LaBar: Q&A with Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy is one of the most recognizable and polarizing names ever in the wrestling business.
He has been an innovator in more ways than one. He revolutionized dangerous ladder matches with his brother Jeff in WWE dating to 2000. In the last few years, he has been paving a new business model as an independent wrestler appearing on national television but still having control of his schedule and bookings.
Now, Hardy is working for TNA Impact wrestling and doing some of his best work as a singles star. He has been involved in a rivalry with current TNA champion Ethan Carter III.
I recently spoke to Hardy about several topics in his career.
Question: Matt, you’ve worked a lot with EC3. Does this kid have something special?
Answer: He does. He absolutely has something special. It’s been very enjoyable for me to work with someone who is a known talent and had a breakthrough year. Someone who has the ability, skills and also the acumen he has at such a young age. He’s got a ton of potential. He’s going to be around for a long time and be a special entity in professional wrestling.
Q: Why do you think it took the time for him to fully blossom? Opportunity? Finding his voice?
A: To begin with, most people know he was in the WWE developmental system for a while. It’s just one of those things where they slapped something on him, and he made the most of it. He was never given a true opportunity to shine, let his true personality and true persona come through. Once he got to TNA, they found a gig and he really worked hard to develop it. He’s really gotten into a great niche where he’s found himself. When he performs as Ethan Carter III, he totally feels comfortable. It’s an extension of himself. He knows who he is. That’s very important to be a believable wrestling character in 2015, to know who you are and be comfortable in your own boots.
Q: Do you have a favorite announce team calling one of your matches?
A: This announce team, I love together and thought they were great. They called some of our matches, and that was Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. It was a huge mound of information coming from those two. Also, they were very entertaining when they interacted with each other. It was a short-lived team in WWE, but I thought they were great together.
Q: Speaking of Paul Heyman, was there any possibility of you guys going over to his ECW in the mid- to late-1990s?
A: We were very close to having tryouts and working for ECW right before we eventually got signed by WWE. We were set to go work for those guys coming up, but eventually when we signed with WWE we had to cancel our stuff going forward. Who knows what would have happened. Looking back, we were at a point in our career, we were still doing stuff that would have fit in well with ECW. If we hadn’t signed with WWE when we did, there is a good chance we would have ended up on the ECW roster and that Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz match would have happened a couple years before it happened in WWE.
Q: Dudley Boyz just returned to WWE. Edge and Christian were just on Stone Cold’s podcast. There’s been a lot of rumors, what’s the likelihood of a WWE return?
A: I think the WWE and Hardy Boyz have all matured and evolved over time. Right now, Jeff and I have some time to finish up at TNA, and we both really enjoy TNA. They’ve been absolutely great to me. But never say never. I would definitely say it’s a possibility at some point. I don’t have an end game. What happens is what happens. I just want the Matt Hardy fans to support Matt Hardy wherever he is. I want them to enjoy Matt Hardy wherever he is. I’ll say this, when it’s all said and done — I want to finish up and do one last hurrah at WWE and the Hall of Fame. Depending what happens on top of that, I don’t know, we’ll see.
Click here to listen to the full audio of this conversation features more questions for Matt including his favorite city to wrestle in, least favorite city, favorite referee and more.
You’ll be able to see Matt Hardy vs. EC3 on Saturday night at Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon. Tickets start at $15, a great value to see this battle of veteran Hardy versus the younger, brash Champion in Carter. Many other stars will also appear including Matt’s brother Jeff Hardy and Pittsburgh’s own Kurt Angle. ProTix.com to purchase tickets.
Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or firstname.lastname@example.org.