Matt Hardy Speaks Out About Unprotected Chair Shots Hurting His Memory

AEW star Matt Hardy recently spoke on his podcast, “the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy,” about a variety of professional wrestling topics including the AEW ranking system that was brought back by Tony Khan this month:

“When you have two great football teams facing one another, I mean, there can be an upset. One team may be predicted to win. When you have two great Major League Baseball teams playing, there can be an upset. I mean, these guys are professionals. I think when you have two great wrestlers, you can have anybody beat anybody on any given night and I do think that’s important. If you have a handful of guys that you’re putting all your eggs in a basket, and those are the guys who are going to sit in the rankings over and over again, then you take credibility away from other people. The thing about pro wrestling, it’s just, you know, at the end of the day, it’s still entertainment. There’s a lot of athleticism in it, but you have to remember to blend the entertainment aspect so you have acts that are super popular, and people like to see them and people will pay to see them, but you can’t just shut them out because they don’t win matches. That’s what that ranking system can do, and when you do it like that, it becomes a losing scenario.”

Why The Jackyl (Don Callis) did not last in WWE:

“In ’97, ’98, I remember hearing from people in the dressing room who said, ‘If the boys don’t like you, if you’re not accepted by the boys, and people don’t feel like you fit into this dressing room, then the office will get rid of you.’ So it was very important that you would fit in. One person that kind of comes to mind that really got a bad rap, and I don’t know if he just rubbed people the wrong way or whatever, was Don Callis when he was there as the Jackal. They ended up sticking him with JBL and Ron Simmons. It was so contentious with him and he had issues with, you know, the JBLs and the Takers, whatever. but then the office said, ‘Well, it’s not working out. What’s going on?’ This is once again him just like voicing his opinion to these guys as opposed to I guess, you know, succumbing to them or whatever. They said, ‘Okay, well we’re gonna have to part ways with you’, and he ended up being released ultimately out of that, or I think his deal was up or whatever, but that kind of ended up being his downfall at the end of the day.”

What he thinks about the damage he may have from the unprotected chair shots he took in his career:

“I think about it all the time. I know my memory is nowhere near as good as it used to be. I am not as fast as I used to be. It’s crazy, but like these cold plunges I’ve been doing, I feel like they’ve helped my memory. They’ve been very good for my brain as well. I have thought about it a lot and how I’m going to be. I feel like one of the important things is that I am aware, so that allows me to still do things to protect myself. Like, I don’t take crazy bumps on my head. These AEW fans, you know, if they’re looking for me to go out there and take this high angle bump on my head, I’m just not gonna do it. I wrestle a solid, clean match. That’s what I do, but I do protect myself. I mean, I have more than sacrificed so much of myself for the pro wrestling business. It’s my job to go out there, and I’m an entertainer more than an athlete in this day and age. I can still go out there and do my thing, but I’m not going to take things that are risky, and something that I think could hurt me bad because I need to be around as long as I can possibly be for my kids.”

You can check out the complete podcast below:

(h/t to for the transcription)