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EXCLUSIVE: MATT HARDY DISCUSSES HIS FUTURE, MAKING THE DECISION TO LEAVE WWE, THE RAW SEGMENT HE PITCHED FOR BROKEN MATT, WHAT WOULD HAVE GOTTEN HIM TO REMAIN, AEW, THE YOUNG BUCKS ON FREE THE DELETE, HIS FUTURE IN THE RING, WHY WE NEVER SAW MORE HARDY WWE NETWORK SPECIALS AND TONS MORE: COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

By Mike Johnson on 2020-03-09 13:05:00

Mike Johnson: So we saw Jeff on WWE Backstage last week. He looked honestly, he looked healthier than I've thought he's looked in years. So, Is it weird to be outside and he's inside? For the most, I mean you guys have had time where you've been apart when he was in TNA and you weren't. But for the most of your run, when it came to WWE, you guys were always together even if you were feuding against each other or on different brands, but you were both part of the same company. Is it weird to kind of plan creatively without knowing, oh and then Jeff can do this and we can incorporate Jeff? Obviously we're all happy he's healthy and him being back on SmackDown or wherever they place him is a good thing for their company. But is it weird to kind of start to do things creatively and not think about Jeff in the back of your mind?

Matt Hardy: No. And on top of that, I think in some ways for me it's a good thing for me because it's going to allow me to focus solely on me because even I think coming back to the WWE, there's still that mindset. I really believe when you're Vince McMahon, when you look at Edge and Christian, Edge was always the guy, the bigger name of the two. When you look at Matt and Jeff, Jeff was always the guy that was the bigger of the two.   I felt like I even got some of that whenever I returned to WWE and it's like I'd worked really hard to stand out on my own while I was away from WWE. So I think it's going to be good and I'm very excited about either sinking or swimming on my own, whenever I do something and go outside.  The main thing I want for Jeff is just for him to be healthy and happy and to be good and to be around for as long as possible and enjoy life.

Mike Johnson: AEW…The Exalted One…there’s been a lot of hints, including a lot of hints that could be you, obviously you're not going to say, “Well it's me!” but I do want to get your thoughts on AEW, especially as a wrestler who's lived through so much the last 20-30 years, what are your thoughts on how they've already changed the overall landscape of pro wrestling for you and for others?

Matt Hardy: I mean they're definitely listening to the diehard voice a lot more strongly than a WWE is right now. And you kind of get that because the WWE is much more corporate, a much more globally stretching and sprawling company. But AEW, they're doing a great job of keeping people guessing. They'll lay something on the table, but then there's so many different directions you could go and you're not sure of it. And the Exalted One is another example of that, for instance….But I think with AEW, they're really paying attention. They're listening to the fans and they're also doing the most important thing that I think you can do in wrestling in this day and age, be unpredictable. But still they do things that are unpredictable. But when it's all said and done, it makes sense….and that's what's very important because these fans, I think we're serving two masters in this day and age. You have the casual fans that watch something for like, okay, this is this guy and he has an issue with this guy and they're fighting over it. And then eventually they're going to end up having a match, whatever. And this is their characters, he's good, he's bad, whatever. And then there's other guys that are more diehard fans that watch it and go, "Okay, well I know that Matt Hardy is this character and he is feuding right now with this Kenny Omega character. So Hmm, what are they going to do? And I think they'll produce a great match. No, they're not going to do this." And they're over analyzing it because they're looking at it from a booking standpoint, like these are two characters that someone is pulling the strings on. I think we're serving kind of both those masters and I think AEW does a good job at walking the line and kind of serving both.

Mike Johnson: What was the reaction amongst those in WWE that you heard from when the “Bucks of Youth” showed up at the end of the Free The Delete? Was there was some anger or resentment there?

Matt Hardy: No.

Mike Johnson: OK, was it like, well we can't say it publicly, but this was a cool idea?

Matt Hardy: Yeah, I mean there were a lot of, I got a lot of hell yes, because that was awesome. And people were super supportive. Once again, I left on very good terms and I'm sure when it's all said and done I'll do WWE Hall of Fame and stuff like that. I mean, I might be there before then. I don't know what the future holds. I'm just trying to take the best path for myself and my creative wants and also my family.

Mike Johnson: So, I know this will shock you, but there's a conspiracy theory out there that you're still signed with WWE and this is all just one big storyline thing and that you've worked AEW into getting the Matt Hardy character ready for the next WWE run. What do you say to those people?

Matt Hardy: That's a good theory. I mean, it might be real. Who knows? That'd be great. That'd be something that Matt Hardy would do. [Laughs.]

Mike Johnson:  When I think of social media and pro wrestlers, I always think of you and Hurricane Helms, Shane Helms, because you guys were the ones doing the Myspace blogs back in the day when it would get you heat because [WWE] did not want wrestlers talking about things that were internal. What's your thoughts on how everything's evolved and how do you keep on top of it where you still keep people guessing but you don't piss off the fans where they start to resent you for it?

Matt Hardy: I mean, one of the most important things that I have learned, you certainly, you can't lie to the fans. They know when you're doing things in character and you're entertaining them, but you can't like flat out lie to them. I think that's a bad thing. You have to be honest. I mean people talk about internet or social media has damaged wrestling or taken away the surprise. I disagree. I think it's enhanced it in so many ways and it gives people that are utilizing it so many different options of dropping hints and breadcrumbs and red herrings and things that you're not sure what it is. And that's part of the fun of wrestling. It's the unpredictability and that's why I loved wrestling growing up.

Mike Johnson: Just the Young Bucks showing up coming out of the car. Nobody watching knew until it aired. I don't know when you filmed it. It could have been when AEW were in North Carolina, could've filmed it that the same day, could have been six months ago, but it didn't leak. I didn't know. I don't think anyone knew beforehand. That adds to the magic and brings back a little bit of that allure that's kind of missing at points these days.

Matt Hardy: It was very cool. I mean it had just been done recently and no one knew about it and bam, it really did. The reaction to that stuff was just insane. I mean that video is trending number two on YouTube worldwide, which is crazy. My wife was going, "I don't think you understand like what artists do to get a video like this to have it just talked about," and going on. So it was very cool that it had that kind of momentum and the next Free the Delete which should be an exclusive for you…

Mike Johnson: I was going to ask you what's next for you on the social media platforms.

Matt Hardy: That should drop this Wednesday. And basically I'm trying to get the Bucks to save me. Obviously my essence, which is people, when I reference Zenith, that's almost like my soul or my essence and from the injury and TNA where Jeff did the Swan town off the top of the zone of impact and he broke my brain and unlocked part of it where I could be aware of where my soul and track it was for the 2000 years it's been in existence, that soul Zenith is been infected by abomination which is if you watch the story it's kind of like what originally spun Sister Abigail and it has a couple other things rolled into it.  Ken again is in there as well. This is like taking over Zenith and it HAS slowly killed it. I'm going to see if the Bucks can save me or if they cannot save me, and that's going to be the next episode and that should be Wednesday.

Mike Johnson: Is Free The Delete going to continue every week or are we winding it down and that's sort of like the prequel to whatever you do next?

Matt Hardy: Yes.  Two more.

Mike Johnson:  How much, if you stay on the independents and you don't sign exclusively anywhere, how often do you want to wrestle at this point? You were talking earlier about how your body feels and I mentioned the bump card. I can't imagine you're going to want to be Tommy Dreamer working 40-50 days in a row a day on the road the way he does now.

Matt Hardy: No.

Mike Johnson: Which I think is insane, to be honest. And I’ve told him that privately so I don't feel bad saying it publicly….

Matt Hardy: That's okay. Tommy's insane. We all know that. [Laughs]

Mike Johnson: [Laughs] Completely insane!  But for you, what's a comfortable schedule for you at this point do you think in terms of working in the wrestling matches?

Matt Hardy: I mean I think limit them. I think maybe one big match every couple of weeks and I really want to work on my character and persona more than anything else. And I feel like too, if I end up going back to Broken Matt or if it ends up being an abomination, whatever I end up doing, I mean it will kind of have bits and pieces of the original Broken Matt, but it's definitely going to evolve, it's going to be different. And then I want to get into something that I feel like could be one of the most layered professional wrestling characters of all time. I have a killer idea.

Mike Johnson: Is that for Broken Matt itself or just a different take on a character we haven’t seen already?

Matt Hardy: A different take on Matt, but I mean Broken Matt, it would start with Broken Matt.

Mike Johnson:  Before we get out of here, first of all, thank you for sitting down with us a little bit and give us some much of your time. What's your message to everybody who's waiting to see what you do next and what's your message to those who are kind of disappointed you're not staying with WWE at this point?

Matt Hardy: I just want people to try and enjoy the ride, be present in the moment and try and enjoy the ride. It's almost like how I try and feel with my kids. I know they're going to get older and I want them to be little. I want to be able to go in the room and hug them and kiss them and say goodnight whenever I put them to bed every single night. But they're going to change, they're going to get older and I'm just trying to be present in those moments and enjoy the ride as we're doing it. And they're changing and evolving and our relationship changes. For fans, my advice, I would say just try and watch and try and enjoy it and I'm going to try and do all that I can to make it an entertaining ride for people.

Mike Johnson:  Well, we look forward to seeing it. I thank you for the thank you for the time and stay healthy and enjoy the ride yourself.

Matt Hardy: That's the plan.

Mike Johnson:  Matt, thank you so much for your time.

Matt Hardy: Thank you.

**

80’s Wrestling Con 3 takes place on Saturday, April 18th at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ from 10 AM to 3 PM featuring appearances by Honky Tonk Man, Zeus, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Lex Luger, Rock N’ Roll Express, “Dr. D” David Schultz, The Haiti Kid, Teddy Long, Dutch Mantell, The Conquistadors (Jose Luis Rivera & Jose Estrada), Sean Mooney, Larry Zbyszko, Sam Houston, “Polish Power” Ivan Putski, Tony Garea, Mike McGuirk, Ted Arcidi, and the daughter of Andre The Giant Robin Christensen-Roussimoff. Also appearances by Dean Malenko, The Ascension, Bill DeMott, Terri Runnels, and more! Tons of vendor tables, attractions, Q&A’s, and more! For more info visit 80sWrestlingCon.com and Email 80sWrestlingPics@gmail.com. Be a part of the biggest 80’s Wrestling Party ever!


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