Matt Hardy’s AEW run has been a weird one.
Debuting in the promotion’s first show without fans during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hardy began Broken, had that idea squashed by Tony Khan, who is notoriously not a fan of supernatural angels, and then bounced around from gimmick to gimmick – literally – looking for something that would fit. He tried being all about the Big Money, assembling a family office to help manage other wrestlers – while earning a cut of their profits – tried to stick to that “Matter Of Facts,” and even reunited Team Extreme with his brother Jeff but time after time, his efforts were undermined by cruel twists of fate, and his efforts came up short as a result.
After working to get Private Party free from La Faccion Ingobernable and their AFO, things were finally looking up for Hardy, but alas, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and before the trio could so much as challenge for the AEW World Trios Championships, their prospects were thrown up in the air once more thanks to Stokley Hathaway and The Firm, who secured the rights to PP’s contracts and wagered them in a match between Isiah Kassidy and Ethan Page. If Kassidy won, he and Marq Quen would be free to do as they please in the AEW Galaxy, but if they lost, well, then Page and The Firm secured his contract, Quen’s contract, and the contract of Hardy’s too, for good measure.
A little over two minutes in a match at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Page’s home province of Ontario, Hardy got his answer and a new boss to boot.
Fast forward to a backstage segment on the Daily’s Place edition of Rampage, and Hardy finally found out what lies ahead in his future and how The Fim plans to “book him” as part of their affiliation. Asked why he was called to the backstage area with a camera and Lexy Nair, Hathaway gave him some insight into his future, which now includes a steady stream of matches of AEW Dark Elevation because “TV Time is for people like Ethan Page and The Firm.”
“I see what you’re doing here,” Hardy replied. “You’re trying to put me in my place, right? Uncultured Matt Hardy? I got a contract from some punks the other day, I opened it and read it, it said they were suckers. They wanted me for The Firm or whatever, picture me giving a d*mn, I said never.”
And yet, Monday rolled around, and Hardy found himself in the ring for his 13th match on Dark Elevation – a match unlike any of his AEW career thus far. Hardy walked to the ring with his The Firm bosses(?), and after beginning his match with enhancement talent Lord Crewe, things came to a halt when Page took the mic and declared that the match wasn’t allowed to finish with a Twist of Fate despite it being Version 1’s long-time finisher. Granted, Hardy ignored that declaration and twisted the fate anyway, but after leaving the ring, he was given the rundown by Page and Hathaway anyway and was docked $50k for his insubordination, another 50k for touching his boss, and was ultimately suspended from the subsequent round of AEW tapings as a result. How will this turn out? Only time will tell, but needless to say, Hardy isn’t having the best time right about now.
Trouble in paradise? @StokelyHathaway & @OfficialEGO send #TheFirm's newest acquisition @MATTHARDYBRAND to this Monday's #AEWDarkElevation. Watch #AEWRampage LIVE on TNT! pic.twitter.com/5z6nn9DRr4
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 22, 2022
Matt Hardy hasn’t closed the door on a WWE return.
If Hardy decides that he’s had enough of being Hathaway’s doormat when his contract comes to an end, the formerly Broken one hasn’t closed out the possibility of ending his career back in WWE, as he detailed on his The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, as transcribed by Fightful.
“I don’t know. In all honesty, I can see myself retiring with AEW, I love being here. I love the family feel that it has and I love just the lack of horseshit and bullshit, you know, it’s pretty much straightforward,” Hardy said. “Tony [Khan] is really good with working with people and remembering [wrestlers are] human beings, and especially people that have families and allowing them to take time off and address issues that there may be. So he’s great with that. He works around people’s schedules and whatnot. So I love AEW, and I’m very cool with spending the rest of my career in AEW.”
“With that being said, I love WWE as well. I think it’s a big positive that Triple H has taken over and has been in charge. I would imagine it’s going to continue to change as it evolves over the next few years with him at the helm.”
Will Hardy be back in WWE at some point down the line? Eh probably not, unless we’re talking a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but hey, in 2022, with Triple H in charge, you can never really say never.
Twist of Fate and @MATTHARDYBRAND gets the W on #AEWDarkElevation! Check out tonight's brand new episode to catch the action in full!
▶️ https://t.co/mWPbzSHyMl pic.twitter.com/7GJwEwnemS
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 24, 2022