Hardy Boyz: Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

DVD Release Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2001

MATCH #1: World Tag Team Championship Match – The Acolytes vs. The Hardy Boyz, RAW is WAR, 7.5.99

Faarooq and Bradshaw have been the Champions since 5.31.99, and this is their third defense. Matt and Jeff have Michael Hayes in their corner. The challengers fly over the ropes and try to take out the much larger Champions, but that doesn’t go well for them. Bradshaw throws Jeff around ringside while Faarooq beats on Matt inside the ring. Matt comes back with a neckbreaker, and the Hardys hit a tandem Superfly Splash / Guillotine Legdrop for a two-count. Faarooq catches Matt in a spinebuster and Jeff with a powerslam. Bradshaw tags in and hits Matt with a big boot to the face. The Acolytes continue to use their size and power advantage but the Hardys refuse to stop fighting back. Jeff catches Faarooq with a DDT for a two-count. Hayes tries to interfere and Faarooq beats him up for it. Jeff gets a hold of Hayes’ cane and drills Bradshaw with it, and Matt follows with a tornado DDT to get the pin at 4:25! That’s a huge upset, but they spent the entire match talking about how Bradshaw was less than 100% because he took a tombstone on the steel steps last night, and he also made sure to kick out right after the three-count. The new Champions also run away after the bell, so even though the Hardys just won their first tag team titles I don’t think this actually did a lot to put them over. Match was fine enough.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Ladder Match – The New Brood vs. Edge & Christian, No Mercy, 10.17.99

The action in this one starts fast right away, but the crowd isn’t quite into it yet. Edge and Christian control the early going and make several attempts to bring in the ladders. Gangrel gets sent to the back early on, as the high flying spots start coming, slowly at first. The ladder gets involved as a weapon pretty quickly, and the crowd is popping more and more with each successive spot. I fondly remember this as the time JR couldn’t tell Matt and Jeff apart. Jeff debuts the leg drop from the top rope over the ladder here (as far as I know). Two ladders are in the ring now. That allows Edge to hit the Downward Spiral from one ladder while Jeff is on the other. I thought that was a good finisher for him at the time. Wasn’t this when he was stealing all of Kanyon’s moves? Matt then hits a neck breaker on Edge, also off the ladder. Christian hip locks Hardy off the ladder. Jeff also debuts the ladder see-saw in this match, to a loud gasp followed by an ovation. The people are definitely hooked now. All four men climb the ladders and all four get knocked down and the crowd applause just keeps getting louder. Edge and Jeff are the first ones up and the set the ladders up perpendicularly. Matt and Christian soon join them on the ladders. Edge knocks Matt off theirs, and Matt pushes Jeff and Christian’s over, but Jeff is able to step over onto the other ladder, knock Edge down, and grab the bag of money to win the match at 16:28. That match holds up shockingly well over time, and may even be better now. The spots are masterfully built up to as the match goes on, and the crowd reaction follows right along. The match literally made all four guys, as they have all been over (albeit to varying degrees) ever since.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #3: TLC Match for the World Tag Team Championship – Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz, SummerSlam, 8.27.00

Edge and Christian have been the Champions since 6.25.00, and this is their seventh defense. All six men are fired up from the get-go, and it doesn’t take long for weapons to get involved. The Champions take the early advantage, but it’s best not to get too comfortable in this kind of environment. Everyone is trying to end the match early, and that leads to everyone getting slammed off a ladder at some point or another. Bubba and D-Von manage to get Edge in position for the Wazzup, and you know what comes next. Christian is the unlucky recipient of a 3D through the table. Edge makes his way back in and starts braining people with a steel chair. The Hardys are back in the fray as well and they start flying off ladders and otherwise exciting their hometown crowd. Jeff gets Bubba set across two tables and he climbs a 20-foot ladder. He tries the Swanton but Bubba moves and Jeff hits hard through the tables. Ouch. Bubba ends up as the last man standing, so he tries to climb up but Edge & Christian recover and shove the ladder over, sending Bubba crashing through a four-table stack at ringside! That’s an instant replay highlight for sure. Edge & Christian climb up the ladder but Lita runs in from out of nowhere and shoves the ladder over, dropping both Champions on the groin. Matt goes to climb the ladder, but D-Von pushes him down and Matt crashes through two tables. Lita tries to check on him and Edge crushes her with a Spear! That was awesome. D-Von and Jeff are well enough to climb the ladder and each grab a title belt. The ladder gets kicked out from under them and both D-Von and Jeff are hanging there! Jeff knocks D-Von down, and then the Champs throw a ladder to knock Jeff down. That’s enough for Edge and Christian to climb up and retrieve the titles at 14:49. Of course this was a terrific spot-fest, with some truly memorable moments and some absurd bumps. As the first-ever official “TLC Match” in WWE history, there is plenty of historical significance to make this match just that much better.
Rating: ****½

MATCH #4: Steel Cage Match for the World Tag Team Championship – Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz, Unforgiven, 9.24.00

Edge and Christian have been the Champions since 6.25.00, and this is their tenth defense. You can win this match via pinfall or both team members escaping the cage. No one wastes any time in getting this contest underway. The challengers take the early control and are looking to finally take the tag team titles from their most hated rivals. Jeff is the first one to get to the top of the cage, and Edge is able to shove him all the way down to the floor, and the commentators explain that Jeff is out of the match and cannot return. That leaves Matt in a tough spot, but he’s able to hit the Twist of Fate on Christian for two. Now Jim Ross on commentary thinks that Jeff may be able to reenter the match. These are the kind of things they should clarify before the show. Matt tries to escape over the top of the cage but Edge & Christian bring him back in with a double superplex. Jeff does keep trying to get back in the cage, though unfortunately for him the Champs are able to keep him at bay. Matt is getting double-teamed and looks worse for wear. Jeff finally abuses a referee to get the cage door key, and he unlocks the door and throws a chair inside. Christian cuts Jeff off and slams the door on his face, and then himself leaves to go get a steel chair. He re-locks the cage door, as Matt has been busted open. Edge and Christian set up a con-chair-toe, but Matt ducks it and takes both Champions down with a double-clothesline. Matt climbs up again, but Edge and Christian go after him. Christian goes over the cage and Jeff hits him with a ladder to knock him to the floor, leaving Edge and Matt alone in the cage. Jeff distracts Edge and makes his way to the top of the cage, allowing Matt to pull Edge back in with a back suplex. Jeff goes all the way to the top of the cage and tries the Whisper in the Wind but he lands right in between his brother and Edge, and neither of them catch him so Jeff just splats on the mat. Ouch. Christian climbs a ladder and looks to make his way back into the cage, but Lita comes out and takes him off the ladder with a hurricanrana! That leaves Edge alone in the cage with both Hardy Boyz. Edge tries to climb up and over, but the Hardyz follow him up with a pair of steel chairs. Matt and Jeff deliver a con-chair-toe and Edge falls all the way back to the canvas! Great spot. That’s enough for Matt and Jeff to drop down to the floor and finally regain the World Tag Team Titles at 13:33! That was good, as all of their matches pretty much were, but something about the cage didn’t jive with this feud quite as much as a TLC environment did. At any rate it was a well-structured match designed to give the Matt and Jeff Hardy a big win in the feud and it certainly accomplished that. I miss tag team wrestling at this level so bad.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: TLC Match for the World Tag Team Championship – Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz, WrestleMania X-Seven, 4.1.01

Bubba Ray and D-Von have been the Champions since 3.19.01, and this is their first defense. I expect it to be very difficult to keep up with all the action here. Matt and Jeff take the early advantage, but it takes less than a minute for Edge and Christian to bring in the first ladder and the first chair and use them as weapons. The Dudleyz pull Christian to the floor and beat on him, leaving Edge alone with the Hardyz. Christian makes his way back in, and the Hardys take him down and deliver a simultaneous legdrop / splash from atop two different ladders. The Dudleyz come back in and hit Edge with the Wazzup. Bubba and D-Von set up some tables and lay Edge across one of them. The Hardyz get in the ring and Bubba catches Jeff in a powerbomb, right on top of Edge and through the table! Outside the ring the Dudleyz set up a 2×2 stack of tables, which I’m sure will come into play later. Meanwhile, three ladders get set up in the ring and all six men climb up. The crowd is loving it. Matt and Christian get shoved off first, then D-Von and Jeff, and finally Bubba and Edge. All six men are down and hurting. Edge is up first and he sets up a ladder to climb, but Spike Dudley runs out and hits him with a Dudley Dog! Spike then hits Christian with another Dudley Dog, this one through a table at ringside! Now Rhyno comes running out and he starts demolishing everything in sight, hitting a GORE through a table on Matt. Finally Lita comes out to assist the Hardyz, effectively making this a nine-person tag match. Lita hits Rhyno with a Litacanrana, and then the Dudleyz hit him with the Dudleyville Device. Lita comes in and drills Spike with a chair shot to the head. She pays for it when the Dudleyz hit her with a 3D. Outside the ring Jeff sets Spike and Rhyno on a table and climbs up a very tall ladder. Jeff takes them out with a Swanton Bomb! In the ring multiple ladders are set up, and Christian and D-Von climb the tallest one and try to bring down the belts. Matt pulls the ladder out from under them, leaving them hanging. They both fall down, and then Jeff tries to climb over the top of the ladders to reach the belts but that’s even more difficult than it sounds. Jeff ends up hanging from the belts, and Edge climbs up a ladder and takes Jeff down with a Spear! That’s an iconic image for sure, and an amazing spot. Matt and Bubba climb the ladder and Rhyno pushes the ladder over, sending them crashing through the 2×2 table stack. Christian and D-Von climb the ladder now, and Rhyno puts Christian on his shoulders to give him a boost while Edge holds Rhyno back and Edge & Christian regain the titles at 15:40! Just when you think they couldn’t top themselves, the addition of Spike, Lita, and Rhyno did just that. This is the perfect culmination of the three-way feud between these teams and the greatest TLC match of all-time. They built up to the spots logically and all the big moments hit and looked awesome. This is one of the matches of the decade.
Rating: *****

MATCH #6: Intergender Tag Team Match – The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, RAW is WAR, 4.9.01

Austin is the WWF Champion here and Triple H is the Intercontinental Champion. The four men start off hot and heavy and the Hardyz clear the ring of the WWE and Intercontinental Champions. That’s no small feat. Stephanie pretty much wants nothing to do with Lita, so she just has to watch on as Team Extreme control the opening minutes of this match. Jeff hits HHH with the Whisper in the Wind and Austin breaks up the cover. Every time Austin or HHH try to fight back the young upstart brothers are able to counteract them. Finally the Two-Man Power Trip takes control when Austin is able to catch Jeff with an Alabama Slam. Austin and HHH isolate Jeff and wear him down with a variety of double-teams and dastardly tactics. After a few minutes Jeff is able to make his way to the corner and tag in his brother. Matt comes in a house afire but Austin quickly cuts him off and takes the fight to the floor. The men all brawl on the floor, leaving the women alone. Lita hits Stephanie with the Twist of Fate and follows up with the Litasault to get the victory at 6:58. This was short but man it was hot. It did a lot to make Matt and Jeff look like a duo on the rise, and it helped get Austin more over as a heel in the aftermath of WrestleMania X-Seven. After the match the beating continues, and Austin even assaults Lita with a steel chair! Good match, great angle, awesome stuff here.
Rating: ***


About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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