WWE have achieved it once more. They’ve managed to take one thing which was as soon as so particular, entertaining, distinctive, artistic and full of potential… and utterly destroy it. On tonight’s Monday Night time RAW we’ll see Matt Hardy tackle Randy Orton in what is probably going to be Matt’s final match working for WWE. Matt, alongside his brother Jeff, have already gone down in history as one of many biggest tag teams to ever grace the squared circle. Regardless of this there was the potential for a lot more. Jeff was all the time the star of the tandem, together with his high-flying offense and charisma wowing fans everywhere in the world, however Matt had a lot more to give that it’s a crime to see the place he has ended up. Jeff could have had the loopy face paint and the excessive spots, however he was fairly one dimensional whenever you look again. Matt alternatively had reinvented himself on quite a few events earlier than selecting one of the outrageous and impressed creations the wrestling world has ever seen…
The introduction of Broken Matt Hardy was a revelation and one which made rival firm TNA/Influence related once more after a few years of decline. We had excessive hopes for the character on the brothers return to WWE, together with slightly trepidation, however Woken Matt Hardy has died a sluggish and painful death in WWE. The breakdown in latest contract talks appear to sign that the harm has effectively and really been achieved and that Matt shall be taking his certainly one of a sort artistic thoughts elsewhere. However can the Human Vessel as soon as often known as Matthew Hardy be reborn once more?
First, slightly backstory.
WWE had been driving excessive within the 90’s in the course of the Perspective Period. The Hardy Boys got here in and really rapidly made a reputation for themselves as the chance taking, excessive flying, excessive daredevils who helped to form the tag team scene alongside Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boys. The three teams put tag team wrestling on the map and took it to an entire new stage, one which we’ll seemingly by no means see once more. The latter levels of their WWE careers took very completely different paths as Jeff went on to have a number of memorable feuds and seize a tonne of singles championships, whereas Matt… type of light away into mid card obscurity. Upon leaving WWE the brothers continued to discover success throughout the globe each in singles and tag team competition, however Jeff all the time remained as the larger draw of the 2. Matt’s problem was all the time that he was too secure, too ‘by the books’… too boring. He by no means actually had an fascinating sufficient character to put money into and he had misplaced the safety net of his brother Jeff. Regardless of Matt v1’s preliminary recognition seeing Matt decide up some steam he struggled to seize the imaginations of his as soon as loyal fans. Because the years handed by, Matt continued to plod alongside choosing up varied championships in varied promotions alongside the best way, however by no means managed to reside up to the recognition he built inside WWE. However that was all about to change. Matt was about to attain his ‘breaking’ level…
Debuting his new character again in Could of 2016, Matt portrayed a brand new version of himself full with partly bleached hair, uncommon period-drama clothes and a classy, eccentric accent. Each promo from right here on out was suffering from gold and I’d frequently discover myself asking “is Matt okay?”. His insane ramblings and unhinged expressions would go on to spawn a seemingly unending meme prepare and he was as soon as once more the discuss of the city. He blamed his brother Jeff for ‘breaking’ him and have become obsessive about making an attempt to ‘delete’ his brother, who he was now referring to as Brother Nero. Matt would frequently ramble intelligible mysticism and philosophical musings, typically describing how The Seven Deities had knowledgeable him that over many 1000’s of years, his soul had been handed from human vessel to human vessel. It was utter insanity. We’ve seen some loopy ramblings from the likes of Randy Savage and Final Warrior earlier than, however this was completely different. This was particular, we had been seeing a person give completely every little thing to the business in a single final shot at making it.
The rivalry culminated with The Final Deletion match, the place Matt defeated Jeff to turn into the only real occupier of the Hardy identify and model and compelled his brother to tackle the Nero mantle full time. This was no abnormal match although and performed out as more of a brief movie than anything. It featured a drone which projected Matt’s face, Jeff chasing the drone down on a mud bike, tree diving, fireworks, a large hardy sign on fire, a lake of reincarnation, each men working at one another with roman candles… you understand what? Simply take a look at the match on YouTube asap. It’s a kind of issues that basically does have to be seen to be believed.
Jeff would finally succumb to Matt’s will and be a part of him as a part of the Broken Universe, finally capturing the TNA Tag Crew Championships. The duo would then spend the rest of 2016 and early 2017 on their Expedition of Gold, the place they sought to seize as many tag team titles from all over the world as possible. Throughout this time they might go on to taunt wrestlers from different promotions together with the likes of “The Man With Three H’s” (HHH), “The Child Who Breaks Hearts” (Shawn Michaels), “The Day of New” (The New Day) and “The Household of Wyatt’s” (Wyatt Household). This even prompted a response from Bray Wyatt by way of Twitter, main to many fans hoping for a return to WWE and an eventual showdown with The Eater of Worlds. The expedition culminated within the brother’s triumphant return at WrestleMania 33 the place they had been entered on the final second into the now deadly 4-way ladder match for the RAW Tag Crew Championships. Matt and Jeff would go on to win the match in what’s fingers down one of many biggest WrestleMania moments of all time.
That every one sounds fairly psychological, proper? Fairly the rollercoaster? Properly it was, however it was additionally extremely entertaining. TNA knew precisely how to use the character and the important thing to this was permitting Matt to have full artistic management, one thing that WWE had been by no means going to agree to. Everyone knows that Vince McMahon is an egotistical maniac who can’t stand it when one thing wonderful comes alongside which he didn’t create, however the best way Woken Matt has been booked in WWE has been nothing wanting sabotage. The main problem WWE confronted was securing the damaged gimmick from TNA, which took fairly a while to get settled after a prolonged court docket battle, however within the meantime, WWE selected to do one thing very foolish. They selected to jump the shark when Jeff suffered a long-term harm and compelled Matt into changing into a watered-down version of what made the persona so fascinating… and thus Woken Matt Hardy was born.
Now we had a problem. Matt wanted to be given one thing to do whereas we waited patiently for Jeff’s return and hopefully the start of a brand new damaged universe underneath WWE’s umbrella, in order that they did the one factor that made sense and put Matt into the long-rumoured program with Bray. On paper this rivalry sounds like absolute fire. Matt could have been 43 on the time and beginning to lag within the ring, however you can absolutely guess on the promo’s being out of this world, proper? Certain, at first they had been… Matt and Bray performed off each-others gimmicks fantastically, enjoying thoughts games with each other and we obtained to see a few of Matt’s new-found catchphrases come to life. Nevertheless, as time went on the reside crowds misplaced virtually all curiosity within the feud and so did many people watching at home, as a result of as ordinary WWE have failed to realise you could have an excessive amount of of an excellent factor. The rivalry went on for what felt like an absolute lifetime, and bizarrely culminated a couple of weeks earlier than WrestleMania in The Final Deletion. WWE did the worst factor they may presumably do by making an attempt to copy the bizarre match, with the eventual payoff considerably underwhelming.
WWE did themselves no favours by giving Matt new entrance music, centred round his DELETE chant, it reeked of desperation and was virtually WWE’s method of claiming “he’s in reality Woken as opposed to Broken and you don’t have any alternative than to get behind it. Oh and in addition, might you all please chant DELETE as loud as possible to make it appear like we made the precise alternative? Thanks” Nearly every little thing which made the character fascinating earlier than, like the inclusion of family members, absurd skits and segments, hilarious bit half characters, a person being fired out of a back-garden volcano (severely) and Matt’s trusty drone Vanguard 1, had all gone lacking. Having him have interaction in laugh-offs with a person who claims to be a god regardless of being 0-Three at WrestleMania on the time, was a disappointing path to go. Woken Matt didn’t want to occur within the first place, they may’ve fairly simply held fire till Jeff returned, perhaps even retaining Matt off TV till that day arrived. That is yet one more instance of WWE seeing the dollar indicators earlier than trying on the long-term plan or what’s finest for the superstars themselves… irrespective of how good the Broken persona might have been going ahead, the pointless timing and poor reserving of the Woken character has broken it past restore.
Probably the most fascinating rivalry WWE had going on the time… what did they do? Put it on TV.Three weeks earlier than their showcase PPV. 99% of the time I discover myself sitting there asking myself ‘what the hell are you pondering WWE? Who makes these choices? Is it Vince? Why isn’t he in a home but?’. You don’t waste one thing this large, with this a lot potential, Three weeks earlier than your marquee PPV. Some folks had been saying that the Mania crowd wouldn’t need to sit and watch a match on the screens for 20 minutes… I do get that, however how is it any completely different displaying it on RAW? No matter the place you’re, what show you’re on at or what city you’re in… it’s nonetheless going to be proven on screens and screens. We then noticed new rivalries cast within the 2 weeks main to the largest day within the WWE calendar and so they had been positioned on the main card. This rivalry had been occurring for months and months, ought to have been handled as an enormous deal for the world to see… however the final result was selected a Monday evening. Gee, thanks quite a bit Vince! It simply went to show how little the highest brass in WWE cared concerning the character and story.
Quick ahead to the present WWE product in 2020. Over the final 12 or so months, Matt has veered away from the Broken/Woken persona and is harking again to the previous days of The Hardy Boys alongside Jeff. They’ve captured more tag team titles and have one other couple of setbacks due to critical accidents for each and more ill-advised way of life decisions for Jeff. The newest long-term harm for Jeff noticed him positioned on the shelf for a lot of 2019 and gave Matt little or no to do in any respect. A number of fleeting appearances right here and there to put over different expertise in glorified squash matches are what this legend had been decreased to… till one week in the past on RAW. In a very weird second, Matt got here out to defend his long-term rival Edge after the Rated-R Famous person was heinously attacked by Randy Orton. The promo was nice, albeit very sudden, however led to Matt taking a depraved Con-Chair-To from The Apex Predator. Nearly all of the WWE Universe had assumed this was WWE writing Matt off TV as his contract ran down, additional fuelled by Matts easy “Goodbye” tweet, however inside a couple of days we noticed a No Holds Barred match introduced for tonight’s version of RAW.
With this extraordinarily seemingly to be Hardy’s final WWE look, what does the future maintain? Does he take the Woken/Broken character elsewhere? Does he be a part of a artistic team backstage? For me, probably the most logical transfer can be for Matt to head over to AEW. Matt might simply strike up a take care of the latest challenger to WWE’s crown, utilizing his lately cast friendship with Matt and Nick Jackson of The Younger Bucks to turn into an necessary a part of their Tag Crew division. AEW is presently swimming with former WWE expertise resembling Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Brodie Lee and Jon Moxley and including Matt wouldn’t solely be an enormous coup, but in addition brings somebody on board who the present employees know so effectively. Might we see a brand new Broken Universe the place Matt goes head to head with The Inside Circle? Or perhaps Matt takes over The Darkish Order to give them some legitimacy? All very viable choices. Vince was clearly ever occupied with placing money into the Broken character, however with Tony Khan clearly comfortable to use his substantial wealth to set up his fledgling firm, the sky can be the restrict for Home Hardy.
Of all these choices, Matt taking management of The Darkish Order makes probably the most sense and can be an ideal place to begin for his new venture. The cult is presently teasing the approaching arrival of The Exalted One and have had some forwards and backwards with Matt on social media, main fans to imagine that is in Hardy’s quick future. We now have seen varied different names being speculated to take up the mantle, together with Marty Scurll and Brian Cage however there merely couldn’t be a more appropriate candidate than Broken Matt Hardy. His unhinged, deranged and deluded nature might take The Darkish Order from being a paint by numbers faction that we’ve seen many times earlier than and switch them into one thing darkish and intriguing. With a giant identify like Matt Hardy main the road, the group might go from power to power and use Hardy’s identify and creativity to propel them in the direction of the highest of the card within the future.
Might we even see Matt return to the place the Broken character was so profitable? Influence has slowly been turning issues round lately after years of mediocrity and points inside the firm, re-inventing themselves as more of a singular fashion of wrestling in contrast to the mainstream secure reserving of an organization like WWE. Issues began to flip round for Influence largely thanks to the laborious work of Matt and Jeff, with plenty of new eyes being drawn to the product as a result of they wished to see one thing new. Matt might decide up the place he left off and perhaps deliver again any fans who left when he and Jeff did earlier than, For the reason that Hardy’s left, Influence has made a reputation for itself by difficult the norm. Only recently, the corporate determined to crown Tessa Blanchard as their world champion, marking the first time an US primarily based wrestling promotion had ever put their high title on a feminine wrestler. We’ve additionally seen former WWE fan favorite Rob Van Dam turning heads together with his lately adopted X-rated playboy gimmick, clearly signalling that the corporate are comfortable to let their expertise have some enjoyable with their very own artistic path.
Wherever Matt finally ends up, he shall be a significant factor in that corporations success transferring ahead. Having him work with youthful, new expertise like AEW’s Darby Allin and Jungle Boy might assist to create a brand new megastar. Having him behind the scenes in artistic would assist any firm to deliver eyes to their product by way of logical reserving and by giving the fans one thing new. If Matt was to sign on with WWE once more, the corporate ought to instantly DELETE all traces of the OBSELETE Woken character earlier than Matt’s legacy is tarnished perpetually. This author and purveyor of nonsense simply desires to see Matt handled like the legend he’s. And on the finish of the day, if we do get to see Broken Matt attain his potential, no matter the place he goes to do it… effectively that may be simply WONDERFUL!