Matt Hardy’s recent transformation into Broken Matt Hardy is not just shocking due to the storyline events that surround the character change, but because of the way it completely redefined the career of Hardy himself. There was a time not too long ago when most wrestling fans considered Matt to be the “other” Hardy. Having spent a good chunk of his career trying to reach the popularity heights his brother Jeff once enjoyed, Matt found himself living in his sibling’s shadow. While Matt’s career wasn’t completely devoid of accomplishments, it was also filled with regrettable instances of underachievement.
Now, however, the story has changed. The brilliance of the Broken Matt character and the way that it builds off of nearly everything that has happened to Matt Hardy in his professional wrestling career up until this point has many fans re-examining the legacy of Matt Hardy and finding that it’s actually loaded with brilliance. In the process of this re-examination, some fans are also finding that there is much more to Matt Hardy than many people previously knew. We also took another look at the life and times of the broken one and found these 15 things you didn’t know about Matt Hardy.
15. WCW Stole His Original Gimmick Name
When Matt and Jeff Hardy were still pretty young, they decided to create their own wrestling promotion called OMEGA Championship Wrestling. Now, one of the advantages of owning your own wrestling promotion is that you have complete creative control over what happens. So, if you wanted to do something simple like pick your own ring name, there is nothing stopping you. Well…ideally, anyway. Matt Hardy didn’t think that there would be a problem using the name High Voltage, but as it turned out, WCW soon introduced a tag team by that same name.
To avoid confusion, Matt changed his ring name to Surge. Years later, Matt found out from Chris Kanyon that a tape of his OMEGA matches was kept at the WCW Power Plant, and the name High Voltage was most certainly stolen from Matt.
14. He Once Felt WWE Went Too Far With His Personal Life
If you follow the WWE career of Matt Hardy, it won’t take you long before you realize that a lot of Matt’s material was based on real life incidents. For that matter, Matt still drafts his personal life into wrestling storylines as evidenced by all of the references his Broken Matt character spouts. So with all these occurrences of Matt involving his personal life in wrestling, you would assume that he is okay with it.
While Matt is okay with it for the most part, there was one notable instance when Matt was not. According to Matt, when he and Jeff were having their feud leading up to WrestleMania XXV, he really did not want to drag his brother’s house getting burned down into the story that Matt was messing with Jeff’s life. However, WWE made the call to do so, and Matt did as he was told.
13. He Once Had Two, Very Different YouTube Channels
As we’ll see throughout this list, Matt Hardy’s presence on social media sometimes doesn’t do him any favors. When Matt is at his best, there are very few wrestlers that can possibly match him in terms of using social media to promote a storyline. When he’s at his worst, there are very few wrestlers that can match him at destroying their careers with social media. Matt is so active online, in fact, that he once had two YouTube channels. The first was simply a Vlog set-up that saw Matt talk about whatever was on his mind. For the most part, it was pretty standard even if things occasionally got a little crazy.
The other channel, however, regularly featured Matt going on random rants, showing off his collection of weapons, drinking, and, in one memorable incident, burning money. It was incredibly strange.
12. Matt Hardy Is An All-Time Great European Champion
The European championship is not exactly the most prestigious title in the history of WWE. In fact, Shawn Michaels once lost the belt intentionally to Triple H in an effort to prove just how little it meant to him. Still, the title lived on and served as WWE’s second secondary championship (right below the Intercontinental Championship) for years. That’s pretty impressive considering that the belt was basically designed to be put around the waist of The British Bulldog in hopes of selling extra merchandise.
While The British Bulldog’s 206 day single-reign as European champion won’t ever be beaten, Matt Hardy stands as the second longest reigning European Champion at 125 days. Then again, it’s entirely possible WWE forgot the belt existed during this time. They may have now forgotten it altogether.
11. The One Spot He Regrets Doing Is A Legdrop From The Top of A Steel Cage
Despite the fact that their careers are forever connected, Matt has always been very different from his brother Jeff. For years, the biggest difference between the two was that Jeff managed to become the bigger singles star (even though that is starting to change now) but the other key difference between the two is their in-ring style. Matt is a much more grounded in-ring worker while Jeff is much more of a high-risk guy in general. That doesn’t mean that Matt doesn’t bust out a big move on occasion, however.
The most notable of these instances would have to be the time that Matt Hardy did a diving leg drop from the top of a cage in a match against Edge and Christian. As anyone who has ever attempted a regular leg drop knows, that’s no joke. In fact, Matt still describes this as the most painful spot of his career as he believes that the move permanently damaged him.
10. He Currently Holds Championships In Five Different Promotions
There are a lot of ways to measure a professional wrestler’s merit, but one of the most common methods has always been counting their number of championships. Wrestling might be scripted entertainment, but generally speaking, you still don’t become champion unless you’ve got something special. By that measure, Matt Hardy is a top-tier professional wrestler. Technically speaking, Hardy currently holds championships in five wrestling promotions. He’s the WrestleCade world champion, TNA World Tag Team Championship co-holder, Pro Wrestling South Heavyweight Champion, OMEGA Heavyweight Champion, and House of Glory Tag Team Championship co-holder.
How is that possible? Well, TNA has always been a little more relaxed regarding performers working indie dates, so Matt has capitalized off that opportunity to grab a few titles here and there. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he helped start OMEGA wrestling.
9. His Character Will Forever Be Associated With Mustard and Grapes
One of the highlights of Matt Hardy’s career prior to the Broken Matt run is most certainly his time spent as Matt Hardy Version 1. His time as V1 didn’t last long, but it was filled with instances of booking and character brilliance that were a step above nearly everything else in the WWE at that time. One of the highlights of this period were the “Matt Facts” that would splash on screen during Hardy’s entrance and provide tidbits of information regarding the wrestler.
While not all of these were real, there are two that have become closely associated with Matt Hardy to this day. “Matt Hardy loves grapes” and “Matt Hardy hates mustard.” The mustard one is interesting in that nobody is quite sure if it’s true or not. Regardless, Matt has stuck with it to this day. As for the grapes, he really does love them as evidenced by the many he would eat on that old YouTube channel.
8. That Late Career Weight Gain Was The Result Of A Burst Appendix
Late into Matt’s WWE career, some fans couldn’t help but notice that the Sensei of Mattitude was starting to put on a little weight. This isn’t necessarily unusual for anyone getting older (even athletes) but Matt’s situation was a little different in that he seemed to balloon pretty quickly. This led to some speculation as to the reason behind the weight gain as some even suggested that Matt had simply gotten lazy. The truth is not quite that simple. As it turned out, Matt had been suffering some stomach pain that ended up being the result of a burst appendix. According to doctors, Matt was only a few days away from suffering a potentially fatal rupture. Needless to say, the healing time kept him out of action for a while and took a toll on him physically.
7. Matt Was Arrested Three Times In A Single Month
There are many wrestlers with a criminal record they would like you to forget about. Wrestling is a tough business and it tends to attract a tough group of people that sometimes get in trouble with the law. Most wrestlers, however, only have an incident or two to their name that typically occurred long before they were stars. Matt Hardy’s criminal record is a little more interesting.
For instance, in 2011 Matt Hardy was arrested three times over the course of a single month. Two were for driving under the influence and the third was actually a warranted search of his home where police found recreational drugs and steroids. Oddly enough, the reason you might have not heard about this is because Matt was a member of TNA at that point and had fallen off some wrestling fans’ radars.
6. Before Becoming A Wrestler, Matt Was An Excellent Student
Ask most professional wrestlers what they would do if they weren’t a professional wrestler, and you’ll probably find the most common answer is a half-jokingly “unemployed.” Professional wrestling isn’t quite like anything else in this world and, as such, those that find themselves drawn to it typically are not able to imagine themselves doing anything else. Given how much of his life he’s devoted to wrestling, that might be true for Matt Hardy. However, there was a time in his life when Matt Hardy was on a much more traditional career path. Matt was a nominee for the prestigious Morehead Award in high school which would grant him a scholarship to any college in North Carolina. He decided to attend the University of North Carolina and even majored in engineering while there.
5. He Was Suspended From TNA Over A Video Involving Tasers
As mentioned earlier, Matt Hardy has released some regrettable online content over the course of his career. Among them is a little video that surfaced online in 2011 that shows Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Matt Hardy’s then-girlfriend Reby Sky playing with tasers in the garage. If you’re asking yourself “Is playing with tasers code for something?” the answer is “no.” These three were actually playing with tasers in the garage as they took turns shocking each other.
The content was odd enough, but what really made this matter a mess is that Matt and Jeff were clearly both very inebriated during the shooting of it. Put it all together and add in reports that Matt had reportedly been late to several recent TNA shows, and you can understand why he and Jeff were suspended shortly after this was uploaded.
4. Matt Once Uploaded A Supposed Suicide Note to YouTube
Matt’s life was on something of a downward spiral in 2011. Between his WWE departure, legal issues, reported drug problems, and seeming slow descent into madness, there was no bad news about Matt Hardy that fans weren’t ready to believe. So when Matt took to YouTube and posted what appeared to be a suicide note detailing that he was really about to kill himself, many were gravely concerned.
Due to an incredible amount of call-ins to the local police, cops and Matt’s brother Jeff eventually came knocking at Matt Hardy’s home and found the wrestler to be perfectly fine. As it turned out, Matt was just working the fans over by trying to convince them that he was really going to do it. Obviously, it was an incredibly sick thing to do to friends and family.
3. Between 1994 and 1998, He Won One WWE Match
When you’re trying to get your foot into the door in WWE, you can expect to lose some matches. Actually, that’s pretty much true of any major wrestling promotion unless you so happen to be a star before you step into the door. When Matt Hardy started working for WWE on something of a freelance basis in 1994, then, he probably expected to lose a few matches on his way to the top. Even still, it’s a bit shocking to learn that between 1994 and 1998, Matt Hardy won exactly one WWE match.
Now granted, Matt wasn’t a full-time employee during this time and was by no means a star, but even as his career started to take off as a member of the Hardy Boyz, Matt’s lone win was against Jason Arhndt (Joey Abs of the Mean Street Posse) in a Raw dark match.
2. He Wrestled With Torn Abdominal Muscles For Months
You can’t be a wrestling fan and not at least have a morbid curiosity about the worst wrestling injuries. Wrestlers work in a profession that demands that they put their bodies on the line night in and night out which means that, occasionally, one of them gets hurt in a pretty grotesque way. While there is no shortage of bad wrestling injuries in contention for the worst of them all, Matt Hardy must be in the running for the time that he tore his abdominal muscles during a match so bad that his intestines actually started to bulge out of place.
What’s truly remarkable about this is that Matt Hardy wrestled with this injury for months before he realized that something was horribly wrong and he needed immediate medical attention.
1. He Participated In One Of The Only WWE vs. TNA Matches
Here’s an incredible wrestling story that has somehow managed to get lost in time. So, back in July of 2005, Matt Hardy was slowly finding himself back in the good graces of WWE after that whole Edge/Lita thing blew up in his face and led to his release. Matt had been working with WWE for a few weeks leading up to his eventual return, but we do know that he was employed by WWE by his return on July 11, 2005. The reason that date is significant is because Matt Hardy worked an indie show for International Wrestling Cartel on July 29, 2005. His opponent that night? None other than TNA’s The Phenomenal A.J. Styles. This bout is believed to be one of the few legitimate occurrences of a WWE vs. TNA matches in the two company’s histories. Oh, and AJ won.
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