AEW wrestler and seasoned pro Matt Hardy recently reflected on his illustrious career spanning over three decades, encompassing stints in WWE, ROH, TNA, and his current home, AEW. Despite his vast experience, there is one particular match that fills him with an overwhelming sense of pride whenever it is brought up—the Double or Nothing Stadium Stampede Match of 2020.
In an exclusive interview with the reputable publication, Daily Mail, Hardy delved into the genesis and significance of this innovative bout that emerged during the challenging pandemic era.
Pandemic Sparks Unforgettable Stadium Stampede
Expressing his pride, Hardy emphasized the Stadium Stampede as an exceptional creation arising from the unique circumstances presented by the pandemic.
Recalling the initial proposal by Tony Khan, the founder of AEW, Hardy revealed that there was initial uncertainty surrounding the match's nature and execution. However, once the match began, it unfolded into an enthralling spectacle that captivated wrestling fans worldwide.
The five-on-five encounter, which lasted approximately 34 minutes (or 45 minutes according to Hardy's estimation), saw Hardy team up with The Elite—comprising Adam Page, the Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega—to triumph over The Inner Circle, a dominant faction led by the legendary Chris Jericho.
This captivating clash took place within the confines of an empty TIAA Bank Field, serving as an unconventional wrestling venue. Although the Stadium Stampede Match garnered some criticism, particularly for a segment involving a simulated drowning, Jericho himself acknowledged that certain elements might have been altered upon reflection.
Despite any potential shortcomings, Hardy remained immensely proud of the match and the efforts of everyone involved. He acknowledged the unique opportunity presented by utilizing the Jacksonville Jaguars' stadium, highlighting how the wrestlers maximized their surroundings to deliver an unforgettable performance.
Looking back on the event, Hardy expressed a deep sense of pride in their ability to provide entertainment when the world was grappling with the surreal challenges of the pandemic. For him, the Stadium Stampede Match represented the epitome of escapism, offering a much-needed respite and allowing fans to immerse themselves in the magic of professional wrestling.