn't feel right.
"I was in tears because I was like this is my career. I know I have been a very influential person to a lot of young, misunderstood individuals. It just felt so wrong. It almost felt like, 'How dare you?'
"It's not time for that. That's why I was just kind of like, 'That's a hard no.' Especially, it feels like something Matt and I should go in together as the Hardy Boyz," he said.