The WWF title was vacant before Wrestlemania IV. We had heard of the tournament, but weren't huge fans. In fact, we hardly ever watched wrestling, but we both guessed who would win the tournament. I picked Macho Man because I had seen him in a commercial and thought he was cool. Macho Man won the tournament and we found out by looking at a magazine. We started to watch on a regular basis, and after two weeks of watching Macho Man in the WWF, we were hooked and became loyal WWF fans. At the time, Macho Man was my favorite wrestler, ironically enough, when we watched the NWA/WCW, our favorites were the Fabulous Freebirds, especially Michael P.S. Hayes.
For Christmas, we got a trampoline and started to have friends come over and shoot wrestle to see who would win. We made a couple of cardboard belts and decided to spice things up a bit by emulating the wrestling we saw on TV. For our ring we cut down four chairs and made the posts, and used a garden hose with cables for the ropes. I was 14 and Jeff was 11. Together with our neighborhood friends, we would dress up in baseball pants and ski masks, and save our money to rent video cameras to film ourselves. We knew that wrestling professionally was the only thing we wanted to do. Our next couple of years, we made between 40-50 videos, similar to PPVs in nature.
Eventually, we met Kenneth Morgan, who built us a 20x20 ring with a small trampoline in the middle. People knew we wrestled in our backyard and pretty soon we were invited to participate in shows at local county fairs. While doing one of these shows, we met an indy wrestler that invited us to an Italion Stallion show. My first time at a PWF show, I wrestled one of the top guys and he beat the hell out of me. Although I could perform all the moves and take the bumps, I had no idea of the mechanics of wrestling psychology.
We didn't do anything over the next 3-4 months with the Italion Stallion. Then out of the blue, I got a call from him and he asked me if I wanted to go to the WWF as an extra, just to take bumps. By this time, we had bought Kenneth Morgan's ring and rebuilt it into a 16x16 ring. My only matches in a hard ring were 3 at the local county fair and one that was promoted at Southern Pines. With only 5 matches in a hard ring under my belt, I was going to the WWF. Stallion called back and needed another extra, so Jeff joined up as well. I had just turned 19, and Jeff was only 16. My sixth match in a hard ring was against Nikolai Volkoff on a live WWF RAW. Jeff's sixth match in a hard ring was against Razor Ramon and he got the living hell beat out of him. WOW!!! Every 4-5 months, we would go back to WWF with Stallion. But we eventually started booking ourselves for the WWF because Stallion was taking a 66%; booking fee. WOW!!!
After another year or so, we started to occasionally call ourselves the Hardy Boys, being that Hardy is our given birth name. Soon, the WWF started talking about doing something with us in the future and in March of 1998 spoke to us about putting us under contract. By May, we had signed. We went to the WWF training camp during the summer and in September of 1998 started doing TV. From September '98 until May 1999, we basically floundered in the WWF. Then we joined with Michael Hayes and took on a new persona when we gave the Brood a bloodbath. After a couple of months feuding with the Brood, we started to come into our own as one of the top tag teams in wrestling.
On June 29, 1999, we defeated the Acolytes from the Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness to become the youngest WWF tag team champions ever at 24 and 21. We also won the belts in front of lots of family and friends in our hometown of Fayetteville, NC. The tale of the Hardy Boys has definitely been like a storybook dream come true. I look forward to each day and also look forward to doing bigger and better things.
I ask all of you to join me in this fairytale and together, we'll make it up as we go along.