Jeff Hardy is a former three-time world champion in WWE, having held the WWE Championship once and the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The last of these reigns took place back in 2009, after which Hardy left the company for almost eight years.
Jeff Hardy signed a new contract with WWE last year. Now 43 years old, this new deal could be the last of Hardy's in-ring career. Before he ends his time as a WWE Superstar, though, the North Carolina native has made no secret of his desire to once again hold world championship gold in the company.
Speaking on the ESPN West Palm Podcast back in March, Hardy revealed his title aspirations.
"I said I'd like to win the Royal Rumble but most likely that's never gonna happen. I think the one thing more than anything I would like to be the World Champion again or the Universal Champion again. Just for a little bit. Even if its for - flashback to CM Punk (cashed in), I was like champion for I don't know, maybe a minute and then he cashed in his Money In The Bank, so just one more time I would like to do that and it will make it all worthwhile," said Hardy.
Hardy returned to WWE TV for the first time since March this past Monday night. However, far from being a featured part of RAW, Hardy instead lost to Jinder Mahal before the show in a match taped for WWE Main Event.
Jeff Hardy featuring on Main Event is not a great sign for his current prospects in WWE in itself. Him losing on the program is even worse.
Hardy is still a highly popular superstar with members of the WWE Universe. With the right story behind it, his quest for one last run as a world champion could be very enjoyable to watch.
Here are five ways WWE can establish Jeff Hardy in the world title picture once again.
#5 A win streak would push Jeff Hardy into contention
It is rare these days for WWE to allow a superstar to go on a long unbeaten run, which is why it is so effective when it does happen. Main Event is not a show with a huge viewership, so WWE doesn't need to acknowledge Hardy's defeat to Mahal in the future.
Instead, Hardy should be treated as a serious contender when he makes his first appearance back on RAW. Most importantly, though, Hardy needs to win a match on his return.
It doesn't need to be a long bout, or even necessarily a featured part of the show, but Hardy should leave with a decisive victory. If this process is repeated on RAW for a few successive weeks, it won't take long before the announcers can put Jeff Hardy over as being on a hot streak.
At this point, with the image of Hardy as a winner fresh in fans' minds, it would be entirely reasonable for him to be presented as a championship contender. In an era of 50/50 booking, this approach could help Jeff Hardy stand out as a main event player.