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90s WWE legend defends ‘polarising’ character after fan backlash-Alistair McGeorge-Entertainment – Metro

The TNA Wrestling star breaks down his iconic persona.

90s WWE legend defends ‘polarising’ character after fan backlash-Alistair McGeorge-Entertainment – Metro

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Matt Hardy is back in TNA Wrestling and looking forward to a new chapter in the Broken Universe.

The 49-year-old legend, who rose to fame in the late 1990s as one half of the Hardy Boyz tag team in WWE with his real life brother Jeff, recently returned to TNA in his deranged persona which was created during his previous run with the company.

Speaking exclusively to, Matt admitted the character ‘was a huge risk’ when he and Jeff brought the Broken Universe to life in 2016, four years before the pandemic forced other promotions to embrace cinematic matches.

‘I think myself and Jeff really, really bet on ourselves when we did that,’ he said, recalling The Final Deletion and the first time fans saw the ‘unedited, unseen contract signing’ for the bizarre bout.

‘It was so polarising,’ he admitted. ‘People either thought it was the greatest thing they’ve ever seen in their life and reminded them of old school wrestling, you know, back when stuff was over the top and hokey.

‘Or they’re like, “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. This is disgraceful”, whatever. But it commanded so much emotion, we knew that we had tapped into something because people cared one way or the other.’

Broken Matt Hardy has returned home (Picture: TNA Wrestling)

He laid out world champion Moose at Rebellion earlier this month (Picture: TNA Wrestling)

The character and the universe has spanned promotions, as the former world champion would later bring Woken Matt to WWE to an incredible ovation when he and Jeff returned at WrestleMania 33 in 2017, showing ‘how impactful’ their time in TNA had been.

‘There’s always different ways to tell stories,’ he added of the character’s widespread appeal. ‘Having matches on your property because it is a magical fabled land, I think that’s a way of telling a story in the Hardy Compound.

‘The Lake of Reincarnation, that became a huge character in the whole story arc of the Broken Universe.’

Matt is still a free agent after failing to come to terms on a new deal with All Elite Wrestling, and this TNA spell marks his first full return to the company as Broken Matt in seven years.

He is edging back to his Broken ways (Picture: TNA Wrestling)

Matt has promised fans a fresh take on the character (Picture: TNA Wrestling)

‘I hate how we ended when things went down at the very end,’ he pondered on his last full run, without going into too many details on the situation.

It’s now time to push Broken Matt to another level, and add more layers to the character by showing the lines between ‘regular’ Matt and his unhinged alter ego.

‘It’s almost like Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk. When I reach my breaking point, then I turned into a monster,’ he explained. ‘You wouldn’t like me when I’m broken.’

Matt is adamant the character develops rather than resting on nostalgia, while he’s still delighted to be revisiting such an inspiring persona.

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Matt even brought the Ultimate Deletion to WWE (Picture: WWE)

He described the initial run in 2016 and 2017 as ‘the most fun’ he’s had in over 30 years in wrestling, with ‘the creativity just flowing out’ of himself, Jeff and TNA team, while he still gives a nod to Jeremy Borash for his influence.

Now, it’s a new era for TNA and Matt, who has effectively grown up in front of the world after debuting at a relatively young age in WWE, and getting to grips with fame.

‘I accepted the part of being a professional wrestler is that you are you do have some sort of fame or notoriety and you’re going to be in the public eye, and people are going to come out and talk to you,’ he said, admitting it’s almost something he ‘wanted in a way’.

‘If I’m out with my family and people are going to wait till we’re finished eating, they come over, I’m always happy to oblige them,’ he explained. ‘I feel like that is kind of what I owe them for being so supportive of me over the years.’

Matt and Jeff made their names by risking it all in the ring (Picture: WWE)

However, Matt has more than given back, particularly with the way he’s risked his body and even life with his and Jeff’s daredevil antics throughout their career.

‘I remember back at the first TLC match [in 2000], whenever I was dumped off the ladder backwards and I fell backwards over the top rope right before the barricade through two tables, I was so concerned,’ he admitted.

‘We tried to measure it out and make sure it was going to be safe, but you go too far back, boom, that’s like a broken neck.’

Broken Matt will be in action this week at Under Siege (Picture: TNA Wrestling)

He’s at a different point in his career now, taking ‘more calculated risks’, and focusing on other elements of storytelling, such as his surprise reemergence at TNA’s Rebellion show earlier this month.

‘I hid out all day at the building just to make sure I didn’t get out and people didn’t see,’ he said, knowing how quickly word would spread. ‘That that was very important to me.’

As for his goals, it’s very simple.

‘I won the TNA World Title as Matt Hardy, one half of the Hardy Boys. I won the TNA World Title as “Big Money Matt”, but I never won it as Broken Matt Hardy,’ he pointed out. ‘That is my reason for being back in TNA.’

TNA Wrestling: Under Siege is available to stream live via TrillerTV. TNA fans around the world can watch Impact every week on TNA+, DAZN and YouTube Insiders.

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