“You can’t be afraid to take chances. … You can’t be afraid of the unknown.”
These wise words of advice come from perhaps soon-to-be former WWE Superstar Matt Hardy. Ol’ Matthew’s been all the buzz on all the pro wrestling chat rooms and sites recently with his compliments about TNA, comments about WWE not being the right place for him anymore and musings about the “next chapter” of his life.
Here’s the “Dirty Truth” about the Matt Hardy situation – Matt’s always been good at drawing attention to himself via social networking. He was on that bandwagon long before it had wheels. But if he wanted career advancement (ie. Become a singles World Champion), he really should have left WWE a long time ago. In fact, the argument can be made that he never should have returned after WWE fired him following that love triangle involving him, Edge and Lita.
Matt was never hotter than he was following his firing in wake of that real-life soap opera. Ring of Honor? TNA Wrestling? The marks and smarks were salivating, holding on to Matt’s every word, wondering where he would pop up and what he would say, as his online comments about his former best friend, the lady love of his life and the company that made him a star provided revolutionary, almost unheard of behind-the-scenes insight.
So what happened? Matt returned to WWE. And besides a few hot months of feuding with Edge and Lita (yes, WWE exploits any-and-everything – it’s smart business folks, even if not exactly ethical), he got absolutely nothing in the years that followed. Yes, Matthew enjoyed a few titles – the U.S., ECW and tag team titles, to be exact – but let’s face it, folks. Those titles mean nothing in the modern-day WWE. Unless you enjoy status of someone like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and to an extent, John Cena – Superstars who don’t need to hold a belt – the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships are all that matter in Vince World. Everything else is an afterthought.
And that’s precisely what Matt became in WWE – an afterthought. A bitch. The fans loved him – arenas rocked whenever he made entrances – but that didn’t buy him the affection of the office. He took it lying down (literally) when Edge and Lita won the storyline/on-camera version of their feud and watched the Rated-R Superstar win world championships several times over. He watched his drug-addled, ungrateful younger brother get opportunities and waste them and get them again until he was ultimately rewarded for bad behavior with the WWE and World Championships.
Despite his comparatively well-behaved and what did he get? The bronze medal; sometimes a silver. But he was never considered “main event material” in WWE. In fact, in recent years, if you were young and needed a boost to the top, Matt was your stepping stone. Drew McIntyre and Zack Ziggler owe the older Hardy boy a lot of thanks.
So why did Matt stay with WWE? Maybe it was a sense of loyalty. But maybe he thought that TNA couldn’t make him a bigger star. TNA has never produced a star bigger than any WWE wrestler. What do I mean by this? AJ Styles is a home-grown TNA wrestler. He has held their world championship and is more talented than Matt Hardy. But he is not a bigger star.
Dear Matthew is still a young man in his mid-thirties with untapped potential. Let’s hope that he gets what he wants and is able to move on, even if it’s outside the pro wrestling ring. Sometimes it seems pro wrestlers get tunnel vision and just can’t walk away. (See Ric Flair and Mick Foley. I love those guys, but they have long-overstayed their welcome. Go A-WAY and enjoy your lives.)
It’s time for Matt to have a clean slate. But if he doesn’t take a chance and returns to his “comfort zone” in WWE, then he needs to shut the fuck up. And that’s “The Dirty Truth.”
– Mmc (Mocha Mr. Clean)