Jeff Hardy was supposed to win the Money In The Bank Ladder match in 2008,but a failed drugs test put a stop to the proposed plan.
The Rainbow-Haired Warrior was becoming a top star in the company in 2007 to 2008, climbing up the ranks in the company and becoming an incredibly popular superstar.
He had an innate charisma that few are born with, which gave you no other choice than get behind and will him onto victory.
Couple that with his death-defying stunts which had the crowd on the edge of their feet, he was a thoroughly unique superstar that nobody had seen before.
During this time he had some huge spots that put his body on the line for the fans enjoyment.
Hardy jumped from the 20 foot tall set on Randy Orton in early 2008, as well as hitting a Whisper in the Wind from the top of the cage onto Umaga during one of their legendary matches for the Intercontinental Championship.
His journey to the top was a long and arduous one. He was released in 2003 due to his drug and alcohol issues, spending some time in rehab before coming back to the WWE in 2006.
He returned as one of the most popular stars in the company but still had to work his way up to the main event scene.
A run with is brother Matt Hardy and an Intercontinental Championship reign showed the company he could be trusted in big spots and went far to convince them to put the WWE Championship belt on him.
Jeff Hardy Winning Money In The Bank
The way they were going to do that was by making Jeff Hardy win the Money In the Bank.
The MITB contract was competed for in a ladder match at Wrestlemania, with the victory getting a guaranteed championship match at any time within the next year.
This can be used any time, including after the champion had been involved in a match or was beaten down inside the ring.
This basically gave the holder a guaranteed title reign and was a sure-fire way to fire them into the main event with little build up needed.
Prior to WrestleMania 24, rumours spread that Jeff Hardy was going to win the Money In The Bank Ladder match at WrestleMania 24.
This has been theorised for years after the event, given that he was not involved in the event at all. Jeff Hardy missed out on Wrestlemania 24 and the subsequent ladder match victory, with Matt Hardy confirming he was set to win the bout.
He also revealed the reason why the win was taken off him – a wellness policy violation caused by Hardy taking a pill (or series of pills) during a WWE tour in Mexico.
While speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, Matt Hardy said;
“Matt fact – Yes, he was. That was the plan, that he was going to win the Money In The Bank briefcase. It was at this point they pulled the trigger and decided they wanted to turn him into the champion.
I know Freddie Prinze had been given this edict to get Jeff ready for the championship. This was around the time too that he had started to paint his face again. I think they started to lean into some stuff that was very Jeff Hardy-ish.”
Jeff was in Mexico on an international tour and its at some point there he ended up taking something, some sort of pill or substance — I don’t know if it was for his back or whatever it was — but he ended up getting popped in a drug test.
One of the things I remember from the story is that Michael Hayes called him at home and was like, ‘what is going on here? I can’t believe you did all this. Vince is going to call you in a few minutes, so be ready to answer the phone.’
Vince called and was like, ‘what the f*** have you done?’ I guess they talked it through and Jeff said they spoke for a while and they seemed to be kosher. Jeff just apologized and regretted taking it.”
While he didn’t win the Money in the Bank, Jeff Hardy did become a World Champion in the WWE.
He finally became the WWE Champion by defeating Edge and Triple H at Armageddon 2008 in one of the most feel-good moments in WWE history.
He had overcome his own demons to reach the top of his industry, although he would leave the WWE the next year due to injuries and substance issues.
CM Punk won the ladder match in 2008 instead, going on to win the Money In The Contract and cashing in on Edge to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Jeff Hardy recently returned to AEW after almost a year out due to drug issues.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.