Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy Reflects On The ‘TLC Years’, Says WrestleMania 33 Return Still Feels Surreal

Words will be spoken about the “TLC years” when Matt Hardy takes the stage in Philadelphia.

Matt Hardy and co-host Jon Alba will host a live podcast recording of The Extreme Life Of Matt Hardy on Friday, April 5, at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown as part of WrestleCon weekend. Hardy and Alba will look back on the “TLC Years” of the Hardys’ career, telling untold stories about the iconic matches.

Hardy spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about choosing TLC as the topic of conversation. He said that TLC is not only appropriate on WrestleMania weekend, but it’s fun sharing a new perspective on a match type that is so revered.

A new perspective

“I think the TLC concept — tables, ladders, and chairs — really put us on the map. Myself, my brother, Edge, Christian, and The Dudleyz. And it being WrestleMania, it just seemed like the perfect topic. Because not only do we have WrestleMania 16, which is the triangle ladder match, we also have WrestleMania 17, TLC II, which a lot of people really consider the best TLC out of the trilogy more or less. So we thought that was a very fitting topic,” Hardy explained.

“I love doing these live stage shows. We love to be very interactive with our audience, we love the Q&As that are there. I take a lot of pride in trying to open up and be as transparent as we possibly can be, especially at these things,” Hardy added. “I’m really excited to share some very fun, behind-the-scenes stories that I’ve never shared before in the past. I think that’s part of the magic of a podcast, when I kind of delve deep into details I’ve never really exposed before. Those things are always fun to get into. You give people a different perspective to look at things.”

WrestleMania is Broken

Matt and Jeff Hardy have been part of several memorable WrestleMania moments. This includes their surprise return at WrestleMania 33. While WrestleMania 17 (and TLC) was about the match, the Hardys’ appearance in Orlando was more about the moment. Hardy was asked if there is a comparison to be made. Did the reaction to one surprise him more than the other?

Hardy said WrestleMania 33 was surreal. He noted how there was speculation about their WWE return, but no definite confirmation it would happen. The Hardys already had a huge weekend that year; they faced the Young Bucks at ROH Supercard Of Honor, worked with the Lucha Bros the night before, and had a number of big personal appearances.

Matt said one of the more surreal parts was seeing the WrestleMania crowd doing the “Delete!” gesture, explaining how moving the response was.

“It was amazing how viral the ‘Delete’ chant became. To see tens of thousands of people doing that when we made our surprise return to WWE was just an overwhelming feeling of emotion. Still, whenever I think about that moment in my mind, it’s not a vivid memory like some of them. You know how you have some memories that are just very vivid? You can see them crystal clear? Every time I revisit this moment, it’s almost like there’s fuzz around the outside. [It’s] like it’s a dream sequence,” Hardy explained. “It’s almost like a dream that was actually part of your reality. So it was a very surreal moment. WrestleMania 33, that return, that moment was so special.”

Don’t take it for granted

Matt Hardy then shared how some key advice from Michael Hayes helped put things in perspective for him.

“I also remember when we went out for TLC II. Michael Hayes said to us, ‘You don’t get to have a lot of these moments where you get to wrestle in front of a big crowd like that, so don’t take it for granted. Take in this entire moment as you walk down the entrance.’ If you look back at the footage, you can look at me and I think there’s a look on my face. I do do that. I look to the left, I look to the right,” Hardy explained.

“I’m trying to take in that because you never know how many of those you are guaranteed in a pro wrestling career where it can be over tomorrow. You can be injured and you can never wrestle again, or it can just be the end of your run,” Hardy added. “So we’ve been very blessed and very gifted with so many special moments.”

Where magic happens

Matt Hardy reflected on some of his biggest moments in WWE, and shared what they each meant to him. The six men in the triangle ladder match at WrestleMania 16 (2000) were told to “take all the time you want”, which Hardy admitted might be crazy by today’s standards. Hardy noted WrestleMania 19 against Rey Mysterio and WrestleMania 25 against his brother were also special moments in his career.

However, the reaction at WrestleMania 33 might have trumped them all.

“But WrestleMania 33 kind of supersedes everything. Because that was just the perfect combination of surprise and exhilaration because it was so exciting and people legit didn’t know if it was going to happen or not. Most people didn’t know. It took a lot of people by surprise. So that’s where the magic really happens in pro wrestling, in my opinion.”

“It was really cool, it was really special. Just the craziness behind all of it. Like showing up at the venue 30 minutes before your match starts. Talking to the team one last time as you go over and then running up these flights of stairs to get to Gorilla. It was very overwhelming right from the jump. Standing in front of us was John Cena, Hunter, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, Michael Hayes, and these guys we haven’t seen in years. Saying hello to them and getting ready to walk through the curtain, it was just a really, really special time. Something that I’m just so grateful we were able to receive.”

Watch our full interview with Matt Hardy below:

Join Matt Hardy and Jon Alba for a live podcast recording of The Extreme Life Of Matt Hardy on Friday, April 5. The show takes place at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. Tickets are just $25 and available at

the extreme life of matt hardy