PITTSBURGH – Gaping mouths and wide eyes peppered throughout the capacity crowd at the Mellon Arena helped tell the tale. Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy pulled out a surprising, career-altering victory over the power and intensity of Triple H to earn an opportunity at the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble next month.

Things didn’t start off so well for Hardy. The Game rebuffed his offer of a handshake. After suffering a chain of shoulder blocks and clotheslines, the “Rainbow-haired Warrior” seemed dazed. He didn’t seem entirely comfortable with fighting Triple H until The Game demanded that he fight him. But after suffering in silence, Hardy finally woke up and warmed up his jets to go airborne. After a tug of war between the two, the high-flyer surprised The Game with a roll-up and held his shoulders down for a close three-count, stunning some fans. 

A faint grin – but of anger – crossed The Cerebral Assassin’s face as he walked up the ramp and let Hardy bask in the greatest victory of his career. Triple H’s defeat sent tremors through the Raw locker room and left many Superstars wondering what it meant for The Game in the long run. In the weeks leading to Armageddon, Triple H offered glimpses of a softer side, hinting at a respect for Hardy and even rescuing him from both Snitsky and Umaga. Does the 11-time World Champion still have the anger that so often fueled him to victory over the course of his distinguished career?

Of more immediate concern, however, is how The Game will react Monday night on Raw. The King of Kings will undoubtedly be given wide berth tomorrow night in the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. The question remains, how will his considerable fury manifest itself? And just who will be the unlucky soul on the receiving end?

On the brighter side of the equation, the “Rainbow-haired Warrior” now finds himself one Swanton Bomb closer to his “lifelong dream” of a WWE Championship. Although he’s been a six-time World Tag Team Champion and four-time Intercontinental Champion, Hardy nonetheless has never been able to reach the pinnacle of sports-entertainment.  

To do so, he will be forced to fly at heights that few men have reached as he enters into the WWE Title Match at next month’s Royal Rumble. After defeating one of WWE’s all-time greats, will Hardy be able to ride his momentum all the way to the top and take sports-entertainment’s most coveted prize?

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