Matt Hardy recalls Jeff not wanting to go back to ROH after 2003 debut, called it ‘ring of horror’

Matt Hardy recounts Jeff's first experience in Ring of Honor and helping him get into TNA in 2004

Photo Courtesy: Reby Hardy

Matt Hardy recaps the lead up to Jeff’s return to WWE in 2006. 

Back in April of 2003, Jeff Hardy was released from WWE. Jeff would hit the independent scene and then eventually ended up making his debut for Ring of Honor at Death Before Dishonor 2003 as the ‘Willow’ character. 

Jeff did not receive the warmest of receptions and was booed for the majority of his appearance. Matt Hardy recounted that on the latest edition of ‘The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy’ podcast

Matt stated that after that debut, Jeff did not want to go back to ROH and referred to it as ‘ring of horror’. The duo returned to ROH 13 years later and became tag team champions. 

That was a very famous night where he [Jeff Hardy] first debuted Willow there on ROH, came out in that and that match was actually put together by Thomas Simpson [OMEGA co-founder]… Jeff, he was doing something with Kirby Mack which was a student of Thomas Simpson’s back in the day and somehow, he finagled a deal to get Jeff to come to the ROH show but, I remember Jeff never wanting to go back to ROH after that. I remember for the longest time, he called it ‘ring of horror’ and he was so, so upset about the reaction that he got there.

The following year after Jeff’s ROH debut, he debuted for TNA Wrestling. Matt said he had been in contact with Jeff Jarrett about his brother Jeff coming in. He felt Jeff would stay on the straight and narrow path if he was busy. 

I actually expedited a lot of him [Jeff Hardy] going to TNA. I had conversations with Jeff Jarrett about having Jeff go there because I thought him just having some constructive work to do would make sure he kind of stays a little more straight or continues to clean up his life or move in the right direction so, I wanted him busy. I didn’t want him just sitting at home with nothing to do. I feel like that’s when a lot of people get worse. I wanted him to have some responsibility, something to do so I definitely spoke with Jeff Jarrett a lot and then obviously, you know, with Jeff as well… I set that up, his coming to TNA in 2004? Is that when it was?

Both Matt and Jeff are currently signed to All Elite Wrestling. Matt is engaged in an on-screen program with Ethan Page and Jeff is suspended from the company

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

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A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.