Jeff Hardy is down for the count.
On April 22, the WWE posted the following brief two-line message on the main page of its website: \"WWE.com regrets to inform its fans that WWE has severed its relationship with Jeff Hardy effective today. We wish Jeff the best of luck.\"
For anyone who isn\'t fluent in WWE-ese, that particular farewell template -- \"We wish (insert name here) luck in his/her future endeavours\" -- means the younger Hardy brother has been released from the company under less-than-ideal circumstances.
The WWE hasn\'t been forthcoming with any more details but the contract termination shouldn\'t come as much of a surprise.
For months, Hardy has been plagued by rumours about his physical and mental condition. I\'ve heard pretty much every allegation imaginable about the younger Hardy brother but the only thing I can tell you for sure is that something just wasn\'t right.
Instead of his dynamic wrestling style, it seemed Hardy was just going through the motions in the ring each Monday.
He often looked pale and appeared to be losing weight at an unhealthy rate. He began arriving late for house shows and occasionally didn\'t show up for his matches at all. In conversations with the media, including an interview with the Sun a few weeks ago, he made it clear his passion for the business just wasn\'t what it used to be.
Heck, in this very column last Christmas, I wrote: \"For Jeff Hardy, I wish a vacation. The Hardy Boy desperately needs time off the road before he self-destructs.\"
Two weeks ago, the WWE pulled Hardy off the roster to allow him to deal with \"personal problems.\" Just a few days later, they terminated his contract completely and, from what I understand, it was a decision with which both parties are happy.
Jeff has apparently been itching to get away from the ring wars for some time now and has set his sights on a music career with his band, PeroxWhy?Gen.
The exact terms of the release are still being kept under wraps but NWA TNA bosses have already expressed interest in signing the Hardy Boy as soon as possible.
COLD WARS OVER: The ring wars are finally over for one of the biggest draws in the history of the business.
After months of speculation about his future, Stone Cold Steve Austin finally broke his selective silence in an interview for the WWE website.
\"In this business, I\'ve learned to never say never,\" he told WWE writer Phil Speer.
\"But I would say 99.9 percent ... you\'ll never see Rock and Stone Cold in the ring again. I\'m not wrestling anymore. That was my last match.\"
Austin went on to confirm he was having problems with his surgically-repaired neck and even verified reports he spent time in hospital before Wrestlemania.
The Rattlesnake will continue to work in a non-wrestling role as the on-screen general manager of Raw.
NOT REY\'S DAY: Unsurprisingly, Rey Mysterio was pretty banged up after the stretcher spot with the Big Show at Backlash last Sunday.
There were fears Mysterio may have suffered a concussion from the move, which saw the 5-ft. 2-in. superstar strapped to a board, swung into the ringpost, then dropped to the floor. Despite crashing down hard on his head and neck, it looks like he got away with just bumps and bruises.
There\'s a lot of heat on the Big Show (Paul Wight) for letting Mysterio (Oscar Gonzalez Guiterrez) just fall to the floor after the sequence, especially since the cruiserweight\'s hands were tied, so he couldn\'t protect himself on the landing.
There was even talk of dropping the Show from his main event program with Brock Lesnar as punishment but, unfortunately, the seeds were planted on Smackdown for the Show-Lesnar match at Judgment Day.