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In 1985, to counter the AWA's Super Sunday , the NWA's Starrcade and WCCW's Star Wars, the WWF created its own flagship show, WrestleMania I , held at Madison Square Garden and broadcast on 135 closed-circuit networks . The future of not just the WWF's national experiment but the whole professional wrestling industry came down to the success or failure of this pay-per-view. WrestleMania was an extravaganza marketed as "the Super Bowl of professional wrestling". The concept of a wrestling supercard was nothing new in North America; the NWA had been running Starrcade a few years prior to WrestleMania, and even the elder McMahon had marketed large Shea Stadium cards viewable in closed circuit locations. However, Wrestlemania I drew the interest of the mainstream media by including celebrities such as Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper to participate in the event. MTVs popularity and coverage of the Women's wrestling feud created a great deal of interest in WWF programming at this time.
Hardy debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) on June 23, 2004, at the Second Anniversary Show , in a match against . Styles , for the TNA X Division Championship .  He also debuted his new entrance theme "Modest", a song performed by Hardy himself, and a new nickname, "The Charismatic Enigma".  The match ended in a no contest when Kid Kash and Dallas interfered.  Hardy returned to TNA on July 21 and was awarded a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship .  Hardy challenged for the title on September 8, losing to NWA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett .  In October 2004, he won a tournament,  earning a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on November 7 at Victory Road , TNA's first monthly pay-per-view.  Hardy was defeated by Jarrett once again in a ladder match at Victory Road following interference from Kevin Nash and Scott Hall .