Matt Hardy is in Mexico City for the upcoming live WWE event, and I got to interview him. This is what he had to say about his future and the current state of the WWE. He also offered some advice for young people looking to make it in the entertainment business.
I didn’t know just what to expect when I met WWE Superstar Matt Hardy. I’ve seen some of his fights and was aware of who he was, but I had never seen him outside the extravagances of ring and stage. As I went into a small restaurant in Mexico City’s picturesque Coyoacán neighborhood, I got my answer. A humble, down-to-earth and seemingly regular guy greeted me with a warm smile and a firm handshake. Dressed in a black suit and a casual red shirt, his long hair pulled back, he was not what I expected: here was Matt Hardy the person, not the eccentric superstar or any of his multiple stage personas. I was pleased to find him so relatable and, as such, easy to talk to.
This December, the WWE returns to Mexico City with a live event, featuring both the Raw and the SmackDown brands together for the first time. Most of the biggest names in the WWE business will be there, including Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Ronda Rousey, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley, Kalisto, Alexa Bliss, Rey Mysterio and, of course, Matt Hardy (and his brother, Jeff), according to the WWE official webpage. So, Matt Hardy is in Mexico preparing for this unprecedented event, and I got a chance to have a face-to-face interview with him. Here’s what I found out.
It's an eclectic matchup this time around: a first for the WWE. What do you expect of this upcoming live event?
It’s going to be earth-shattering! It’s the only live event we’re doing all year and all the top stars of both brands will be there: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Ronda Rousey, AJ Styles, me, my brother—everybody! I’m in fact gonna petition to have a Hardy Boys tag-team match even though we’re on different brands. I’m excited for this, man.
You’ve visited Mexico City before. On a personal level, how do you feel about it?
I love Mexico. Sure, the United States is between Canada and Mexico, but I’d much rather come down here to wrestle, if possible! I love the culture, the people, and the food! I’m a big fan of Mexican food. So, I just like being here to see all the amazing architecture and hear about its amazing history. And it’s so easy to come too: you don’t have to travel all around the world to do so!
Persona & Inspiration
Throughout your entire career you continuously reinvented yourself and your creative voice was a driving force. Looking back and looking forward, what do superstars have to build so they can create a successful career in today’s WWE?
I think in this day and age it’s really important to evolve and to change—now more than ever. Simply because the fans have such powerful voices today, and they are more relevant, since everyone can have their say (especially with the power of social media.) People also have a short attention span in 2018, things move so fast. As a wrestling character or persona, I think it’s your responsibility to constantly change. That’s the only way you can become “hot” or do something good. That’s where I’m at now: I’m getting ready to evolve and get to the next stage.
How did Broken Hardy come about?
When I started the whole “Broken Matt Hardy” persona, my intention was to give myself longevity. I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and obviously it’s very hard on your body—slamming on wood and steel every night. My brother and I performed crazy local matches when we were younger. So I wanted to have a persona that was more character-driven, as opposed to actually athletically-driven (while still trying to feature something on the physical side). That was the point of doing that originally.
We got a preview of the special that will air in WWE Network at the end of the month. What can fans expect from this? Will we see glimmers of Broken Hardy? What projects do you have in line in WWE network that you can share?
Yes, on the WWE Network there’s gonna be a regular series featuring Woken/Broken Matt Hardy and my family, which will be entitled House Hardy—the first episode is going to air right around Halloween. It’s going to be incredibly entertaining! I’m looking forward to that. On the other hand, when I come back to WWE TV, my role is going to be altered a little bit (it won't be 100% Broken/Woken Hardy.) So, I get to have the best of both worlds.
Building a New Path
Your personas and your transformative powers changed the tag team scene and the awesome matches we witnessed were groundbreaking. Can you give a sneak peak of what we can expect from you?
It’s not 100% decided what I’ll end up doing once I return to WWE TV, that hasn’t been finalized yet. But I’m pretty sure we’ll take a tangent from the Woken/Broken Matt Hardy persona. That persona will definitely live on at the Network, and it might come back out on TV. I feel like when I return to WWE TV it’s gonna be—have you ever seen The Incredible Hulk when Bruce Banner got angry and turned into this green monster?—well, I feel you’re gonna have Matt Hardy and then there’ll be something that causes Matt Hardy to transform into Woken or Broken Matt Hardy.
Wrestling is a true passion for you, and you’ve mentioned how you always want to be involved in some shape or form. Now that you're embarking on this new stage, what role interests you the most or which do you feel more passionately about?
I’m at a point right now where I’m pretty passionate about all the aspects of the business, and I’m sure that I’ll never retire in full, because there’s a lot of things to do. Especially in the WWE. There’re many hats to wear and many different roles to play. Once the bug of entertaining and being in front of a live audience gets in your blood or in your system—it’s the greatest. Nothing beats going out in from of 20,000 or 70,000 people and being able to evoke emotions and pull their strings and entertain them.
But I’m also very passionate about helping to create ideas or stimulate creativity in terms of how you present your persona or put together your match and the kind of story you’re telling. When all is said and done (whether it's in four weeks or in four years), I’ll probably become a producer to help put together content. I like the writing aspect of television as well. I feel I’m a somewhat creative person, so I’m definitely interested in that too.
Entertain, educate, enlighten. What words of enlightenment could you share with your fanbase as they too find their life’s passion?
I think the most important thing, if you have something you’re truly passionate about (and you want to go after it and become successful at it), is that you have to make it a lifestyle. You can’t “half-do” something. You can take a half-measure if you’re chasing a dream. What you must do is go all out, really believe in yourself, and have hope, faith and confidence that you can actually make it. And you really can: in this day and age the individual has much more power than ever before, because there’s many more tools that’ll allow you to chase your dreams—especially in the entertainment industry. Just give it everything and you can make it happen.
So, that's Matt Hardy for you. Excited about the upcoming event? If you happen to be around Mexico City on December 1, you can get your tickets here. Otherwise, keep an eye on Matt Hardy; it sounds like he has a lot up his sleeve in the near future.
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