Matt Hardy knows that plans change daily in professional wrestling, and he shared some insight about setting the stage for his recent feud with Hangman Page.
The most recent episode of his new podcast, The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, saw Matt and co-host Jon Alba discussing the career of current AEW World Champion Adam ‘Hangman’ Page. Hardy spoke about stepping in as an opponent for Hangman, explaining that the original plan was for Page to face off with Brodie Lee, who fell ill during that time.
“The plan was originally to do Adam Page vs. Brodie, that was going to be the program. But when they knew Brodie was sick obviously, I ended up being plugged in there. We’re going through the pandemic and as I’ve said in the past, ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy is a very fan-driven character and it was just time for me to pivot, so I pivoted to ‘Big Money’ Matt and then I was going to ultimately take Brodie’s place in this program against Adam and give him a big win over a known star to keep him moving on for the world title.
“It was an insane era of wrestling, having shows in front of no fans just feels wrong and as I’ve said in the past, it just doesn’t feel like pro wrestling. It’s one of those things where the show must go on and now we’re just playing to the TV audience and we’re doing all that we could to entertain them and have them keep up with our story and build sympathy for this Adam Page character but it’s hard because you couldn’t get an instant barometer, you couldn’t get an instant gauge.”
Hardy then explained how his quiet heel turn laid the groundwork for his eventual feud against Page.
“My first moment in the ring where I was officially a heel was that Battle Royale and one of the first things I did was dump my own man out, Isaiah [Kassidy] in the very beginning of the match when he wasn’t looking. I got rid of Adam there and that was almost the precursor, it laid the groundwork and then we have the six-man tag, obviously. So, we knew we were gonna build into that, so we laid the groundwork then we had to come up with a really detailed plan to incorporate ‘Big Money’ Matt into the story and take advantage of Adam’s weaknesses.”
Matt then explained how he laid the groundwork for the feud and trying to sign Hangman by first signing Private Party, which was inspired real-life events from his own career. As he mentioned in episode one of his podcast, Matt originally got started as an enhancement talent in WWE when he was backed by Gary Sabaugh, aka The Italian Stallion. Hardy said the “wee fee” element of Big Money Matt was inspired by Sabaugh ripping him off with paydays, and said it also inspired the direction for his character and attempt to swindle Hangman.
Matt also said that he and Hangman came up with the idea to switch out the contracts, but Tony Khan was the one who came up with the idea for the feud itself and try and have Matt take advantage of Hangman’s insecurities.
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