The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
Feb. 15, 2022

Matt Hardy's Broken Brilliance and Will We See A Hardy Boyz Reunion in AEW?

Matt Hardy's Broken Brilliance and Will We See A Hardy Boyz Reunion in AEW?

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Matt Hardy (@matthardybrand) is a professional wrestler currently signed to AEW. He is known in his career for being part of the Hardy Boyz tag team with his brother Jeff Hardy in WWE and TNA Impact Wrestling. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about his new podcast with co-host Jon Alba called "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy", his real life feud with Edge, why he decided to sign with AEW, he gives an update on Jeff Hardy after he was recently released from WWE, what his plans are to celebrate his 30th anniversary in wrestling, his favorite matches, competing in the first TLC match, how he created his "Big Money" Matt Hardy character and much more!

Congratulations on the podcast by the way.

“Thank you, it’s been a lot of fun. Each episode that we do, I feel more comfortable. Jon [Alba] is a great host, he really steers the ship well and does a great job. I like to go into a lot of details, but he does a great job on keeping me on the right path. It’s a lot of fun.”

You go into an extreme amount of detail and I feel that the fans appreciate that.

“I feel like that is the stage in my career that I am at right now. I am obviously getting towards the end of my in-ring career, I am at the point where I can make the transition into podcasting. I’ve been doing other things now, and especially as some of these things are 20 to 25 years old, to try and share those with the wrestling fans.”

Is anything off limits?

“I’m going to try and be open for business with most things. There’s some things that if we don’t go into, we just won’t address it at all. But if there is a subject I am dedicated about, I will go into detail about.”

I’m sure that fans listening will be wondering when the Edge episode will be?

“Yeah I am sure that we will talk about Edge, but we probably won’t go into great depth with the Lita stuff. This is out of respect for my wife, I won’t go into that and talk about that.”

Going into Unforgiven 2005 I thought that you might murder Edge.

“Looking back at it, we both had a really good relationship whenever myself and Adam [Copeland aka Edge] were working together. It’s funny because it became something much larger than it was, especially to the fans. It was like something that we had substance and could sink our teeth into. People thought that we would murder each other so we kind of took advantage of that.”

You say it’s near the end of your career. Do you have a timeline of how much longer you want to do this?

“No I don’t. I am just playing by ear and feeling it as I go. It just comes down to how my body holds up.”

Looking at guys like yourself, Christopher Daniels, Chris Jericho, Sting… You are all ageless in AEW!

“I am so happy to see Sting getting this run that he is currently getting right now. He was a generation ahead of guys like myself and Chris Jericho, for him to still be able to go out and be the megastar that he is and get the spotlight, I am so happy for him because he is the best dude. Chris Jericho as well it is amazing that his body has lasted how it has because we were doing that WWE grind of 10 days on and 4 days off for ever on house shows. We worked and worked, it really is amazing and a credit to everyone’s longevity and toughness to be working in 2022.”

We are coming up to your 30th year in the ring. Is there a match in mind that you want to have to mark that occasion?

“I don’t know. In a perfect scenario we do something with my brother. He’s kind of on that same timeline where his 30th anniversary would be in October 2022. I think having The Hardy Boyz having a marquee match would be the perfect way to celebrate it.”

So you are saying with him and not against him?

“Yeah. I think at this point in our careers we have each other’s back, I think the days of Matt and Jeff going head to head, we are done with that.”

I feel like it’s a when not an if in regards to Jeff coming to AEW?

“Well we have 12 appearances booked and a couple in the works. We are doing all that now and that’s it. I haven’t said anything at all about Jeff coming to AEW. Nothing has been done and nothing has been decided. He is still contracted to WWE right now. We are excited to do these indy dates, it’s going to be fun and just like the old days. It’s like the beginning of our careers again doing the grassroot companies and signings.”

When you step out of bed in the morning, what hurts?

“I mean obviously doing those leg drops, nothing hurts but my lower back and hips are beaten up. There is a lot of scar tissue and flexibility is the biggest issue. I am trying to optimize my conditioning and do yoga to increase my flexibility.”

I hear that a lot of moves where you land on your ass take their toll. When did you start feeling it?

“I started feeling it in the early 2000’s. When I did that leg drop off the cage at Unforgiven, at the time it didn’t hurt, but the next few weeks I couldn’t walk straight. It was after that when I changed the second rope leg drop into the very exciting elbow to the back of the guy’s neck. I wouldn’t then have to compact my spine every night. Remember at that time we were doing both brands and house shows 5 nights a week. It was easier to land on your feet than your back and crush the spine.”

Looking back what was the match that really put The Hardy Boyz on the map?

“Definitely the tag team ladder match against Edge and Christian. That was the match that took us from being WWE wrestlers to WWE Superstars. We turned a corner in that match and you could see the reactions at live events and they loved what they hadn’t seen before.”

Did you both have the goal of being tag team wrestlers growing up?

“Once we fell in love with wrestling, that was our goal. The only thing we aspired to do was to be the world tag team champions of the WWE/WWF just one time. If we achieved that, we were done and could call it a day. But we exceeded that many times over. We are very happy and blessed to have the careers that we have had so far and to achieve the success that we had.”

Once you got those titles, then what was the goal?

“We wanted to break new ground. We wanted to do things and be trailblazers in the tag team division. I feel like we did that with the tag team table match and the TLC match, it was something that started through us. The tag team ladder match was something that we started doing on the indies, and I pitched the idea of the tag team tables match. Just all those things together and the TLC staple, I feel like all the teams were obviously very influential. But if you look at the guys who took the risks, the majority of those would be Jeff. Christian would be down for some bumps, Bubba and D-Von would be the heels kicking some ass. It’s funny, D-Von would be up there with Jeff, and he was afraid of heights, we had to force him to do that spot where they hung above the ring. When my brother and D-Von were hanging above the ring in TLC 1, there’s a point, and my brother, he is insane and crazy, he is kicking D-Von hard. And D-Von is like ‘Stop kicking me!’ We could hear it from under the ladder. But D-Von took the flat back bump, and he promised after that we would never take a bump from that height again. All 5 members had to convince him to doing it, but props to D-Von, that was very impressive.”

How is Jeff doing? I think a lot of people saw that video at the house show and were really nervous.

“Yeah he’s good. It was basically, when he wants to share this story he will. But he was exhausted after driving all night, he was on late at SmackDown and they had a 300 mile drive, had a family emergency, he was just exhausted. I think he was just stressed out from everything in WWE, sometimes he gets in his own head, I think it is better with me there too, he can really get in his own head. He had stuff going on with his wife, there was a death in the family and he hadn’t slept at all that night. Then he went into work exhausted and whatever happened happened.”

People thought it must have been drugs, but the drug tests came back fine.

“Right. I have heard from a couple of people that WWE did jump the gun in making this rash decision. People say it was erratic behaviour, but honest to God that was his last spot in the match, he was technically done. This was Jeff being strange in his own unique way, just decided he was done and just jumped the guard rail and took pictures with fans.”

What was it specifically that made you want to join AEW?

“I know in Vince’s head he saw me as a producer. He wanted to use my mental ability to produce matches and be an agent. I still wanted to wrestle while I could, that is the opportunity that is allotted to me in AEW.”

I loved your Matt Hardy V1 theme song.

“Thank you. That song is super catchy. I remember the first time that I heard that song I wasn’t too sure, I was certainly unsure. But after 4 or 5 weeks, I dug it and I loved it.”

With all the different versions that you have created, how do you know if something will work?

“You don’t, and there has been stuff I have done that doesn’t work. There has been a lot of trial and error, I feel like there is something that you start and you evolve or change it. You just have to build your crowd and your audience. The whole time I was doing Big Money Matt with the AEW audience, who are a younger demographic than WWE. They are more into a sports-centric type wrestling, I am more into the over the top character. So I had to reel it back and have it as a work in progress. My work now is more to help the younger talent backstage. I am so proud of Private Party, when they pull the trigger, those guys are going to be ready this time.”

When you talk about life after wrestling, what will there be?

“Broken Matt has a strong place in my heart and I would love to do a series, I’m sure Jeff would too, he loves that nonsense. Hopefully one day we will get Jeremy Borash back and do some Broken Matt universe stuff.” 

What is the most proud moment in your professional career?

“It’s hard. There have been so many things which have been huge landmark moments. Winning the tag team titles for the first time, that was a big deal because that was the first thing that we set out to do, we had achieved the dream. All the TLC craze and matches we still hear about today, they will live on for infamy and infinity. Then there’s all the other tings, the leg drop off the cage, crazy competitions with MVP, so many things. The whole broken universe, because it became a viral sensation, the viral matches and sensations were everywhere. I remember after leaving WWE I kept getting asked ‘When are going to do another TLC?’ The Final Deletion was so popular, no one had ever done this before. Then everyone is saying ‘When are you going to do another Final Deletion?’”

I end every interview talking about gratitude. What are 3 things in your life that you are grateful for?

“My children, my family and my health.”