Jeff Hardy’s storyline with Sheamus on SmackDown is built on Hardy’s real struggles with addiction.
Earlier this week, Jeff’s brother Matt shared his concern that the angle could put too much pressure the younger Hardy. Jeff hasn’t been sober for long, and the Sheamus feud is one of the first big programs he’s been a part of since doing in-patient rehab for the first time in his life.
Another person who’s known the Hardys for a long time was asked for his thoughts on the SmackDown story recently. Back in the 1990s, Shane Helms worked for the brothers’ OMEGA promotion in their native North Carolina, and they’ve been close since. Helms is also a former WWE producer.
Helms isn’t a fan, but the concerns he shared with Sportskeeda were more pragmatic than personal:
“I’m not a fan of it, I mean, I don’t think if you can really hurt Jeff at this point. Jeff is kind of untouchable. Jeff is always going to be Jeff Hardy, and I think fans are always going to love him. The storyline doesn’t really do a lot for me though I don’t think it’s going to bring in any new fans. If you don’t know about Jeff and any of the problems Jeff has had in the past, like if you were a new fan and you don’t know about it, a storyline like this kind of shines the flashlight on it and I don’t really see the purpose of that. So, not crazy about it, but I love Jeff Hardy, so I got to support him.”
It’s a point that applies to more than just the Hardy/Sheamus angle, as a lot of the material coming from a lot of companies is self-referential, and designed to appeal to folks who are already watching.
What do you think? Is the feud - which is headed toward a “Bar Fight” either this weekend at Extreme Rules or shortly thereafter - bad business?