In January 2003, Hardy briefly turned into a heel (villain) after he attacked Van Dam and Shawn Michaels .    It ended a month later when he saved Stacy Keibler from an attack by then-villain, Christian .  In February, he had a brief program with Michaels, which saw the two team up.   Then, in storyline, Hardy began dating Trish Stratus after saving her from Steven Richards and Victoria in March.  Hardy and Stratus had a brief on-screen relationship that saw the duo talking backstage and teaming together in matches. Hardy competed in his final match (his first departure) against The Rock and lost.   Hardy was released from WWE on April 22, 2003.   The reasons given for the release were Hardy's erratic behavior, drug use, refusal to go to rehab, deteriorating ring performance, as well as constant tardiness and no-showing events.   Hardy also cites "burn out" and the need for time off as reasons for leaving WWE. 
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.