After a couple of months of speculation, Matt Hardy appears to have retired from professional wrestling. The Woken One competed alongside Bray Wyatt at a WWE Live event in Corpus Christi, Texas this weekend and revealed on Twitter after the fact that he would be stepping away from the ring. In fact, he admitted that the match he had just had would probably be the last time he ever competes for WWE. As always, however, Hardy's tweets can be taken more than one way. The former Tag Team Champion is extremely active on Twitter and being the veteran wrestler that he is, he rarely gives a black and white answer.
The speculation about Hardy's potential retirement began back in July of this year. He and Bray Wyatt lost the Raw Tag Team Titles to The B-Team at Extreme Rules. A week later the aptly named Deleters Of Worlds lost their obligatory rematch, and another week after that they lost again, this time to The Revival. It was at that point that Hardy shared with fans on Twitter that he was suffering from an injury brought about by decades in the business. His lower back had begun to fuse with his pelvis, so pretty nasty stuff.
This maneuver was called EVENT OMEGA..— MATTHEW MOORE HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) August 4, 2018
And is most likely the reason that I’ve recently learned that my lower back & pelvis have started fusing together. pic.twitter.com/FzYebvIIc0
After that revelation fans begun to question whether we would ever see Hardy wrestle again. There was no word on whether his condition could be reversed or even stopped, just that it was happening and the assumption that continuing to wrestle would just make things worse. However, on August 13 Hardy returned to Raw for one more match against the now former Tag Team Champions who had taken their titles from them. Hardy and Wyatt lost again and until now, that's the last time the veteran wrestler competed on WWE television. Hardy hasn't been sat at home, though. The former Impact World Champion has reportedly been shadowing producers backstage at WWE with a view to becoming one himself. He apparently played a producing role on a match at this year's SummerSlam.
You only have to look at the last few years of Hardy's career to see why he would be valuable to keep around in a backstage role. He has a great pro-wrestling mind and WWE is clearly very aware of that. Despite the producer news, however, there was still no word on whether Hardy was done between the ropes, until this weekend. The mind behind The Ultimate Deletion has continued to work WWE live events, but revealed on Twitter this past Saturday that the show in Corpus Christi would be his last. Hardy first tweeted that the fans should get behind his partner Wyatt going forward, and then posted a video. The clip features himself revealing that he will likely never compete in a WWE ring again, and when asked what next he simply said that it was time to go home to his family.
Thanks for the massive love tonight, #WWECorpusChristi.. I fulfilled my final advertised live event commitment.— MATTHEW MOORE HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) September 16, 2018
Please support my partner, @WWEBrayWyatt, going forward. He’s outrageously talented & we’ve become kindred souls during our time teaming together. Thank you, SAMAEL. https://t.co/YI70qHpGOJ
What's interesting about his tweets, videos, and comments so far is that Hardy hasn't actually said the word retire in any way, and we don't think that's an accident. His avoidance of the word could mean two things. Either Daniel Bryan has set a precedent and that where possible, wrestlers no longer want to commit to being retired, or this is all part of an elaborate angle. Hardy has given the wrong message to fans before. In 2011, while not under contract with any wrestling promotion, he posted a message on YouTube that made fans think he was about to commit suicide. While this back injury isn't as intense as that, there is the very real possibility that Hardy is simply building to something.
[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO] It's time for me to go home.. To be a father and a husband. I did so much more than I ever imagined I would do in this industry. Thanks for making this incredible journey with me, ladies and gentlemen. I love you all. https://t.co/xGbm8bKSQD— MATTHEW MOORE HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) September 16, 2018
Hardy is a veteran of the business who is invested in both his character and the tradition of the wrestling industry, so if this is all part of a storyline then we likely won't know until it is unfolding in front of our eyes. Like when Bryan initially retired, however, that this is all for show might just be wishful thinking on our part. There are very few in the wrestling industry today that have the combination of in-ring ability, mic skills, and inventiveness when it comes to recreating their wrestling persona quite like Matt Hardy. We hope that he will wrestle again but if that would be at the expense of his health, then he should step aside. Hardy has given so much to the business and we the fans will forever be grateful for that. Here's to his imminent Hall Of Fame induction, whether he's retiring or not.