Former eight-time World Tag Team Champion, former ECW Champion, & former WWE United States Champion, Matt Hardy, was the featured guest on this week’s live edition (12/13/10) of the award-winning Monday Night Mayhem.
You can listen to an MP3 of Matt Hardy’s appearance on Monday Night Mayhem by clicking here.
Interview highlights courtesy of The Mayhem’s official correspondent, Paterson from New Jersey:
Why he felt he needed to break ties with the WWE, his transition over the past two months, & where he feels he’s at mentally/physically/emotionally right now:
“It’s been nice for me, because I needed to get away. One, my body was just so beat up and so abused. One thing with Jeff was that he took some time off during his run with WWE. I never did. The only time I was out was when I was injured, and during that time, I was doing intense rehab, so I had twelve and a half years straight that I worked everyday. I missed one day during that whole while, and that was when my girlfriend at the time was having neck surgery. Besides that, I never missed a show. I never asked off for a day. I worked hurt, I worked through injuries, and it just came to a point that I felt like between where I was at being utilized on TV, and the injuries catching up with me, and me not being in the top condition I needed to be at that I needed to take time off or get away. I started talking about possibly getting some time off or getting a release, and I eventually did what I had to do to get a break. I’m happy about it, I’m been happier & healthier physically, mentally, & emotionally than I’ve been in a long, long time. I’ve really enjoyed just having my own schedule. It’s been a blast. I’ve just been loving life. The last couple of months have been two of the greatest months of my life.”
The “constant battle” he was facing creatively while at the WWE, how mental exhaustion factored into his decision to want to leave the company, how Christian is “in the same boat” with him, & why he passionately feels that “if you don’t love the business, you will not last there” (the WWE):
“It’s a constant battle. To begin with, myself & Christian kind of sit in the same boat in a lot of ways. We’re two guys who worked for a long time to earn the respect of the fans over the years. We can go out with pretty much anyone and figure out how a way to make the match good or entertaining. We’re very reliable. The deal was actually myself & Christian were starting up a storyline, and we had both put in so much time, and thought, & effort. We had given so many ideas and had written down ideas, storyline, & angles. We kept getting green lights, but then, just all of sudden, they just dropped it, and it stopped. When you have something like that, where they ask you to contribute, or they ask you to give ideas, and then when you take time when you only have a day & a half at home, and you spend your time all focused on that, and you really give your blood, sweat, & tears to it, and you’re going to give them the best idea & the best storyline possible, and you’re really emotionally attached to it, and you give it to them, and all of a sudden they just go ‘OK, well this is great, but we’re not going to do it.’ That’s very mentally & emotionally draining and fatiguing. That happens all the time there, and it gets to the point where you just go ‘Well ok, maybe it’s just easiest for me to just show up, and do my job, and not care, and not be passionate’. They ask you to be passionate, but if you get that ripped out of your hands so many times when you had these great ideas, it’s really easy for you to lose your passion. If you don’t love the business, you will not last there. That’s one thing I can tell you.”
His in-ring future in 2011: Whether him showing up in TNA alongside his brother (Jeff Hardy) is a foregone conclusion and/or if he would consider exploring the opportunity to work with Ring of Honor in the new year:
“Obviously, that’s naturally where people’s thoughts are going to go, and you can’t blame them for that. Obviously, that’s not something I would say that isn’t crazy or isn’t out of the question at all. Jeff’s done well there and had a lot of success, and ever since 2005, I’ve actually maintained a very good relationship with Dixie Carter, so that’s a possibility, but who knows. I definitely haven’t locked anything in stone yet. You also mentioned Ring of Honor. I think Cary (Silkin) does a great job with those guys. He reminds me, on a smaller level & a smaller budget, like the old ECW crew, because he’ll have guys that are really good, and then, all of sudden, TNA or WWE will suck up his top stars, and he’ll have to build some more guys. I really appreciate that fact, and I appreciate that there are territories & smaller organizations out there that are still building talent for the future. It would be great if Ring of Honor could get a more prominent television following as they go.”
Setting the record straight on the Internet reports from last Sunday’s TNA Final Resolution Pay-Per-View involving his brother, the story creating a life of its own online, & the latest update on Jeff’s status:
“Jeff’s doing great. The whole thing with that scenario was so blown out of proportions it was crazy. Jeff’s been working on the road with a full schedule for TNA. He actually has a deal where he doesn’t have to do every show, but since Jeff is the champion, he has committed himself to the product & the company. He really believes in them, and he actually said that he would do all the shows that he possibly can for them. It was very cool that they allowed him to be off during the last half of the month of October when his child was born. Basically he did the house shows, they flew over to do the shows over in Abu Dhabi, flew back over, he was at home for less than 24 hours, he flew to Detroit where he had to do a lot of promotion that day for an appearance at a Monster Truck deal thing, he went to the Monster Truck thing that night, slept two or three hours, he had to go to Orlando and actually go straight to the building when he got in, because he had three Make-A-Wishes that morning. He met his Make-A-Wish kids, and instead of going back to the hotel to crash and sleep there where he was afraid he was going to oversleep and not make it back to the building before call time, he actually crashed in one of the executive’s offices there, and was just sleeping to catch up on sleep, someone walked in, saw him sleeping, and from there, the story got exaggerated & blown out of proportion, because that morning he was taking a nap that he ‘wasn’t in a condition to wrestle.’ Anyone who watched the match could obviously tell that he was 100% fine. He actually had a hell of a match with Matt Morgan that night, and I thought he did a great job.”
Why the WWE is “going to find themselves in a really strange position” in the next several years, “the changing of the guard,” in the industry, & his take on the recent online debate/argument of the push of the WWE’s recent “youth movement”:
“The business is in a really weird position now, where there’s really getting to be a changing of the guard. The Undertakers, the Triple H’s, the Shawn Michaels, who’s retired already, those guys are really & truly on their last legs. It has to be new guys that completely uprise and come around. The WWE is going to find themselves in a really strange position in the couple of years, because they have pushed this youth movement. Kevin Nash made a statement saying ‘Youth isn’t what sells.’ I think that myself & Christian were two guys who have gained the respect of the fans. People know us, and they respect us, and we’re very believable in the ring. You have to take guys like that, and you have to utilize those guys and get the most out of them. You can’t take new guys, just because they are fresh faces, and expect the fans to accept them, and appreciate them, and buy tickets for them overnight. The WWE has tried to do that youth movement; you could do that, but there has to be a very fine line: a mixture of veterans & younger guys. It’s funny, because I know Kevin Nash had one side & Chris Jericho had one side, and I kind of fell in the middle of both of those (to the argument/debate). I think you truly need a combination. I think the WWE is trying to push so many young guys at one time right now that they’re going to find themselves in a really weird spot in a year or so, where all of their older stars that are extremely over, if you have an injury to a John Cena or a Randy Orton, you’re in a tough situation.”
*Spoiler* MAJOR Change To Top Matches At Sunday’s TLC PPV
(Credit to Monday Night Mayhem for this interview)