Former WWE champ Jeff Hardy was arrested Friday on drug trafficking charges after police discovered a significant quantity of drugs in his Cameron, N.C., home.

Officers located and seized 262 Vicodin pills, 180 Soma pills, 555 milliliters of anabolic steroids, and a residual amount of powder cocaine and items of drug paraphernalia.

Hardy was charged with felony trafficking in opium, two counts of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver a Schedule III controlled substance, felony maintaining a dwelling to keep a controlled substance, felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $125,000.

Hardy was the subject of a joint investigation by officers from the Moore County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, Moore County Sheriff’s Office Select Enforcement Unit and the Fayetteville Police Department.

Hardy, who was back home late Friday, denied a TMZ report that he was bailed out of jail by brother Matt.

“For the record, Matt didn’t bail me out, loan me money or is his name on anything,” Jeff posted on his Twitter account. “He’s just learning about today’s situation ... The media is the media. I wish they would at least report the story correctly and accurately. I will make a statement later.”

The Moore County Sheriff’s Office, however, confirmed reports that Hardy had been arrested on the drug-related charges.

WWE officials have to be breathing a big sigh of relief that Hardy’s latest incident didn’t happen on the company watch. A third violation of the Wellness Program for Hardy, whose second occurred in March 2008, would have resulted in an indefinite suspension.

Hardy held the WWE world championship once, the WWE heavyweight title twice, and with brother Matt shared the WWE tag-team title on six different occasions.

The 32-year-old Hardy, who recently let his WWE contract expire and worked his last match in late August, ironically had been involved in a reality-based storyline with “straight edge” character C.M. Punk (Phil Brooks) in which Punk denounced Hardy’s free-spirit persona and his past violations of the company’s drug policy.

Hardy, one of the most popular performers on the WWE roster, left the company to heal up injuries, work with his band and pursue a reality TV project. This latest incident could jeopardize any chance of such a show seeing the light of day and, pending the outcome, affect his chances of returning to WWE.

WWE issued no immediate response to the arrest.

“The news of Jeff Hardy’s apparent arrest on drug charges is disturbing,” Jim Ross posted Friday on his blog at www.jrsbarbq.com. “I have spoken to no one about this matter and only know what info that I have read that was distributed by the police in North Carolina. I hope that there is better news on this matter forthcoming from Jeff or his attorney.”

Ross said he hopes, for Hardy’s sake, that there’s more to the story.

“I know that Jeff Hardy is a good young man with endless talents who finished his stint in WWE in grand fashion. Jeff, as are none of us, isn’t perfect and I only hope this matter can be resolved quickly and efficiently so Jeff can move on with his life in a healthy and positive way. Jeff Hardy is innocent until proven guilty, as there is likely much more to this matter than we know at this time.”

- Who’s the biggest and baddest man in WWE?

A couple of seven-foot-tall giants went at it — for real — at a recent house show in Puerto Rico.

Tempers flared between Big Show (Paul Wight) and Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana) during a Smackdown event last weekend, and a backstage brawl ensued.

The tension reportedly began during a six-man tag bout that night and escalated in the dressing room. Sources say Show threw the first punch following the argument, but the 7-1 Khali took the advantage when his 500-pound adversary appeared to have slipped.

The scuffle was quickly broken up when several fellow performers, including The Undertaker, intervened. Agents kept the two apart for the rest of the tour.

- Former pro wrestler Sean O’Haire (Sean Haire) was arrested last weekend and charged with battery and criminal trespassing after allegedly choking his girlfriend in a fit of rage.

TMZ reported that O’Haire, who wrestled from 2000-06, was arrested early Sunday morning after his girlfriend told police he violently attacked her at her home in Savannah.

The woman told police that the 6-6, 270-pound Hilton Head native stormed downstairs unprovoked and “started screaming and throwing items around her.” She claims he choked her while shouting obscenities. She also said she “does not know what caused the sudden attack, but that it has happened in the past on several occasions.”

The woman eventually ran outside and called police. O’Haire was arrested and jailed at the Chatham County Detention Center, and later was released on $4,600 bond.

O’Haire, 38, who has competed in mixed martial arts competition in recent years and also has worked as a professional bodyguard, has been arrested several times in the past.

O’Haire was charged with assault in 1992 and was found guilty of an assault of a woman that took place at a Hilton Head dance club in 2004. He was charged with two counts of assault, but was only convicted of one count.

He also was involved in a fight in Hilton Head on March 30, 2007, where his orbital bone was fractured, as well as sustaining other injuries to his face and skull.

O’Haire was a three-time WCW tag-team champion who held the title twice with Mark Jindrak and once with Chuck Palumbo. He was absorbed into WWE in the company’s 2001 purchase of WCW, but was released in 2004 following a brief push as a sidekick of Roddy Piper.

- Angelina Love is no longer working for TNA after the company discovered that she was working in the country with an expired visa.

A representative for Love says the matter was purely based on a miscommunication of her present visa status, and that she remains in good standing with TNA. Once the matter is cleared up, he said, she will be welcome back “with open arms.” The rep would not address concerns of “gaining employment with the competition.”

The Canadian, whose real name is Lauren Williams, reportedly had been working without a U.S. visa for two years since her contract with WWE ended in 2007.

Love, who made her ring debut in 2000, worked three years in WWE developmental prior to making her TNA debut in September 2007. She expressed an interest in returning to WWE in an interview last year.

“It just never happened for me,” said Love. “I tore my ACL and was out for 10 months. I was probably the most talented girl they had in developmental, but they were more interested in hiring Hooters girls and models and putting them on TV without any experience. They had me up at TV for a few ideas but it never panned out, and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. So obviously there’s a reason why my first run in WWE didn’t work. We’ll see what happens in the future.”

- Longtime WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia will work her last show on the Sept. 21 edition of Raw in Little Rock, Ark.

Garcia is getting married later this year and says she’s entering a new phase of her life.

“It will be a bittersweet night for me,” says Garcia.

The 36-year-old, who was born in Madrid, Spain, graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina following prep school at Columbia’s Irmo High. She was a top 10 finalist in the Miss South Carolina beauty pageant.

- At least one financial analyst doesn’t think WWE stock is a good risk.

Motley Fool columnist Rick Munarriz thinks the wrestling company’s popularity has peaked.

“Revenue actually fell by 16 percent,” he wrote, comparing the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009. “Operating profits improved by 15 percent because of commendable cost-cutting, but you can slash overhead only so far if your format’s popularity has peaked.

“Wrestling fans are moving on. The grittier — and more realistic — mixed-martial arts leagues are taking over. You see it in the dwindling number of fans buying in to the annual Wrestlemania event.”

Munarriz believes analysts have overestimated the company’s earnings potential in two of the four past quarters, and that projections of a turnaround in 2010 also may be off base, noting that the over-the-top storylines and incendiary personalities may have worn thin.

- Gunnar Eudy, son of former world champion Sid Vicious (Sid Eudy), recently made his debut as Lord Humongous. Hid dad used the gimmick early in his career in the Continental territory.

Young Eudy is scheduled to team with Scott Hall against Vicious and Pokerface for Deep South Championship Wrestling in Jonesboro, Ark., on Sept. 19. The promotion is being run by former WWE stars Jazz and Rodney Mack.

- Our thoughts and prayers go out to one of the nicest couples around — former wrestling star Don Arnold and longtime companion Ardath Michael.

Don, 85, who has Alzheimer’s disease, recently suffered a heart attack and is suffering from congestive heart failure. Doctors are working to reduce the edema in his legs and heart in an effort to prevent it from going into his lungs.

“Don’s spirits are high, his smile is still lighting up the world,” reports Ardath. “His eyes are brighter now that the pain is being controlled.”

Reach Mike Mooneyham at (843) 937-5517 or mooneyham@postandcourier.com.