Matt Hardy Discusses His Frustrations With The Hardys’ AEW Run

Pro wrestling veteran Matt Hardy took to an episode of his “Extreme Life of Matt Hardy” podcast, where he talked about a number of topics including his and his brother Jeff Hardy’s frustrations in AEW during their run with the company.

Matt Hardy said, “I feel like one of the issues in AEW — and I said this before on Busted Open earlier today. Like, when we first came in and first getting used we were in a good spot, it was very cool what we were doing. I liked what Tony [Khan] was doing with us, and we were on the path to win the titles. And then Jeff got in trouble; Jeff messed up. And that was all on Jeff, that was not on Tony, that was not on AEW, that was on Jeff. And it just is what it is. So I did my thing, Jeff went and got himself right. Whenever he came back, you know, I figured, ‘Oh, it will probably take a couple of months, two to three months to prove himself.’ Because I knew where Jeff was here in his head, I knew what kind of positive headspace he was in and how good of a place he was in. I said ‘It’ll probably take two or three months to like earn the trust back of these people, and then maybe we’ll be off and running.’ But just — after Jeff came back, we didn’t win any tag team matches for a year. It’s crazy. We’re the Hardys; we didn’t win a tag team match on TV in a year. And I mean, I brought this point up like, ‘What are we doing? Like we need — just to give us a win. We don’t need to be the champions, we don’t need to be undefeated. But just like, we need a win at some point.’ And it was just very frustrating.”

“And whenever — Jeff did a deal where he wrestled Darby because Sting got hurt, and they switched it up and they made a — we were going to be teaming some more with Mark Briscoe. We’re talking about doing six mans or tags, whatever. All these matches were on the table. And I just wanted a story more than anything else. I wanted to get into some sort of story that we could sink our teeth into, that we could like take our characters and gravitate towards, and really put in the work. You know, we were up for turning heel. We were up for being, you know, this larger-than-life tag team that almost buys into ‘They’re the greatest tag team of all time.’ And almost like parody the stuff, and do it so big and over the top that I think could even got over as babyfaces. But we didn’t end up doing that. We didn’t get the full opportunity to follow through with that. And then Jeff started having singles matches. And after every singles match, he’d come up to me like, ‘Why am I doing singles matches? Why are we not teaming? We’re like the Hardys, right? We’re like the Hardy Boys. Like why are we not a team and why am I doing these singles?’”

On criticism from fans online:

“I just think at the end of the day, a lot of the internet people that give us a hard time because we’re older, we are of advanced age, whatever it may be, they’re just critical. They’re just like, ‘Get these guys out of here, let them move on, whatever.’ But there’s no denying that every night we would come out in AEW, it was one of the biggest pops of the night. And the people who actually paid to purchase tickets were happy to see us. And they would chant for us, they would cheer for us. And they were all about it every single time.”

“But I don’t know. I just think in AEW, Tony Khan was just more focused on having a great five-star match or a great banger than utilizing us as the Hardys and like legends, which I think we could have been utilized in a smart capacity that would have optimized our performance. And you still had these generational performers that all this audience is still big fans of. You know, we have a huge fan base. Every week we’re out, we have a huge fan base. And there were people that would start telling us at cons too during that time, during the end of our AEW run. They said, ‘Yeah, so like, since you’re not on, you guys never really do anything good, we’ve come to stop watching.’ And I mean, that’s our fans, not AEW fans in general. That’s our fans. So I don’t know; it was frustrating. But at the end of the day, I ended up leaving, Jeff ended up leaving. And we’re very happy that we’re somewhere where we’re being utilized, and we’re going to be able to be optimized to be as good as we possibly can be.”

On trying to stay motivated in AEW:

“I mean, it was just hard to stay motivated towards the end of that even there, you know. Much like, I just knew I had an opportunity to do something [in TNA]. I just went in and like main evented a PPV, and like we killed that. The numbers were up for that. The episode that we were in, we did a silly Hardy Compound episode, which the numbers were up for that, you know, which there was buzz. And they’re generating some stuff, the Slammiversary tickets are like 2,300 tickets sold which is amazing.”

“But yeah, it’s one of those things. I feel like if you have the Hardy Boys, one of the most popular tag teams — if not the most popular overall when it comes to merchandise. If you can’t find a way to utilize us and fit us into your product in a positive way in some way, I think that’s problematic.”

You can check out the complete podcast in the video below.

(H/T to for transcribing the above quotes)