Matt Hardy talked about debuting in AEW with his Broken Gimmick last year during an interview with APP.
This is where he talked about dropping the gimmick and why it didn’t work. Here are some of the highlights:
Why it didn’t work:
“Broken Matt Hardy is a very audience-friendly character,” Hardy said. “It needs a crowd, it needs an audience, and it just was not in the cards to be Broken Matt Hardy … because his debut was in the first-ever empty arena era, pandemic-era show, the first empty arena show that AEW had.
“Broken Matt Hardy is … very theatrical, and it doesn’t translate as well to the current AEW audience that sits at home and watches (on television) because I’ve realized that this is a much younger audience. It’s a much more sports-centric-type audience.”
Changing the character:
“I tip my hat to (AEW president and CEO) Tony Khan. He allowed me to try kind of switching characters and see how people reacted to it,” said the 46-year-old Hardy. “I think if we had been in arenas full of people it would have been different, but considering we’re now playing to the television audience, it was better for me to zone in and focus on one thing.
“And I think being Big Money Matt and being a heel, considering how I’m an older guy here and it’s such a younger demo(graphic), I think that’s the way for me to go. So I’m very happy with the groove that I’m currently in.”
“I feel like as a babyface, I wanted to try and work with (the young talent) on the same level but I think physically, because I’m older, it’s kind of tough for me to do that,” Hardy said. “I think I’m in a much better role where I can be the heel, the guy who isn’t afraid to get booed or the guy who doesn’t have to keep up with them and can work a different style that suits me better. Considering my age and the amount of physicality my body has been through over the years, I just feel like being in this role I’m at as the bad guy just works better.”
“It’s made it so painfully obvious how important the in-arena audience is to our magic because they’re such a big part of it,” Hardy said. “You watch a wrestling match at home, and hearing the ‘oohs’ and the ‘ahs’ and the cheers and the boos, and once you get into the comeback part of the match and the false finishes start rolling and you hear the (gasps), that’s a huge part of the magic and we’ve been doing without that for a year.
Possibly bringing it back: “So I’m very excited for that (to return) because not only does that make the bumps a lot easier to take for me, that also just makes the match so much more compelling. And I think not only the wrestlers are missing that, I think the audiences at home are missing that because that really is a huge part of the magic we create in pro wrestling.”