Not all of Matt Hardy’s creative ideas succeed, as the man himself revealed why his ‘Woken’ character didn’t work while in WWE.
Over the years Matt Hardy has gone through many character changes. The late 1990s and most of the 2000s saw him tied at the hip with his brother Jeff. But when Jeff wasn’t around Matt had his own success here and there such as with his “Mattitude” and “Matt facts” gimmicks.
But it wasn’t until 2016 that Matt Hardy struck wrestling comedy gold. While in TNA, Matt rechristened himself “Broken Matt Hardy” and became one of the most ridiculous and over-the-top wrestling personalities in the world. That gimmick also led to the famous “Final Deletion” segment that brought Hardy to a new level of internet wrestling fame.
But after that successful stint in TNA, Matt Hardy returned to WWE and sought to re-create the Broken character’s success. He couldn’t replicate the character in every way so he came up with a sort of compromise in the form of “Woken” Matt Hardy. And although it had most of the same elements as the Broken one, it didn’t catch on as much as the TNA iteration did.
On his Extreme Life podcast, Matt gave his own thoughts on why the character failed in WWE. In particular, he believes that he wasn’t used in a way that coincided with what the character was, in his mind, meant for:
“I think just with the shortage of talent on the roster, I feel like Vince felt like he needed to get myself and Bray on TV every week. And we were having like these really weird three-minute matches, where we were facing other tag teams and we beat every tag team and a three, three and a half minute match, over every single week.”
“And I felt like that kind of took away from those characters having Woken Matt and Bray just having regular wrestling matches. I feel like those are two characters that are much more vignette driven. You know, you’re in like remote locations, doing unique things, whatever, and the matches are more like a special attraction. And you make them mean something, they’re longer matches and they’re important and you know, but I feel like just being carted out every single week.”
“You know, Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy, the Deleters of Worlds and just having like a quick 3 minute match, I felt like that wouldn’t do anybody any favours. It wasn’t doing us any favours or opponents any favours. I felt like he continued to get those characters over you have to like build the characters and build the personalities and put them in unique, remote different settings.”
Both Matt Hardy and his former Deleter of Worlds teammate Bray Wyatt have more pressing matters to deal with these days than reminiscing about the success of some gimmicks and the failure of others. Bray Wyatt’s recent return to WWE has left the wrestling fandom buzzing over what’s going to happen next, while Matt has to deal with his own in-ring career in AEW plus the fallout of his brother Jeff Hardy’s legal issues.
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