Jeff Hardy has made some notable changes since returning to WWE last year.
Just a few weeks back, Hardy brought back an old look by wearing face paint again for the first time since his return. This was prompted by his feud with Shinsuke Nakamura, which will culminate this Sunday at Extreme Rules, when he took a Kinshasa to the face.
Another change that has taken place, though one that might not have been noticed by your average fan of late, has been the absence of the Swanton Bomb at live events. Hardy's long time finisher does not regularly appear as part of his arsenal any longer when the WWE television cameras are not filming.
Hardy addressed his abandonment of the move recently during an interview with CantonRep.com.
"Matt always says, ‘It’s just incredible. You’re one of these guys that do this insane stuff, and here you are 40 years into your life still giving them a little bit of that.’ The toll has been rough at times," Hardy explained. "Lately, my lower back has really been bothering me to the point where I haven’t been doing the swanton as much in the live events just to protect it."
He continued, "I think looking forward I’m gonna have to be more like that, because nothing lasts forever. I’ve been real lucky, and naturally on TV I always want to go all out, but in the live events, I might have to hold back a little. I’m glad my face paint has come back. That’s always fun for people to see, because it’s original and unique each and every night, and I love doing that. Growing up I was a huge fan of Ultimate Warrior and Sting, and I wanted to be a little bit of both of them.”
It's typical for wrestlers to change their repertoire as they age and injuries become more frequent. As one gets older, you start thinking more about life after wrestling, so this is a natural progression for Hardy. The Swanton Bomb is a move that is very hard on one's back, so saving it for television and PPV is a smart career move for the current WWE U.S. Champion.
Hardy takes on Nakamura in a U.S. title defense Sunday at Extreme Rules and it's a good bet that he'll break out the move for such a big show.