In a recent revelation on his podcast, "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," the AEW star delved into the dynamics of his wrestling personas and interactions with WWE executives, particularly Vince McMahon. Hardy, known for his innovative and often controversial gimmicks, highlighted the journey of his "Broken" Matt Hardy character, a persona that gained immense popularity in the wrestling world.
The "Broken" Matt Hardy character, initially introduced in 2016 on IMPACT, quickly became a fan favorite, enhancing Hardy's status in the wrestling industry. However, when Hardy transitioned to WWE, he had to modify the gimmick to "Woken" Matt Hardy due to intellectual property rights.
Despite this alteration, Hardy brought back elements of his "Broken" persona during his AEW debut, resonating with long-time fans. During his podcast, Hardy shared insights from a pivotal 2017 conversation with Triple H regarding his WWE return.
Triple H proposed a revival of the Hardy Boyz, the legendary tag team comprising Matt and his brother Jeff, followed by a potential exploration of the "Broken" gimmick. "I remember talking to Triple H, and he said, 'Maybe we could do a Hardy Boyz run, kind of a throwback, and then maybe we get into the Broken Matt Hardy a little bit?'" Hardy recalled.
McMahon Embraces 'Woken'
However, this idea initially faced resistance from Vince McMahon, who preferred focusing solely on the Hardy Boyz legacy. McMahon's stance shifted after witnessing the overwhelming popularity of Hardy's "Delete" catchphrase among fans.
This led to the birth of the "Woken" Matt Hardy character in WWE. "We sat down, and we talked for 30 minutes about what the character was. Vince said, 'They keep doing delete-delete-delete, they won't stop! I guess we got to give it to 'em,'" Hardy shared, revealing McMahon's eventual acquiescence.
In addition to discussing his character's evolution, Hardy also reflected on the year's significant moments in wrestling. He awarded the "Extreme Moment of 2023" to CM Punk's unexpected return to WWE at Survivor Series. This event, according to Hardy, stood out due to its sheer unpredictability and the excitement it generated among wrestling enthusiasts.
"It was a surprise no one knew was going down. There had been so much speculation, and then it does happen," Hardy expressed, highlighting the impact of Punk's return. Despite the current standings of the Hardy brothers in AEW, their influence on the wrestling industry remains undisputed.
Fans continue to regard them as iconic figures in wrestling, testament to their enduring legacy and the ever-evolving nature of their personas.