Matt Hardy recently gave fans an interesting account of how he first became addicted to painkillers.
Matt, along with his brother Jeff, is considered to be among the most popular wrestlers of the past 25 years. Matt popularized a flashier and more spot-driven wrestling style that led to an explosion in what’s called ‘backyard wrestling’. Some fans have even considered both Matt and Jeff Hardy to be the most successful and iconic “backyarders” ever.
But that style came at a steep price. Years of jumping off of ladders, being thrown through tables, and putting himself through other high-risk situations caused Hardy to have constant pain in different parts of his body.
Matt Hardy visited doctors to resolve this problem. Naturally, the doctors told him that the first thing he should do is stop what he was doing (meaning pro wrestling). But since he was being pushed, and since he loved his work, that wasn’t an option. And so, Matt Hardy developed a painkiller addiction, which was itself almost as dangerous as the wrestling he was doing.
Many wrestlers have suffered and died from painkiller overdoses, including both Chyna and Umaga. But Hardy was in considerable pain from the toils of wrestling and so he thought he had no choice but to start down a similar path.
Speaking on his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy Podcast, Hardy made the following comments:
“Well, I remember there was one point in time where I told Johnny Ace and I’d said this, this was right around the time towards the end of being the US champion right before the ECW deal. And I remember saying ‘Johnny, my back is pretty beat up’. There’s one point where I wake up in the morning and I like, can’t stand to get out of bed and I have to half ass crawl to get in the bathtub and I run to a hot bath and I get in there and so can try and loosen up my hips and my lower back a little, because I was I was having issues.
And he [Ace] just said, well, we just got you in a really good spot. And we want to keep you on the road, you’re someone that we trust, you can work with anyone, like, just go to the doctor and see what they can do for you. But we really can’t afford to give you any time off.
And then when you go to the doctor, and you say, well, I’m having these issues,, I’m in constant pain, because of my lower back and my hips, and is there anything you can do for me without doing surgeries, or any kind of therapy or rehabilitation.
They said, well stop doing what you’re doing first and foremost. And really, the only other thing we can say is take these pills, they help relieve the pain, and then take these pills, they help relax your muscles, so you won’t be as tight. And that’s where that’s where it starts. And it’s a very slippery slope.”
The period described in this statement would’ve been around 2008. Matt Hardy continued wrestling for WWE until his release in 2010. From there, Hardy shifted to wrestling part-time due to the accumulation of injuries and has been wrestling on a more sporadic basis ever since.
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