WWE icon Jeff Hardy has reflected on a long career in the company – admittedly that his original goal was to be beaten up well enough to be remembered.
The 41-year-old has publicly admitted that he is phasing out his in-ring career – but he still plays heavily on the screen and will struggle on Sunday's hell in a cell pay-per-view against Randy Orton.
It is the newest of many high-profile periods for Hardy, which has been so memorable for WWE in the past twenty years, especially alongside his brother Matt in the Hardy Boyz tag team.
But while he has held every major WWE title and is responsible for some of the company's most daring moments, it all started differently for Jeff, as he did in an exclusive interview with The independent this week.
Hardy was questioned about his early days in the square circle in which he and Matt worked as improving talent – wrestlers whose only goal was to lose to more established grapplers – in the 1990s.
It was days when he remembered himself with surprising warmth and said: "I always knew, back on the day that we were the nobodies and struggled for the superstars for four years, I had so much faith in what I could do in the ring.
"I just felt that I would beat up as best I could and someone would remind me!
"I can not explain it completely, but I always knew that I would save it and have a career in WWE, so we just believed in ourselves and our work and studied our craft like no business.
"It's cool to look back on all the things we've done and how long we've been here, especially during the Attitude period, etc. The fact that we're still here is pretty cool."
Many Premier League stars can count on a career in the media when their match days are over and so wrestlers usually switch to backstage roles as producers or the like once they stop between the ropes.
It is not surprising that one of the most unorthodox and unique talents of WWE will not show itself the traditional way to a new career if he hangs up the gears for good.
"At the moment I do not see myself at all", added Hardy when he discussed the possibility of a training role in WWE.
"That is totally Matt and he is perfect for that, because he has such a great spirit for the company, I just have so many other interests and things I like to do next to wrestling.
"As far as my career goes after wrestling, I'm not so sure because I'm not so sure that I can live on painting canvases!
"I am sure, with the WWE network now, that I will be involved in some way, form or form, but I do not see myself as a producer or an agent."
While the former WWE and the Intercontinental champion are not sure what to expect in the future, he seems to be open to the idea that the company stays within his family.
Hardy has two daughters, and the question was whether the veteran would be willing to encourage a career in the crazy world of sports entertainment for them.
He believes that the future is rosy in that respect – thanks in part to the WWE Evolution event that takes place on October 28, the very first all-female pay-per-view.
"I really believe that this pay-per-view will change the game," he continued.
"The women do as much as the men do these days, it's just incredible.
"Matt has the Hardy boys and I have the Hardy girls, so I think we can see a team section for women's labels in the next ten years.
"Who knows, it would be great to have them keep those titles, but we're going in that direction."
Jeff Hardy fights against Randy Orton during WWE Hell in a Cell this Sunday, September 16, 2018, live on WWE Network and Sky Sports Box Office. See WWE.com for more information.
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