Matt Hardy is a professional wrestling legend, winning 13 championships during his two runs with World Wrestling Entertainment. In the late '90s, Hardy was part of a revolution that included tables, ladders, chairs, a Canadian Hall of Famer, a "charismatic enigma" and two brothers from Dudleyville, USA. He is the longest reigning American-born European Champion in WWE history, an ECW World Champion and a former United States Champion, proving his dominance over the singles domain as well as being a tag team icon.
But after more than 20 years in the business, the native Carolinian claims he has reached the finish line in pro wrestling.
Matt made a name for himself alongside his brother Jeff Hardy – a former WWE & TNA World Champion in his own right – performing crazy stunts off the top of 10-foot ladders, crashing through tables and taking unprotected steel chair shots to the head. Over time, no matter how in shape and athletic you are, that kind of assault takes its tole on your body.
The bumps and bruises associated with pro wrestling take their toll not just on the human body, but on your mental and emotional person as well. In 2011, Matt was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated – a mistake that would cost him his job in TNA Wrestling. After a few negative stints in the media through 2011, Hardy completed WWE-sponsored rehab, took some time off to spend with family and collect himself as a person, battling demons to come out on the other side a new human being.
At 39-years-old, Hardy has some rough mornings, and after accomplishing just about everything a person in his trade could, not one person could blame him for hanging up the boots and riding off into the sunset; especially with the beautiful Reby Sky waiting for him at home. But despite reaching the proverbial "finish line", Matt is dedicated to the pro wrestling industry, and is now driven by something else: having fun and giving back. He is currently an active performer on the American independent scene, and is gearing up to step between the ropes for Ring of Honor once again, next weekend at Final Battle.
Matt's relationship with the Ring of Honor crowd is a heated one, as the ROH faithful do not readily embrace him as they would their usual suspects like Davey Richards, Roderick Strong and Jay Lethal. Because of his mainstream affiliations, the style of match he works now, and in large part his on-screen persona, Hardy is one of the biggest heels Ring of Honor has ever had.
For more, check out Matt Hardy on this weekend's edition of the Wrestlezone Podcast with Mike Killam.
AJ StylesCM PunkDaniel Bryandavey richardsDixie Cartereddie edwardsJeff HardyJohn CenaMatt HardyPWGPWG Matt RushmoreRandy OrtonRing of HonorROHTNAWWEWZ RecapHave a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?