Tony Khan Says Jeff Hardy Is Suspended Without Pay

AEW President Tony Khan has addressed Jeff Hardy’s latest transgression via Twitter, and the embattled star has been suspended.

Following Hardy’s arrest on Monday, on suspicion of DUI, Khan made it clear that AEW does not condone this behavior and plans to work with Jeff Hardy to seek the help he needs. Hardy, who was previously scheduled to compete in a Triple Threat Ladder Match for the AEW World Tag Team Championships on AEW Dynamite, will be suspended without pay in the interim.

“We were able to resume contact with Jeff Hardy this afternoon,” began the statement.

“AEW does not condone Jeff’s alleged behavior. We’ve made it clear to Jeff that we’ll assist him in getting treatment for substance abuse issues, which he has indicated that he’s open to receiving. In the interim, he’s suspended without pay, and he can only return to AEW upon successfully completing treatment and maintaining his sobriety.”

“If you or a loved one needs help, please reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-4357.”

AEW, Tony Khan, Suspends Jeff Hardy

AEW’s more sympathetic tone is a far cry from WWE’s previous comments regarding situations of this nature. During similar relapses for both Hardy and Jimmy Uso, WWE chose to distance itself by stating that both individuals “are responsible for their own actions,” with no specific mention of what these actions were. Of course, as a publicly traded company, WWE operates under entirely different circumstances than AEW. WWE’s public relations approach tends to be more strategic and mindful of its powerful, family friendly brand.

TMZ released dashcam footage of Hardy, where officers initially drew their firearms while approaching the troubled star’s vehicle. Hardy—who reportedly yielded BAC readings of .294 and .291—later admitted to drinking shots of Fireball liquor. Hardy’s BAC levels were 3.7 times the legal limit in Florida.

AEW’s mix of tough love and supportiveness for Hardy is a refreshing gesture in pro wrestling. Unfortunately, this business is also littered with carnies who are all too happy to overlook Hardy’s seemingly inescapable substance abuse issues when presented the opportunity to benefit (read: exploit) from his popularity.

Tony Khan is no exception.

Jeff Hardy’s relationship with pro wrestling has been plagued with one potentially fatal relapse after another. Rehab or not, it’s fair to question whether Hardy is even hirable at this point. All signs point to no. Thankfully for Jeff Hardy, the pro wrestling business cannot help itself and there will always be a carny with a pencil and a checkbook who foolishly thinks they can control him.