Matt Hardy has revealed that Triple H pitched for him to lead a faction in NXT before he left WWE for AEW in 2020.
Matt Hardy ended his third run in WWE early in 2020 and, only weeks later, made his AEW debut on Dynamite using his ‘Broken’ character.
Speaking on his podcast, The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the veteran detailed his conversations with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in the period before his departure. Hardy revealed that McMahon wanted him to transition away from an in-ring career and work as a backstage producer, something he was not ready to do.
“He appreciated my honesty. There’s nothing that I would say on here or say to anyone else that I wouldn’t say to Vince, that’s how much respect I have for him.”
“I said, ‘I know how you see me. You are ready for me to move on to a producer role and I’m not ready to do that quite yet. I’m ready to still finish up in the ring. I know I have a few more years left and I’m going to go until it’s time for me to step out. That’s what I want to do. That’s my passion, that’s what I love, and it’s where I can make the most money. At the end of the day, pro wrestling is a business and it’s all about where you can make the most money.’”
“He said, ‘Well, thank you for being honest.’ Because so many people just bullsh*t him all the time. I’m sure, whenever I left, they knew where I was going to end up. It is what it is.”
Matt Hardy went on to discuss how Triple H tried to get him to stay in the company by pitching for Hardy to lead a faction on NXT. This was to allow him to keep wrestling while also working in the role McMahon saw him in.
“Triple H, he called me afterward. He tried to work out deals with me doing stuff in NXT and it’s so funny because this shows how much Vince wanted me as a producer. He said, ‘Well, we can pay you X amount of money if you do this NXT thing. But we can like double this almost if you do NXT, and I’ll put you with a group of guys.
“So you don’t have to do all the work, being an older guy, you’re like the leader of the group, and then you can also still go to TVs, you know, Raw and SmackDown, and then you can still do those and start being a coach because that’s really what Vince wants to see you as, is a producer.’
“Someone who helps teach other talents and helps construct matches and whatnot. So Vince really wanted to see me in that when it was all said and done. I have a lot of appreciation, Triple H still tried to do what he could just to keep me in the WWE system.”
Since making the jump to AEW, Matt Hardy has remained active in the ring, most recently teaming with his brother Jeff at Double Or Nothing to defy their ages and defeat The Young Bucks.
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.