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December 13, 2021 Observer Newsletter: Jeff Hardy released by WWE, death of Blackjack Lanza

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Jeff Hardy was released by the WWE on 12/9, due to turning down being ordered to go to rehab after an incident at the 12/4 house show in Edinburg, TX.

According to WWE sources, Hardy was asked to go to rehab after the incident at the show, and then refused. They said that Hardy was fully aware that if he did refuse, that WWE would have to take action.

The decision was made to let him go rather than suspend him, and he was given a similar 90 day non-compete period where he will be paid through 3/9,when he would become a free agent.

Given his track record, there was really no other decision WWE could make. They had to request him going to rehab between his track record and him being impaired in a main event match. When he refused the request, there was no choice but to let him go. WWE did this with full knowledge there was at least a chance Hardy would be signed by AEW and would likely be a major star there. But once Hardy refused to go to rehab, WWE’s hands were tied. Whether AEW hires him is a different issue. This type of situation is nothing new for Hardy, and both TNA and WWE had, over and over, hired him after the other had let him go for these same reasons. And in most cases, the end of the story ended up the same. Essentially the story is that if it’s not on our watch, it doesn’t count when a major star is available. And if it was under your watch and let him go, if it’s another place where he’s let go from, it’s like whatever happened previously under you watch doesn’t count. But that’s just WWE and TNA past history. Current decisions are different and AEW has never had a situation like this where fans and talent would want him and he would help the product at least at first and create new opportunities, but at the same time, there is a long track record right there.

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