Matt Hardy, legendary tag team wrestler, talks about his current role in AEW not for his own glory but to nurture the budding talent of the next generation of performers. Having a celebrated 30-year career in wrestling, alongside his younger brother Jeff, they've held championship titles in WWE, TNA, and Ring of Honor.
However, they are currently using their experience and skills to contribute to the growth of AEW's future stars. In a recent interaction with Sports Illustrated, Hardy took a trip down memory lane to the times when he competed against Austin and Colten Gunn, sons of WWE Hall of Famer, Billy Gunn.
He recalled the Gunns as children around the same age as his own kids are now, and expressed his enthusiasm about being able to compete with them today. Hardy emphasized his passion for nurturing young talent, a trait he and his brother pledged to carry forward, contrasting with the reluctance of some older talent in his early career.
Hardy believes it is the responsibility of seasoned wrestlers to help younger performers rise in their careers. "We cannot escape the grasp of time, as age brings inevitable change. We need to adapt and make the most out of it.
If older talent do not give back, the business will cease to grow. Today's young talents are the legacy of the veterans, and it is essential to continue this cycle for the sustenance of wrestling," Hardy pointed out. He has also been instrumental in guiding the careers of young duo, Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen, known as Private Party, for the past 18 months.
Hardy's consistent participation in multiple matches with Private Party has significantly aided their ongoing development in AEW.
Hardy's Torch Pass to Young Bucks
In the realm of tag team wrestling, the Hardy Boyz are rivaled by very few, including the dynamic duo, the Young Bucks.
Having collaborated with them in ROH in 2017, both teams now serve Tony Khan at AEW. Hardy feels the baton was successfully passed to the Young Bucks six years ago, which paved the way for the foundation of AEW in 2019. Recalling his interaction with the Young Bucks, Hardy said, "Before we made our WWE return at WrestleMania 33, we wrestled the Bucks at the Supercard of Honor.
That night, I told Matt and Nick, 'Tell the world that you beat the Hardys for the ROH World Tag Team Titles. That's the way pro wrestling thrives.' " He recently encouraged fans to give due credit to the Young Bucks and "Hangman" Adam Page, resulting in a heated back-and-forth with Jim Cornette and Brian Last.