Dear Hardy Boyz,
Kids nowadays won't get it. But some of us were there. We were there when two young kids came into the WWE, hoping to make a name for themselves. You couldn't have taken over The Undertaker's spot, you couldn't have replaced The Rock or matched the popularity of the Stone Colds and the Shawn Michaels. No, those guys were A-listers, well established.
So you did something that no one else had ever done before. You put your bodies on the line the way no one else would. You became "Team Xtreme!"
Win or loss, you would walk back, even limping sometimes, but to massive respect.
From being two wrestlers who were simply thrown around to make others look good, you took yourself high up the ladder. Literally! And you jumped off those ladders, onto tables, onto other men, onto other ladders. The list is endless. That's how you made your mark.
Matches against Edge & Christian and the Dudley Boyz became the stuff of legends. Tables, Ladders & Chairs (TLC) matches became a cult and you were the cult leaders. No other match offered such excitement.
And perhaps we took it all for granted. Maybe we thought that you will always continue to kill your bodies just for us. You even fought each other when the time came. We did not realise how much it must've taken out of you.
I can only imagine the guts it takes to do a 50-foot leap. Not to mention the hard work and practice that must go into it to make the perfect landing. You were not just looking out for yourself but the guy down below as well.
Of course, there was want of singles glory as well. And eventually, you parted ways. First with each other and then with us too. Once you did, it was like we lost the E of WWE. It was tough to accept that the Hardy Boyz had left.
An attitude-era fan would relate to this. Someone who saw you grow, someone who had nothing but immense respect for two of the most talented men in the industry. But you leaving marked the end of an era. An era we all yearned for, but deep down knew that it would never come back.
The new generation is nothing close to what you guys offered. And it was scary to think that the history and legacy of 'Team Xtreme' would become nothing but a mere footnote beneath the ladder that is WWE.
Every now and then, when I flip through channels and see you guys on TNA Wrestling (which no one really watches), I wished you guys would come back to the WWE. I would always feel so sad that such beauty would be forgotten. You guys deserved so much better.
But then, the unthinkable happened and you came back, and that too on the grandest stage of them all. History will not only remember Wrestlemania 33 for when The Undertaker retired, but also because that's the night the Hardy Boyz came back. Watching you guys running to that ring, dancing in your signature punk style, rolled back the years.
9 years! 9 frigging years we waited and I turned into a teenager within seconds. When Jeff climbed the ladder to get in position for the Swanton Bomb and commentator yelled, "Oh, what is this maniac doing?"
My eyes was that same scrawny teenager wanting to make an impact, to be recognized and here he was, aged 39, not looking a day older, doing it all over again. While his 42-year-old sibling had already jumped off a ladder knocking out an opponent with his famous Twist of Fate. All that came to my mind in that "extremely" beautiful moment was a song that has been perfectly titled for the two of you - Forever Young. And these lyrics from the song capture everything that you do:
"Let's dance in style, let's dance for a while,
Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies.
Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?"
You had come dancing to the ring. We did not know what would happen, but here we were. On the brink of seeing you making not a one-night return but a long-term promise that you will remain. Hoping for the best, Jeff jumped off that ladder, while we watched the skies as he flew high. And then he did drop that bomb. That amazing signature Swanton Bomb of his.
Seconds later, that childhood feeling returned when Matt climbed that ladder and you guys became tag team champs again. It meant that you were here to stay. The crowd's cheers justified my goosebumps. The world looked like a better place.
There are many beautiful sights in the wrestling world, but none compare to the image of Matt Hardy laying waste to someone in the ring and cuing Jeff Hardy to do what he does best. Soar from high above, spreadeagled with his back arched, waiting to land the perfect Swanton!
So, thank you, Jeff and Matt. Thank you for breaking your bones & countless tables and for climbing that ladder again. Thank you for coming back and thank you for creating memories that never leave us.
You remain forever young.