AEW superstar Matt Hardy spoke with TV Insider ahead of tonight’s Dynamite on TNT, where the Broken One will be facing Sammy Guevara in a tables-matchup. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
How his first few months have been in AEW and thoughts on the pandemic:
We’ve done well. Being in the middle of a pandemic is a territory no wrestling company has ever really stepped into, especially with AEW being so new. At this point, there have probably been just as many empty arena pandemic shows as regular [AEW] shows. In this first year, I think they’ve done well. They’ve had to adjust a lot of things. It’s a totally different environment and setting. [But] it’s hard to tell what acts are working and what isn’t working because you don’t have the immediate feedback you usually have in an arena full of wrestling fans.
On the importance of listening to the AEW audience:
I definitely listen to the majority of the audience. It’s weird in that my audience is very split. A lot of them are die-hard “Broken” Matt Hardy fans. Then there is a huge amount of wrestling fans, which AEW has done a great job of getting back. These fans like the serious pro-wrestling content and crave more of the “Regular” Matt Hardy. I try to aim more at being “Regular” Matt Hardy and still incorporate elements of “Broken.” My goal, I said this in a promo, and was honest in saying it, but I hoped I could have brought “Broken” Matt Hardy in front of live crowds. It would have almost been an attraction. Then, I could still also help the next generation backstage. But, I felt I was at a point where I needed to pull more of the weight and be a serious act and contribute as much as I can for our fanbase. That’s what I’m [trying to do] currently.
On having the creative freedoms in wrestling he’s always wanted:
It’s extremely refreshing. One of the biggest things I can say is in other companies, specifically WWE, it’s easy to get disgruntled creatively. You might have these creative ideas and things you know you can do so well, but you don’t get the opportunity to do them or they get completely altered. In AEW, it’s amazing how you interact with Tony Khan or the Young Bucks or Cody or whoever it may be. You get together, collaborate and set a course of action and really get to do it. That’s nice. It feels very rewarding to get an idea that is yours [in the ring].
A feud with Sammy Guevara was always his goal:
In all actuality, when we first started doing all that, the original plan, I think, was to have the cinematic match with Sammy. I challenged Jericho, but the idea was for it to get pushed off to Sammy. Things went differently when North Carolina and other states went into lockdown. There was this six-week period where AEW literally survived on a day or two of shooting footage, which was pretty amazing. They did an incredible job. Kudos to the crew. We had to change course in many ways. From the very beginning, I was going to end up having a feud with Sammy, and Jericho was my bridge to get to that. As far as the Hardy Compound fight with Sammy, that may happen one day. We’ll see.
Working with Private Party:
One of the things I can tell from watching their match with FTR is more aggression. I stressed to them that you have to believe you can fight and believe you’re an athlete that can kick someone’s ass. That is something they’ve incorporated since we started working together. I’m proud they are doing that because the more they do, the more high-flying moves will stand out.
Hopes to team with his brother to face AEW’s tag division:
With the incredible deep division there is in AEW, I’d love to have my brother there to wrestle against the Young Bucks, Hangman Page and Kenny Omega, Private Party, FTR. There is such a deep roster. I’d love to do that one day if it was a possibility.