Since The Hardys last reunited and captured the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships, the careers of Matt and Jeff Hardy have both seemed to be on a downward spiral. Jeff unfortunately suffered a knee-injury shortly after defeating The Usos to win the blue belts following WrestleMania 35, leaving Matt to vacate the titles and press on with his singles career.
Having dropped the popular ‘Woken’ gimmick in favour of a multi-dimensional character that could slip in and out of the various gimmicks Matt Hardy has embodied over the years, fans had little reason to pay attention to Matt’s efforts as he trickled down the singles ladder and found his TV time cut considerably.
Matt has occasionally found himself featured on the odd episode of RAW or two, perhaps in chase of the 24/7 Championship or to put someone over, but ultimately his stock has plummeted since his raucous return to WWE in 2017. Hardy went from being one of the most electric superstars on the roster to being an afterthought, so there’s no surprise that the former Woken Warrior is teasing another swift exit from WWE.
After making a brief appearance on this week’s episode of RAW to help add some depth to the growing feud between Edge and Randy Orton, Matt Hardy took to Twitter to seemingly bid farewell to WWE and close the book on his latest run. Hardy simply tweeted, “Goodbye”, which is vague and inconclusive as usual for Hardy, but with several rumours suggesting that Matt is looking at other avenues to see out the final stages of his career, one might assume that this is an unofficial announcement of his departure. This of course begs the question: what’s next for Matt Hardy?
Hardy became one of the hottest products on the independent scene less than 3 years ago, developing his ‘Broken’ character alongside his brother on IMPACT Wrestling and taking it across the world in various promotions. The Broken Hardys became a regular feature of Ring of Honor, putting together incredible matches with other notable tag teams such as The Young Bucks and The Briscoes. Matt Hardy was living in what was turning out to be the peak of his entire career, so what would stop him from reviving the same momentum as part of his renewed freedom?
Matt could easily strike up a deal with warring promotion AEW, pulling on the ties he made with Matt and Nick Jackson to become an integral part of their ailing Tag Team division. With former WWE talent such as Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley becoming such a huge part of the main event scene, there’s nothing stopping Matt Hardy from even having a successful singles run as his Broken counterpart. Fans would eat up seeing more of the whimsical world of House Hardy, and I’m sure with the production value behind AEW, it could become an even bigger beast than before.
As far as introducing Matt Hardy into the fray goes, The Dark Order are currently teasing the looming presence of The Exalted One. With several names already being speculated to take up the mantle, including: Marty Scurll, Mil Muertes and Brian Cage, there couldn’t be a more suitable candidate than Broken Matt Hardy. His twisted and deluded nature could easily take The Dark Order from being a generic cult-like faction to something sinister and intriguing. Matt Hardy’s flair for the macabre would fit in perfectly with what Evil Uno and co are going for with their stable, and with a big name like Matt Hardy behind them, there’d be nothing but success in their near future.
Matt could even choose to renew ties with IMPACT Wrestling. IMPACT has slowly been on the rise over the past few years, re-inventing themselves as the place to witness more ‘experimental’ wrestling compared to the mainstream promotions like WWE and NJPW. IMPACT’s sudden prominence could be tracked back to Matt Hardy himself, with many old and new eyes being put on the product during the Matt/Jeff feud, culminating with The Final Deletion.
Since the Hardys left in 2016, IMPACT continued to make waves by challenging the status quo. Most recently, the IMPACT World Championship was awarded to Tessa Blanchard, marking the first time an American wrestling promotion has put their World title on a female wrestler in recent history. Rob Van Dam has also been turning heads with his new X-rated gimmick, meaning there’s plenty of room for another former WWE star to come in and rejuvenate their career with some daring new gimmick changes.
Matt Hardy has more than what it takes to become a credible World Champion on today’s global scene. Whether that be as part of a burgeoning promotion like AEW or during his worldly travels on the independent scene. If we’re indeed correct about his latest social media activity leading to him parting ways with WWE, then he’ll surely become a big deal wherever he ends up. Hardy has been an institution in the pro-wrestling industry since the 1990’s, so it would be a real shame to see his lasting image to be that of a con-chair-to from Randy Orton.
Either way, should he choose not to re-new his contract in March, Hardy will have a fantastic future ahead of him regardless of his next move. Matt could even keep to producing his new YouTube series to help keep his creativity alive and his name relevant in today’s ever-changing landscape.
Where would you like to see Matt Hardy go next after WWE? Is he going to re-sign with IMPACT or maybe test the waters of AEW? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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