At WrestleMania 33, Matt and Jeff Hardy returned to the WWE as a team for the first time since competing with each other in a six-man tag match in 2009. The live crowd in Orlando, Florida, erupted, and the Hardy Boyz won the Raw Tag Team Championships in the multi-person ladder match.
For a number of months, Matt, who reinvented himself in Impact Wrestling with his “Broken” gimmick, stayed clear of totally expressing this to the WWE Universe, mainly due to the legal issues that were going on with Impact over the intellectual property of his gimmick. However, when all this was settled, “Broken” Matt became “Woken” Matt, presenting a similar form of his Impact Wrestling character to WWE.
Unfortunately for Matt, wear and tear from a 25-year career has caused him to quietly walk away from in-ring competition, lastly competing at a house show with his tag team partner, Bray Wyatt. He was last seen lounging by his above-ground pool.
During a recent interview on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show, former WWE writer Vince Russo expressed why the “Woken” gimmick was not as successful as his “Broken” character in Impact.
“I know Vince [McMahon], and… I guarantee you when [Jeremy Borash] went over to the WWE, and Matt Hardy, when they were starting to pitch some of that stuff, I guarantee you Vince didn’t understand it. I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind it was so over Vince’s head, that anything they wanted to do, got watered down.”
Russo also feels that this was a deciding factor in why Matt decided to hang up his boots.
“I’ll be honest with you, man. I think that’s part of the reason why Matt Hardy walked away. Now, his body was beaten, no doubt about that, but from a creative standpoint, if they would have been allowed to do what they wanted to do, then he would have not had to work that much. He probably would have been around longer, but I guarantee you, like, Vince did not understand any of that stuff.”
Although being away from the ring, Matt continues to do media work for the WWE, as he recently posted his time in Mexico City. There were also rumors that Matt was looking to become a full-time agent for the company.
You can view the full interview in the video above, and please be sure to h/t The Floor Seat for any quotes used.