Title: Enigma the Best of Jeff Hardy Volume 2
Synopsis: TNA’s second 2 disc set on the one-and-only Jeff Hardy. Six years after the release of Enigma the Best of Jeff Hardy (2.5 STARS) the controversial, yet still incredibly popular Enigma returns in a new sit down interview along with brother Matt Hardy, Shannon Moore, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, RVD, Mr Anderson and others to discuss his first year back with TNA. Matches range from March 2010 to March 2011.
Note: I will not be discussing Hardy’s personal life in this article. This is a DVD review and that is how I intend to keep it.
Reasons to Buy this DVD:
The interviews with Hardy and friends are the best I’ve seen from TNA since Kurt Angle: Champion (5 STARS). For the most part we are given honest testimonies from Hardy and others on certain subjects (at least the ones about which they are comfortable speaking openly). Anyone who has read even one of my previous reviews knows my feelings on Kayfabe interviews on DVDs and I’m happy to say that this DVD features some surprising realism. Even Abyss’ comments are genuine!
Hardy himself, while laid back (when is he ever not?), seems happy and relaxed for most of the interviews. It’s a step up from WWE’s My Life My Rules DVD where he looked and sounded positively bored out of his mind. The obvious exceptions are when he discusses the death of his mother Ruby to cancer when he was nine, and the fire of 2008 where he lost his home, possessions and dog Jack. We are taken to both his mothers grave and the remains of his home during the DVD. They really made an effort with this one.
Hardy reveals his style was based on that of Jyushin Thunder Liger, Psychosis and Rey Mysterio. Mr Anderson in turn admits that Hardy was his inspiration for using the Senton Bomb. Matt Hardy takes the credit (Read: accepts the blame) for Jeff’s anti-Christ gimmick. It’s just a personal thing. I like knowing who came up with what and who was influenced by who. The DVD is scattered with tidbits like that.
Honesty is one thing for a TNA DVD. Better still is the admission of mistakes or problems. Hardy acknowledges that he’s playing a character and when discussing his heel turn at Bound For Glory and subsequent title run, he confesses that playing a heel was much more difficult because he was still getting cheered. Rob Van Dam and Sting both reveal that they were against Hardy turning heel because it was so unnecessary. Do you have any idea how refreshing it is to hear such honesty on a TNA DVD after all the bogus interviews I’m used to from this company? I was so pleased I was even able to overlook RVD using the cliched “wheel ain’t broke” metaphor in 2011. Even Matt Hardy demonstrates enough humility to admit that his debut against RVD at Genesis was a disappointment. He was right too. Their rematch at Against All Odds was much better. Towards the end Sting says that his match with Hardy on the March 3rd Impact was “not my biggest draw.” No arguments there either.
Simply put the interviews in this DVD are far better than I expected going in and the additional footage of Jeff with his baby daughter, his brother and his friends shows us as good a glimpse into his personal life (at least what he and TNA want us to see) as we could reasonably expect. By TNA standards this is an impressive documentary.
Jeff Hardy vs AJ Styles (Impact 2010)
Hardy’s first match back with TNA since 2005 is a great start to the DVD as he faces then reigning TNA Champion AJ Styles. You could argue that having a returning star defeating your champion on his first night back may not be the wisest move but when compared with TNA’s other mistakes, it’s practically genius. The two have a very good TV match, although just ignore Ric Flair and Abyss at ringside.
Jeff Hardy and Mr Anderson vs Beer Money Inc. (Slammiversary 2010)
This was an excellent tag team match and as I recall the match of the night on that particular card (okay maybe top two). Hardy and Anderson certainly were an odd mix and the angle between them was really just filler for both of them, but it did result in this great match with one of the best teams in TNA history. Although it must be said. Enigmatic Assholes: WORST TAG TEAM NAME EVER!
Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle (No Surrender 2010)
Was there ever any doubt? This is the match of the DVD for me, and the sole reason you should buy it. Obviously the two restarts hurt it, (especially since it still ended in a draw!) but this near five star effort is worth investing in. So too is the rematch from Impact. It’s not as good and it still ends in a draw, but Hardy works his ass off! I really think the No Surrender match with Angle is the best match Hardy had since his TLC match with CM Punk at Summerslam 2009, his best TNA match period and easily one of the top five matches of his entire career.
Jeff Hardy vs Kurt Angle vs Mr Anderson (Bound For Glory 2010)
The DVD just keeps the action going with the excellent triple threat match from Bound for Glory where Hardy won his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship. It’s not five stars (sorry Kurt) but it’s still pretty damn good. Let’s just forget about the business at the end with Hogan and Bischoff shall we.
Jeff Hardy vs Mr Anderson Ladder match (Against All Odds 2011)
I’m probably in the minority here. In fact forget probably, I AM in the minority but I actually loved the Immortal Heavyweight title belt. Don’t get me wrong as the grand prize in America’s number 2 wrestling company, it was horrible. But as a custom belt for a specific champion, I cannot think of a more appropriate belt for Jeff Hardy. That suited him better than the Million Dollar Championship suited Ted DiBiase Sr. But anyway this ladder match is a worthy addition to the DVD (look out for Hardy’s custom ladder!). Admittedly it doesn’t quite reach initial expectations, but then again those expectations were sky high and truth be told it’s more of a relief to see Hardy scale back on high risk moves considering the damage he has taken physically from all the ladder matches back in WWE. The only problem was the finish. Anderson went for the Mic Drop off the ladder just as Hardy grabbed the belt. Had they timed it right, they would have created one of the most epic finishes in ladder match history. But because Anderson was too early, or maybe Hardy was too late, it just didn’t happen. This is also acknowledged by Hardy in the interview. More honesty yay!
Reasons to Avoid this DVD:
As great as the interviews are, I’m afraid there is an equal amount of well … crap quite frankly. Shown alongside out of character comments are kayfabe interviews from Bobby Roode, Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle. Apparently Roode was shocked at Hardy’s heel turn at BFG and he never thought Jeff would turn his back on the fans to get the title. Looking back now, it’s actually kind of ironic that he would say that! Matt Morgan has some serious issues too. The following is an actual quote from Morgan in regards to the screwy finishes in his Championship matches against Hardy: “Part of me wanted to rip the ref’s face off and kick it into the stands.”
Kurt Angle comes out with some strange remarks too. He claims that Hardy alone changed TNA in 2010. I suppose Hogan, Bischoff, Flair, RVD and Anderson were just background players in his mind. He is also under the impression that WWE steals wrestlers from TNA as often as TNA steals wrestlers from WWE. Sure they do! He believes that WWE would take Hardy back in a second. While WWE is seriously lacking in top stars right now, I’m pretty sure they would wait more than a second before rehiring someone in Hardy’s situation (and I shall say no more). Kurt has the gall to claim that the triple threat match from Bound for Glory was a 5 star match. I’m surprised the camera crew could fit his head in the frame! Finally in regards to his stellar match with Hardy at No Surrender, he claims they could have wrestled for 3 hours. I’ll let you readers come up with your own response to that one.
The worst of the worst is Jeff Jarrett who reminisces about Hardy’s debut at the Asylum in June 2004: “The roof literally came off when he walked out on stage.” Literally? Literally? Somebody buy that man a dictionary for Christmas!
Too many matches here were just average and no more, no less. Jeff Hardy vs Mr Anderson at Sacrifice 2010 wasn’t bad by any means but it was still disappointing. I expected more from those two. Jeff Hardy vs Shannon Moore from the horrendously titled Whole F’N Show wasn’t bad either but I can’t recommend buying the DVD for it. It may have been a great moment for Jeff and Shannon going one on one in a major promotion, but you could tell the crowd was deflated. Clearly they were expecting Hardy’s mystery opponent to be someone more relevant. The reunion of the Hardy Boyz against RVD and Mr Anderson is another disappointment. You’d be better off waiting for the upcoming Team Xtreme Tagged Classic from Silvervision. Throw in the mediocre match with Sting at the end (No not that match!) and you’ve got a pretty flat ending.
Jeff Hardy vs Matt Morgan (Turning Point 2010 and Final Resolution 2010)
While most of the matches were average, these two alone stuck out to me as avoidable. I like Matt Morgan. Really I do. I believe he was a lot to offer pro wrestling and he could really be one of wrestling’s biggest stars by the end of the decade. But these matches with Hardy were just dull. Combined with the screwy ref shenanigans and Hardy’s failure to get any heel heat, they were just a chore for me to get through.
The Hardy Show
The sole bonus feature is an abysmal “comedy” sketch with Jeff Hardy and his thong-wearing friend Johnny going fishing, or “sexy fishing” as they call it, followed by Jeff pulling off a few motocross stunts on his bike. Now maybe some of you motocross enthusiasts out there might find that more interesting than I do and that’s cool. But the sexy fishing segment was quite simply a waste of my life. From now on I’ll just stick with the matches.
Final Verdict: Honestly I really enjoyed this DVD. With the exception of a few matches and the usual kayfabe dumbassitude (Awesome word!) I was hooked on this feature from TNA. Say what you want about Jeff Hardy, but in his own bizarre way he will always have an undeniable appeal to wrestling fans. What will his future hold? I can’t really answer that without breaking my word about not going into all his real life problems, but at the very least I hope for the best. The compelling documentary and the mostly good matches including the Match of the Year contender against Kurt Angle make this sequel even better than the original.
And Finally: Since it is Christmas Eve I would like to wish all of you readers and the WWE DVD News team a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Bravo, this magnificent phrase is necessary just by the way
Giving a play by play to a DVD just seems unnecessary. I know you add insight as you write, Brett. I just don’t need to read about every clothesline, body slam, and headlock. That’s not a review. It’s a play by play.
Thanks all the same, but my reviews are just as proper as Bretts. We just have different styles.
If you actually read the other play by play reviews you would notice there are thoughts with the play by play then an overall consensus for lazy readers at the end just to make it easier for people like you. Seasons greetings!
Thank you for doing a proper review of a DVD, and not just a play by play of every match.