In a recent episode of his podcast, wrestling icon Matt Hardy voiced his perplexity regarding his limited role in All Elite Wrestling (AEW) programming. This expression of discontent echoes a similar sentiment recently shared by fellow wrestler Britt Baker concerning her restricted live promo opportunities in AEW.
Bully Ray, a WWE Hall of Famer and co-host of "Busted Open Radio," sympathized with Hardy’s frustrations during a recent broadcast.
Bully Ray's Hardy Stance
Bully Ray, reflecting on Hardy's legendary status as one-half of the Hardy Boys, questioned the utilization of such a storied tag team in the current AEW landscape.
"If I'm Matt Hardy, part of one of the greatest tag teams in history, I'd certainly be wondering why we're being used in this manner," Bully Ray remarked. He also defended Hardy's choice to publicly discuss these issues on his podcast, a stance that starkly contrasts his previous criticism of Baker's decision to air her grievances on social media rather than directly with AEW CEO Tony Khan.
Eric Bischoff, another Hall of Famer, concurred with the sentiment that the root of both Baker and Hardy's concerns lies in AEW's approach to character development and storytelling. Bischoff believes that more focused attention from Khan could potentially resolve these issues.
Hardy himself shares Bischoff's perspective, advocating for AEW to incorporate more character-driven and entertainment-focused elements in their programming. The first half of 2023 saw the Hardy Boys’ absence from the ring, largely due to Jeff Hardy's recovery from eye surgery.
However, Matt Hardy, a former WWE Champion, has now declared his readiness to return to full-time wrestling. This brewing unease among AEW's top talent underscores the challenges faced by the organization in balancing character development with the competitive nature of professional wrestling.
As AEW continues to evolve, the management's response to these concerns could be pivotal in shaping the future of its programming and its relationship with its star performers.