Matt Hardy Talks About Setting The Bar Too High, First WWE Appearances and More
Former WWE Star Matt Hardy recently spoke with Shining Wizards Podcast. Here are some highlights.
On his match with Shane Douglas being a battle of former ECW Champions from different incarnations: “I think we both have something to prove. We both have mutual respect for one another, but that being said neither one of us are gonna pull any punches when it comes to getting the W and looking good. Shane is probably the most well-known, recognized World Champion of the original ECW, and when WWE recreated it, it was ECW to an extent, and I felt I was one of the better ECW Champions. Two guys from two different eras, and I know when Shane gets in the ring he’s got something to prove. Shane is probably the best champion from the original ECW, but I have something to prove.”
On his first appearances in WWE with his brother: “We met a guy who was in independent wrestler, and he wrestled primarily for the Italian Stallion. We worked every Friday and Saturday, basically for free, learning the psychology and terminology of the business. Every few months, he would take guys to WWE for TV as extras. The main goal of my brother and I was to work hard to show what we have, even if we weren’t featured. We tried to make the talent look as good as possible.”
On whether he and his brother raised the bar too high: “We definitely raised the bar too high that we made it harder for everyone else to get near it, even ourselves. We tried to make each match better. Jeff and I wrestled in ladder matches up and down the East Coast on the independents. It was our idea (in WWE), we pitched that. Then Edge and Christian were two guys that worked like us, and had the athleticism and the intestinal fortitude to compete in these matches, and they were magical. No Mercy 1999 we turned the corner and went from WWE wrestlers to WWE Superstars. We had no idea how historic that match would be. This led to matches with the Dudleys, the TLC matches, and how far we went with that.”
On the current state of tag team wrestling: “It would be nice if tag team wrestling came back. I saw Raw recently. Primo and Epico wrestled, and they’re a good tag team, and they end up getting beat. And then the Usos wrestled, who I think could be really good, and they lost as well, and the teams that beat them were two singles guys thrown together. This is when these guys get wasted, and then when they don’t get over as a tag team, they look at them like it’s their fault. The talent has to provide, but it’s the people that put them there that makes a huge difference as to whether they succeed or not. If you put them in a position to fail, and people aren’t going to believe in them, it’s your fault as well. You can’t just blame the talent if you don’t book them in good positioning.”