After leaving the WWF/E, Hardy took a whole year off of wrestling to concentrate on motocross and finish his motocross track.
Jeff then returned to wrestling and performed with the Ring of Honor. Jeff first appeared at ROH's 2003 show, Death Before Dishonor, under his "Will O' the Wisp" gimmick, wearing a mask and trench coat. Jeff was quickly unmasked and lost his jacket, wearing attire similar to that he wore in WWE. Jeff was booed and heckled before, during, and after the match by the ROH audience, who chanted "We want Matt!" and "You got fired!" during his match with Joey Matthews and Krazy K, which Jeff won.