“Dixie Carter has been tremendous, as far as faith and believing in me,” Hardy said. “It’s crazy that I think last year this time I was sitting in the slammer wondering what my future held. Basically, I set a goal for myself to have a great 2012 and do extremely well. Whether I became champion or not wasn’t really important to me at that time. I just wanted to come back and have the best matches as I possibly could have. I think I’ve done that, and I’m extremely proud of myself. I hope all my creatures are as well.”
His creatures of the night have been loyal to him through thick and thin. Hardy’s fan base is among the most dedicated in TNA.
“I think it has a lot to do with meeting me outside the ring,” Hardy said. “Whether it’s in a hotel or after a show at a meet-and-greet, I think my true fans that have had the chance to sit or talk to me for a minute see that I’m pretty genuine, and I never changed or lost control to my ego. I’ve really just remained the same. I think in the long run it’s really helped me, as far as my fans continuing to believe in me.
“When it comes down to an arrest with some serious charges, that is the last chance. So the second chance you get after that you can’t mess it up. I knew that was the last time I would mess up and not screw it up again.”
Added motivation came at the hands of his baby daughter, Ruby. Fatherhood has changed his perspective on where his priorities should be.
“There is not much violence in me, but when it comes to my daughter and protecting her, I never realized a love could be so strong. That really makes life in general better,” Hardy said.
“…I really don’t have a plan [on when I would stop wrestling]. I think being a father now has a lot to do with it. My nerves that are in me before each and every match, now I’m afraid of seriously getting hurt because it’s so cool to be a dad. It’s so cool to reuniting with my youth through my daughter. Seeing her watch my match back chanting, ‘Hardy, Hardy, Hardy’ almost makes me want to do it as long as I can.
“How good the music does and my comfort in stage performance outside the ring, as far as singing songs, that is going to have a lot to do with how long I continue to do Whisper in the Wind and Swanton Bombs.”
Music is another longtime passion for Hardy, who performs in a band Peroxwhy?gen. Fans can hear some of the star’s work every time he enters an arena. He is hoping to debut a new theme song in the very near future, maybe Bound for Glory.
“My band has produced songs right now, and two of the songs are really recent and pretty much journal entries of mine and self expression,” Hardy said. “They’re things I couldn’t never really say cutting a generic wrestling promo. I’m just so excited about hearing these produced versions.
“…I wrote the lyrics to it when Matt had first started with TNA. It was a song called ‘Reptilian’ and went with the whole cold-blooded vibe. It’s just a really cool song, with what I’m doing now with my face and the entrance that is more slow and methodical. It will be perfect. I’m so looking forward to the first time that plays. This would be a third year I would debut another theme song.