When the Hardy Boyz returned to WWE after an almost decade-long absence, fans had two questions: When will “Broken” Matt Hardy emerge, and how long will it take for WWE to screw it up? The answers ended up being “about eight months” and, depending on who you ask, “immediately.”
Indeed, after Jeff went down with an injury, putting the Hardy Boyz’ tag team conquests on hold, Matt Hardy experienced an AWAKENING, evolving his Broken persona into a WWE-friendly, trademark-free version. He’s mostly the same indescribably weird, oddly magnetic character he was in Impact Wrestling, though much of what made the Broken Universe such a joy to watch is glaringly missing: the Hardy compound, Señor Benjamin, Vanguard1. Instead, WWE seems to have, as they often do, focused on entirely the wrong things. Only Vince McMahon would take a look at Broken Matt Hardy and come to the conclusion that the reason people like it so much is his goofy laugh. So, that’s what we’ve gotten for the past several weeks: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt laughing like maniacs next to each other. Even his theme song (which is otherwise pretty damn awesome, to be fair) starts off with the obnoxious cackle.
To fans worried the persona they’ve been waiting for almost a year to appear in WWE has already jumped the shark, Matt Hardy has one word: “patience.” In a recent interview with IGN, Hardy explains that while the “delete” chants were prevalent and over from day one, many fans in the WWE Universe may not be familiar with the act.
“I think the hardcore fans have to remember that patience is paramount. There’s such a huge percentage of the WWE Universe and the WWE fanbase who aren’t familiar with the story of the Woken-slash-Broken character so we have to educate them and get them up to speed and help them understand what’s going on. And that’s something the die hard fans are frustrated with,” he said.
The dispenser of WOKEN WISDOM is confident the pieces will start to fall into place after an introduction to the unique brand of weirdness Matt Hardy offers. He went on to say, “Things are going to get where they need to be and this is a process now that’s playing out over TV. The biggest thing I’d say to people is just sit back and enjoy this truly truly fun and jubilant ride.”
Later in the interview, Matt hints that we may see the other players of the Woken Universe appear in WWE eventually. “Everything we do in the “Woken” universe is so fantastical that wrestling fans, especially younger kids, who only know Matt Hardy from tag team matches or Team Xtreme or whatnot, they need to learn what I am before we can start expanding. Before I can introduce you to a Queen Rebecca or a King Maxel or a Señor Benjamin or Vanguard 1. There are even other characters to bring in too. But patience is key. The fans who are in the know just need to wait a little bit for other fans to get to know the character.”
One of the biggest reasons Broken Matt Hardy reached such acclaim is the bonkers series of intentionally campy battles at the Hardy compound, pre-taped segments that had all the hallmarks of a fun b-horror movie. Matt Hardy assured fans that’s in the plans as well. When asked if we’ll see a Final Deletion-style matchup in WWE, Matt didn’t mince words: “One hundred percent. Absolutely.”