The Full Backstage Story On Jeff Hardy's WWE Title Win
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that it was WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, the same individual who had once taken a strong stance against giving a top belt to a wrestler at risk of suspension, who made the decision to crown Jeff Hardy WWE Champion.
According to the story, McMahon made the call at a creative meeting two weeks before the Armageddon event. While the initial plans called for Edge to hold the belt until Backlash, at which point some sort of "twist" would be scripted to heighten interest on the SmackDown! side, the decision ultimately came down to McMahon and creative seeing more short-term value in a Hardy championship reign.
Those in favor felt that fans would rather watch Jeff Hardy keep the belt in the face of constant adversity from Hardy and Vickie Guerrero than see Edge sneakily retain the belt due to assistance from Guerrero, a storyline which has been heavily used in pro wrestling.
Regarding the example set by giving the belt to someone with Wellness Policy suspensions under his belt, Stephanie McMahon voiced her opposition to Hardy title reign. Vince addressed her concern by noting the value of the title victory if Hardy handled the opportunity well; his argument was also bolstered by the fact that WWE has not been shy about publicly suspending those who fail drug tests; WWE's history of following the policy assures that people will not start taking it lightly.
He also said that WWE would not be afraid to fire Champion Hardy, if necessary under the Wellness Policy, which would serve as a big message to talent about the seriousness of the drug policy.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Pro Wrestling Torch
WWE Jeff Hardy website
Media Man Australia Profiles
WWE Wellness Program