Last June, just three months after his debut with the company, AEW suspended Jeff Hardy after he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol — his third such charge in the past 10 years.
The case stemming from that June 2022 arrest in Volusia County, Florida was closed earlier this year after he entered pleas of nolo contendere (no contest) to all charges. Reports are Hardy’s completed an addiction treatment program, which AEW offered to assist with and made a requirement for his possible return.
Older brother Matt provided a general update on Jeff’s well-being on Isiah Kassidy’s YouTube channel recently, saying:
“He’s doing good. He’s been taking care of himself for nine months, and probably the hardest he’s ever worked on himself. So his family is like over the moon, his wife is tickled with him, the kids — it’s just like a new guy. And even my wife says it, Reby, and you know she’s the realest of the real.”
On his own podcast last week, Matt shared that Jeff recently had his eyes operated on. He spoke more about that with Kassidy, revealing that he thinks his brother could be back with AEW once he’s cleared:
“Jeff just had some eye surgery. His eyes were a little offset, it’s just probably from wear and tear, beating his body up. They had to work on some ligaments and tendons in one of his eyes. So they corrected that [with] surgery, and said probably in five, six weeks, he should be okay. So I’m hoping after that, now that he’s kind of putting this whole situation behind him, that we’ll see him back around soon... I’m hoping so, man. You guys keep your fingers crossed. Maybe six, eight weeks from now, hopefully we can see some Jeff Hardy on AEW again.”
If this “new” Jeff can stay sober while being an active professional wrestler, there are a whole lot of people who’d love to see him on Dynamite and Rampage. Given his track record, however, there’s going to be quite a few who’ll be concerned a comeback could be a threat to his overall health & wellness.
Speaking from first-hand experience, there’s no reason a person in recovery can’t maintain their sobriety in any circumstance or environment. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when its smart to avoid people, places and things that might trigger relapse — especially early on in the process.
Jeff, his family & support system will have to decide if a pro wrestling comeback is the right decision for him. If they do, Tony Khan will have to decide if he wants that to happen in AEW.
We can only hope they all make the decisions that will help Jeff Hardy live a long, drug & alcohol-free life that doesn’t involve putting himself and others at risk. Then we can each decide for ourselves whether we’ll be watching if/when he returns to the ring.