Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jeff Hardy's a douchebag...

I HAD to shitcan my interview with the WWE superstar in "Fighting Words" for the March 31 People as it was all about Jeff's upcoming WrestleMania appearance and...well, um...he's not going to be there now due to failing a drug test. So the interview was dropped from the column (basically on deadline, too). It seems a shame to waste the interview, though, so here it is anyway.

Dare to succeed
HE’S WWE’s most daring of daredevils, Intercontinental champ JEFF HARDY. The death-defying risk-taker will put his body on the line – along with seven other wrestlers – in a “Money In The Bank” ladder match at WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, Florida. The 15-year veteran talked recently about his upcoming bout at WWE’s biggest event of the year.
THIS is your sixth appearance in a WrestleMania, Jeff. Do you still get butterflies in your stomach over it?
“With me, every Monday night on RAW, I’m always nervous before I go out in front of any crowd. WrestleMania’s a little more intimidating ’cos there’s so many people there and such a big deal. I always have the butterflies but that makes you know you’re alive.”
Do you ever think about the potential for serious injury going into such a dangerous match?
“It’s hard not to think about it. Honestly, man, I’ve been waiting for something to break. I’ve been very fortunate I’ve gone this far and haven’t broken anything. With luck, I’ll make it through ’Mania and be OK, but it’s always in the back of your mind.”
Did you and your brother Matt ever consider, growing up, you’d one day perform at WrestleMania?
“It was a dream but, at the same time, it was a goal we set ourselves, too: ‘Man, we gotta make it to ’Mania…that’s when we’ll know we’ve made it.’”
What’s your earliest memory of wrestling?
“I think WrestleMania IV [in 1988] when “Macho Man” Randy Savage won the heavyweight title in a tournament. That’s when Matt and I first started watching wrestling and fell in love with it.”
Jeff, there are some other big matches at this year’s event. Two legends collide when Ric Flair faces Shawn Michaels in what could possibly be Flair’s last match.
“If it’s gonna be Ric’s last match it’ll be a great way for him to go out: at WrestleMania against Shawn. I don’t think he could ask for a better match than that.”
Big Show vs boxing champ Floyd Mayweather – what does Floyd need to do to defeat the giant Show?
“Maybe do the same thing when Show got on his knees [at No Way Out when Floyd punched him in the nose] and at least this time knock him out, but that’s the impossible. It’s gonna be interesting to see what happens.”
* WWE WrestleMania XXIV is live on Main Event next Monday at 10am (replays 4.30pm & 9.30pm) and runs for four hours. There’ll also be encore presentations all day on April 1, 2 & 6.