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Matt Hardy

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Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy Comic Con.jpg
Hardy in June 2017
Birth name Matthew Moore Hardy
Born (1974-09-23) September 23, 1974 (age 44)
Cameron, North Carolina, U.S.
Residence Cameron, North Carolina, U.S.
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Sandhills Community College
Spouse(s)
Reby Sky (m. 2013)
Children 2
Relatives Jeff Hardy (brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Broken Matt[1]
Matt Hardy
High Voltage[2]
Ishan Hardy[3]
Rahway Reaper[4]
Surge
Wildo Jynx
Wolverine[5]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[6][7]
Billed weight 236 lb (107 kg)[7]
Billed from Cameron, North Carolina[6][7]
Trained by Dory Funk Jr.[5]
Debut October 15, 1992[5]

Matthew Moore Hardy[8] (born September 23, 1974)[9] is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE.

Along with his real-life brother Jeff, Matt gained notoriety in WWF's tag team division due to the Hardys' participation in Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches.[10] As a tag team wrestler, he is a 13-time world tag team champion, having held six WWF/World Tag Team Championships, three WWE/Raw Tag Team Championships, one ROH World Tag Team Championship, one WCW Tag Team Championship and two TNA World Tag Team Championships.[5][6]

Wrestling in three separate decades, Hardy has managed to keep himself relevant through a variety of different gimmicks, character changes as well as his use of social media. In 2002, Hardy began a solo career in WWE and his subsequent "Version 1" persona was named Best Gimmick by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Hardy's eccentric "Broken" gimmick, which he debuted in 2016, earned him multiple awards and praise from wrestling critics, including a second Best Gimmick award (in 2017, the character was renamed "Woken" within WWE). As a singles wrestler, Hardy is a three time world champion two TNA World Heavyweight Championships and one ECW Championship.

Early life[edit]

Hardy was born in Cameron, North Carolina,[11] the son of Gilbert and Ruby Moore Hardy. He is the older brother of Jeff Hardy.[12][13] Their mother died of brain cancer in 1987.[13][14] Hardy played baseball as a child and throughout high school, but had stopped by his senior year.[15] He also played football, either as a linebacker or a defensive end.[16] Hardy was a good student at Union Pines High School in North Carolina, and was a nominee for the "Morehead Award", a scholarship to any university in North Carolina.[17] Hardy attended University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he majored in engineering;[18] after a year, however, he dropped out due to his father being ill. He then attended Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst to gain his associate degree.[19]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1992–2001)[edit]

Hardy in 1999

Hardy, along with his brother Jeff and friends, started their own federation, the Trampoline Wrestling Federation (TWF) and mimicked the moves they saw on television.[12] Shortly after Hardy sent in a tape for the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) Amateur Challenge using the ring name High Voltage, a tag team named High Voltage began competing in WCW, causing Hardy to change his name to Surge.[11][20] A few years later, it was revealed to him by Chris Kanyon that the tape had been kept in the WCW Power Plant, watched multiple times, and that the name High Voltage was blatantly stolen from it.[11][20] Beginning in 1994, The Hardys wrestled for several North Carolina-based independent circuit promotions and adapted a number of alter-egos. As The Wolverine, Hardy captured the New England Wrestling Alliance (NEWA) Championship in May 1994. As High Voltage, he teamed with Venom to claim the New Frontier Wrestling Association (NFWA) Tag Team Championship in March 1995.[5] A month later, High Voltage defeated the Willow for the NFWA Championship.[11]

In 1997, Matt and Jeff created their own wrestling promotion, The Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (frequently abbreviated to OMEGA Championship Wrestling, or simply OMEGA), in which Matt competed under the name High Voltage.[11] Both Matt and Jeff took apart the ring and put it back together at every event they had, while Matt sewed all the costumes worn in OMEGA. The promotion folded in October 1999,[21] after both Matt and Jeff signed with the World Wrestling Federation.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment[edit]

Early years (1994–1998)[edit]

Hardy worked as a jobber for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1994 up until he signed a full-time contract in 1998. His first WWF match was against Nikolai Volkoff on May 23, 1994, which he lost by submission.[22] Hardy made his Monday Night Raw debut on July 11, 1994, losing to Crush. A night later at a taping of WWF Wrestling Challenge, he lost a match against Owen Hart. He continued to wrestle sporadically in the WWF throughout 1994 and 1995, losing matches against Crush, Razor Ramon, Hakushi, Owen Hart, the imposter Undertaker, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and "The Ringmaster" Steve Austin.[23][5]

Hardy teamed with Jeff for the first time in the WWF in 1996, losing to teams such as The Smoking Gunns and The Grimm Twins on WWF television. Matt and Jeff had a short lived feud with The Headbangers (Thrasher and Mosh), losing to the duo twice in 1997. It was during this time that Matt and Jeff experimented with different ring names, at one stage being called Ingus (Matt) and Wildo Jinx (Jeff). In Matt's final singles match for the promotion before signing a full-time contract he lost to Val Venis on a taping of Shotgun in 1998.

The Hardy Boyz (1998–2001)[edit]

Jeff (left) and Matt (right) Hardy as the WWF Tag Team Champions with the WWF Women's Champion Lita (center)

It was not until 1998, however, (at the height of The Attitude Era) that the Hardy brothers were given full-time WWF contracts and sent to train with former wrestler Dory Funk, Jr.[11][24] The Hardy Boyz used a cruiserweight, fast-paced high flying style in their matches, often leaping from great heights to do damage to their opponents (and themselves in the process). In 1999, while feuding with Edge and Christian, the duo briefly picked up Michael Hayes as a manager.[25]

At King of the Ring, The Hardyz defeated Edge and Christian to earn the #1 contendership for the WWF Tag Team Championship. On July 5, they defeated The APA to win their first Tag Team Championship.[26] They soon dumped Hayes and briefly picked up Gangrel as a manager, after Gangrel turned on Edge and Christian.[27] At No Mercy, The Hardyz defeated Edge and Christian in the first ever tag team ladder match.[28] At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, The Hardyz defeated The Dudley Boyz in the first ever tag team tables match.[29] They competed against The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian for the Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 2000 in the first ever Triangle Ladder match, but were unsuccessful.

Hardy making his entrance at the WrestleMania X8 as one-half of The Hardy Boyz

Hardy won the Hardcore Championship on April 24, 2000, on Raw Is War, by defeating Crash Holly, but lost it back to Holly three days later on SmackDown!, when Holly applied the "24/7 rule" during Hardy's title defense against Jeff.[30] The Hardy Boyz then found a new manager in Matt's real-life girlfriend Lita.[31] Together, the three became known as "Team Xtreme".[32]

The Hardy Boyz competed in the first ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, for the WWF Tag Team Championship against The Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian, but were unsuccessful.[10] At Unforgiven, The Hardyz defeated Edge and Christian in a steel cage match to win the tag team championship, and successfully retained it the following night on Raw Is War against Edge and Christian in a ladder match.

In 2001, The Hardyz began feuding with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H (known as The Power Trip), which also led to a singles push for both Matt and Jeff. Hardy helped Jeff defeat Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship,[33] and shortly after Hardy defeated Eddie Guerrero to win the European Championship on SmackDown!.[34][35] At Backlash he retained the title against Guerrero and Christian in a triple threat, and against Edge the following night on RAW.

Throughout the year, the Hardy Boyz continued to win as a tag team, winning the WWF Tag Team Titles two more times,[36][37] and the WCW Tag Team Championship during the Invasion.[6] By the end of the year, the Hardy Boyz began a storyline where they were having trouble co-existing.[5] This culminated in a match between the two, with Lita as the guest referee, at the Vengeance pay-per-view, which Jeff won.[38] Hardy defeated Jeff and Lita the following night on RAW in a two-on-one handicap match.

Version 1 (2002–2004)[edit]

At the beginning of 2002, it seemed Team Xtreme had patched things up.[5] After the brand extension, however, Hardy was relegated to Heat while Jeff wrestled on the main show, Raw.[5] On the August 12 episode of Raw, Hardy turned against Jeff during Jeff's match against Rob Van Dam, because Hardy was frustrated at not receiving a match against Van Dam for the number one contendership for the Intercontinental Championship.[39] A short time later, Hardy joined the SmackDown! roster,[40] and began dubbing himself "Matt Hardy: Version 1", complete with a "version 1" hand signal. Hardy defeated The Undertaker on the September 12 and October 3 episodes of the show, due to interference from Brock Lesnar.[41][42]

Hardy under his Version 1 gimmick outside of the ring at WrestleMania XIX

Along with his MF'er (Mattitude Follower) Shannon Moore in his corner, 2003 began with Hardy frantically trying to lose weight to get under the 215 lb (98 kg) weight limit to compete for the Cruiserweight Championship.[5][43][44] After just barely making weight, Hardy defeated Billy Kidman at No Way Out to win the Cruiserweight title.[45][46] At WrestleMania XIX, he successfully defended it against Rey Mysterio.[47] Hardy lost the Cruiserweight Championship to Mysterio in the main event of the June 5 episode of SmackDown - the first and only time a Cruiserweight Championship match main evented a show.[48]

After dropping the Cruiserweight Championship, Hardy briefly feuded with Eddie Guerrero, but was unsuccessful in capturing Guerrero's United States Championship or Tag Team Championship. The Mattitude faction then expanded to include Crash Holly as Moore's "Moore-on" (apprentice).[49] He later disbanded the group in November and returned to Raw in order to be able to travel and work with his then girlfriend Lita, who just returned from an injury.[50] On his first night back, he turned on Lita in storyline after teasing a proposal to her.[50] He defeated Christian, who was vying for Lita's affections, on the following edition of Raw.[51]

In April 2004, Hardy saved Lita from getting attacked by Kane.[52][53] Hardy defeated Kane at Vengeance, but lost a match against Kane at SummerSlam. On the August 23 episode of Raw, Hardy was chokeslamed off the stage by Kane.[54] Hardy then spent almost a year off from wrestling due to a severe knee injury.[55]

Departure and sporadic appearances (2005)[edit]

Along with his friend Rhyno, Hardy was released by WWE on April 11, 2005.[11][56] Hardy's release was largely in part due to unprofessional conduct with social media after discovering Lita had a real-life affair with Edge. The public knowledge of the affair led to both receiving jeers from the crowds at WWE events, often resulting in chants of "You screwed Matt!", and, "We want Matt!".[57] Edge and Lita used the affair and fan backlash to become a hated on-screen couple, which led to Lita turning heel for the first time in over five years.[58]

Fans began a petition on the internet, wanting WWE to re-sign Hardy, and amassed over fifteen thousand signatures.[57] Hardy released two character promotional vignettes, that he was planning to use before he was offered a new contract by WWE.[57] Hardy called himself The Angelic Diablo with the tagline "the scar will become a symbol" in reference to the way in which he had been treated by Lita and WWE.[57][59] On the June 20 episode of Raw, during the storyline wedding of Edge and Lita, Hardy's entrance music and video were played when the priest asked if anyone had a reason why Edge and Lita should not be wed.[60]

Independent circuit and Ring of Honor (2005)[edit]

Following his WWE release, Matt returned to the independent circuit and wrestled several matches for the Allied Powers Wrestling Federation (APWF), International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) and Big Time Wrestling (BTW).[61]

Hardy appeared at a scheduled Ring of Honor (ROH) event on July 16, 2005, in Woodbridge, Connecticut where he defeated Christopher Daniels via submission.[62] Hardy also cut a brief promo where he continued in full "worked shoot" mode, attacking WWE and John Laurinaitis. Following his official return to WWE, Hardy was met with backlash following a match with Homicide from the fans at a subsequent ROH event, which Hardy won.[63] The next day at his final ROH appearance, he lost to Roderick Strong.[64]

Return to WWE[edit]

Feud with Edge (2005–2006)[edit]

Hardy during a Raw live event held in Bremen, Germany in 2007

On July 11, 2005 on Raw, Hardy attacked Edge backstage and again later during Edge's match with Kane.[citation needed] Before being escorted out of the building by security, Hardy stated that Edge and Lita would pay for their actions and told fans that they could see him at Ring of Honor while security officials and event staff were trying to restrain him.[citation needed] Hardy also called out Johnny Ace as security had him in handcuffs taking him out of the arena. This caused an uproar amongst fans, who were confused and wondered if the whole thing was a work or a shoot. Similar occurrences repeated during the following two weeks.[65][66]

On the August 1 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon officially announced Hardy's return to WWE, adding that Hardy would face Edge at SummerSlam.[67] Hardy made his in-ring return, defeating Snitsky on the August 8 Raw.[68] Seconds after the victory, Hardy was attacked by Edge, and as he was being carried backstage, Matt counterattacked Edge in the locker room. On August 21 at SummerSlam, their match came to a premature end when Edge dropped Hardy onto the top of a ring post, causing him to bleed heavily. The referee ended the match on the grounds that Hardy could not continue, and Edge was declared the winner.[69] After SummerSlam, the two continued fighting on Raw, including a Street Fight that resulted in Hardy performing a Side Effect on Edge off the entrance stage and into electrical equipment below.[70] At Unforgiven, Edge faced Hardy in a steel cage match. Hardy caught an interfering Lita with the Twist of Fate and won the match with a leg-drop off the top of the cage.[71] Hardy and Edge faced each other at WWE Homecoming in a Loser Leaves Raw ladder match. Edge's briefcase holding his Money in the Bank Contract for his WWE Championship opportunity was suspended above the ring. The winner of the match received the contract and the loser was forced to leave Raw. Edge tied Hardy's arms in the ropes, and Lita trapped Hardy in a crucifix hold, leaving Hardy only able to watch Edge win.[72]

Hardy during WWE's Eddie Guerrero tribute tour in 2005

With his defeat at the hands of Edge, Hardy was moved to the SmackDown! brand where he re-debuted with a win over Simon Dean on October 21 in Reno, Nevada.[73] One week later, Hardy won the fan vote to represent Team Smackdown (alongside Rey Mysterio) to challenge team RAW (Edge and Chris Masters) at Taboo Tuesday. Edge, however, refused to wrestle and sent Snitsky in place of him in the match, which Hardy and Mysterio won.[74]

Back on SmackDown!, Hardy started an angle with MNM (Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury) and their manager Melina when Melina approached Hardy, seemingly wanting Hardy to join with her team. Hardy refused the offer, which led to him facing the tag team on several occasions with a variety of partners. On July 25, after the SmackDown! taping, Hardy was taken out of action after doctors found the remnants of the staph infection that had plagued him the previous year. He was sidelined until August 25 while he healed.

Upon his return to action, Hardy feuded against childhood friend and reigning Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms. At No Mercy, in both of their hometown, Cameron, North Carolina, Hardy beat Helms.[75] The two met again at Survivor Series, where Hardy's team won in a clean sweep.[76] They wrestled one final match, a one time appearance in Booker T's Pro Wrestling Alliance (PWA) promotion, where Hardy defeated Helms in a North Carolina Street Fight.[77]

The Hardy Boyz reunion (2006–2007)[edit]

Jeff (far left) and Matt (front) making their entrances at December to Dismember in 2006

On the November 21, 2006 episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Hardy and Jeff competed in a match together for the first time in almost five years, defeating The Full Blooded Italians. At December to Dismember, the Hardy Boyz issued an open challenge to any tag team who wanted to face them.[78] MNM answered their challenge by reuniting at December to Dismember, a match won by the Hardy Boyz.[79] At Armageddon, Hardy and Jeff competed against Paul London and Brian Kendrick, MNM, and Dave Taylor and William Regal in a Ladder match for the WWE Tag Team Championship but lost.[80] Subsequently, he and Jeff feuded with Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro after the legitimate incident where they injured Mercury's face at Armageddon 2006.[81] This led to a long term rivalry, and at the 2007 Royal Rumble, Hardy and Jeff defeated MNM.[82] Mercury and Hardy continued to feud until Mercury was released from WWE in March.[83]

The night after WrestleMania on Raw, the Hardys competed in a 10-team battle royal for the World Tag Team Championship. They won the titles for the sixth time from then WWE Champion John Cena and Shawn Michaels after last eliminating Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.[84] This started a feud with Cade and Murdoch, and the Hardys successfully retained their World Tag Team Championship in their first title defense at Backlash.[85] The Hardy Boyz also successfully retained their titles at Judgment Day against Cade and Murdoch. One month later at One Night Stand, they defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team to retain the titles in a Ladder match.[86] The following night on Raw, Vince McMahon demanded that The Hardys once again defend their championships against Cade and Murdoch. The Hardys were defeated after Murdoch pushed Jeff's foot off the bottom rope during Cade's pinfall, causing the three count to continue.[87] They invoked their rematch clause against Cade and Murdoch at Vengeance: Night of Champions, but were unsuccessful.

Championship reigns (2007–2009)[edit]

Hardy as United States Champion in 2008

On the July 6, 2007 episode of SmackDown!, Hardy won a non-title match against United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), which resulted in a feud between the two.[88] Hardy was defeated by MVP at The Great American Bash for the United States Championship.[89] MVP then claimed that he was "better than Hardy at everything", which led to a series of contests between Hardy and MVP, such as a basketball game, an arm wrestling contest, and a chess match which MVP "sneezed" on and ruined when Hardy put him in check.[90] MVP challenged Hardy to a boxing match at Saturday Night's Main Event, however MVP was legitimately diagnosed with the heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.[91] Since MVP was unable to compete, Hardy faced his replacement, former world champion boxer, Evander Holyfield. The match ended in a no contest after MVP entered the ring to verbally abuse Holyfield, who then knocked him out.[92] MVP also challenged Hardy to a beer drinking contest at SummerSlam, but as revenge for what happened at SNME, Hardy allowed Stone Cold Steve Austin to replace him; Austin simply performed a stunner on MVP then kept drinking.[90][93]

After a segment involving MVP inadvertently choosing Hardy as his tag-team partner, Theodore Long promptly set up a match against Deuce 'n Domino for the WWE Tag Team Championship which the duo were able to win, therefore setting up Hardy's first reign as WWE Tag Team Champion.[94][95] Hardy and MVP retained the titles at Unforgiven in a rematch against former champions Deuce 'n Domino.[96] Hardy was scheduled to face MVP at Cyber Sunday, but due to a real-life head injury sustained on the previous episode of SmackDown!,[97] he was not medically cleared to compete.[98] As part of the storyline, Hardy continually asked MVP for a shot at the United States Championship but MVP refused stating that he was more focused on the Tag Team Championship.

On the November 16 episode of SmackDown!, Hardy and MVP dropped the WWE Tag Team Championship to John Morrison and The Miz.[95][99] Despite the fact that Hardy was hurt, MVP immediately invoked the rematch clause.[99] After the rematch, in which Hardy was forced to tap out, MVP attacked Hardy, repeatedly targeting his knee.[99] It was later confirmed by WWE.com that Hardy had suffered an injury at his former partner's hands and that he might not be able to compete at Survivor Series.[100] Despite his absence at the pay-per-view, his team was able to win the match.[101] On November 21, WWE's official website reported that Hardy underwent an emergency appendectomy in Tampa, Florida after his appendix burst.[102] Hardy made an appearance at the December 31 episode of Raw supporting his brother Jeff. To further Jeff's storyline with Randy Orton, however, Hardy was attacked by Orton.[103][104] Hardy made his return at a live event in Muncie, Indiana on March 1, 2008.[105]

On March 30, 2008, at WrestleMania XXIV, during the Money in the Bank ladder match Hardy cut through the crowd and attacked MVP to prevent him from winning the match. He made his official in-ring return the next night on Raw, losing a singles match to WWE Champion Randy Orton. On the April 4 episode of SmackDown!, Hardy faced MVP in a non-title match, which he won, re-igniting their storyline rivalry.[106] On April 27, 2008, Hardy defeated MVP to win the United States Championship at Backlash,[107][108] and successfully retained his title against MVP five days later on Smackdown.[109]

Hardy declared himself as a fighting champion that would take on all challenges, defending the United States championship against Shelton Benjamin,[110] Elijah Burke,[111] Chuck Palumbo,[112] Mr. Kennedy,[113] Chavo Guerrero and Umaga.[114] Hardy was drafted to the ECW brand on the June 23, 2008 episode of Raw during the 2008 WWE Draft, in the process making the United States Championship exclusive to ECW.[115] He dropped the United States Championship to Shelton Benjamin at the Great American Bash pay-per-view on July 20, 2008, which meant that the title returned to SmackDown.[116][117]

Hardy as ECW Champion in 2008

On the July 22 episode of ECW, Hardy became the number one contender to Mark Henry's ECW Championship after defeating John Morrison, The Miz and Finlay in a fatal four-way match.[118] He won the title match at SummerSlam by disqualification due to interference from Henry's manager, Tony Atlas, thus he failed to win the title.[119] Due to the ending of the pay-per-view match, Hardy received a rematch for the title on the next episode of ECW, but again failed to win the title when Henry pinned him after a distraction by Atlas.[120] At Unforgiven, Hardy won the ECW Championship during the Championship scramble match, defeating then-champion Henry, The Miz, Finlay and Chavo Guerrero by pinning the Miz with three minutes left, marking his first world heavyweight championship win.[121] He continued to feud with Henry until No Mercy, where Hardy successfully retained the title. Hardy lost the title to Jack Swagger on the January 13, 2009 episode of ECW, which was taped on January 12.[122]

Final feuds and departure (2009–2010)[edit]

At the 2009 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, after losing an ECW Championship rematch to Swagger, Hardy turned on his brother when he hit Jeff with a steel chair, allowing Edge to win the WWE Championship.[123] On the January 27, 2009 episode of ECW, it was announced by General Manager Theodore Long that Hardy had requested, and been granted, his release from ECW and had re-signed with the SmackDown brand.[124] On the January 30 episode of SmackDown!, Hardy explained that his actions at the Royal Rumble were due to him being fed up with "sharing the spotlight" with Jeff and taking care of Jeff when he was nothing more than a "self-destructive screw-up" and a "constant mistake", and that, from that point onward, he no longer considered Jeff as a partner or sibling.[citation needed]

As part of the buildup to this feud, Hardy strongly implied that he was responsible for all of Jeff's accidents leading back to November, including an assault in a hotel stairwell that prevented Jeff from appearing at Survivor Series, an automobile accident where Jeff's car was run off the road, and a pyrotechnics malfunction where part of the pyro from Jeff's entrance was fired directly at Jeff, in an attempt to stop Jeff holding the WWE Championship. Despite Hardy's attempts to goad Jeff into fighting him, Jeff refused to fight his brother, but, on the March 3 episode of SmackDown!, Jeff attacked him during a promo where Hardy implied that he was also responsible for the fire that burned down Jeff's house, going so far as to reveal that he had in his possession a dog collar that supposedly belonged to Jeff's dog, Jack (who perished in the fire), that he claimed to have salvaged from the wreckage of the house. At WrestleMania XXV, Hardy defeated Jeff in an Extreme Rules match, and in a stretcher match on the following episode of SmackDown.[125][126][127]

Matt and Jeff began their rivalry at the 2009 Royal Rumble and it culminated with a match at WrestleMania XXV

On the April 13 episode of Raw, Hardy was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the WWE draft.[128] Despite the fact that the two were on different brands, he continued his feud with Jeff. Two weeks later, in a rematch from WrestleMania, Hardy lost to Jeff in an "I Quit" match at Backlash, in which he legitimately broke his hand.[129][130]

Hardy continued to wrestle with his hand in a cast, incorporating it into his persona and claiming that he was wrestling under protest. He reignited his feud with MVP on Raw again for the United States Championship. He also formed a tag team with William Regal, and the two acted as henchmen for General Manager Vickie Guerrero.[131] At the June 22 taping of WWE Superstars, Hardy suffered yet another injury, when his intestines went through his abdominal wall, during a triple threat match against MVP and Kofi Kingston.[132] Hardy had suffered a tear in his abdominal muscle two years previously, but had not needed surgery until it worsened, and became a danger to his health.[132]

He was then traded to the SmackDown brand on June 29, and underwent surgery for the torn abdominal muscle on July 2.[133][134] He made his return on the August 7 episode of SmackDown as the special guest referee in the World Heavyweight Championship match between his brother, Jeff, and CM Punk, and helped Jeff retain the championship by counting the pinfall.[135] The following week Hardy saved his brother when CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty attacked both Jeff and John Morrison.[136] On the August 21 episode of SmackDown, after apologizing for his past actions towards Jeff and admitting that he was not behind any of Jeff's accidents, he had his first match back after his injury when he teamed with Jeff and John Morrison to defeat The Hart Dynasty and CM Punk, when Matt pinned Punk.[137]

Hardy making his entrance at a SmackDown live event in 2009

In early 2010, Hardy began an on-screen relationship with Maria; but was brief and the relationship ended when Maria was released from her WWE contract. On the March 5 episode of SmackDown, Hardy qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI by defeating Drew McIntyre, but was unsuccessful at WrestleMania, as the match was won by Jack Swagger.[138][139] Hardy was suspended by Vince McMahon because he attacked McIntyre after McIntyre lost to Kofi Kingston at Over the Limit.[140] He was able to get his revenge on McIntyre during the Viewer's Choice episode of Raw when chosen as the opponent for McIntyre, with General Manager Theodore Long stating that Hardy was suspended from SmackDown, but not from Raw.[141] On the following episode of SmackDown, however, Vickie Guerrero announced that, per orders of Vince McMahon, Hardy had been suspended from all WWE programming.[142] However, at Fatal 4-Way, Hardy prevented McIntyre from regaining the Intercontinental Championship, thus continuing their feud.[143] On the following edition of SmackDown, he was reinstated by Long and had a match with McIntyre, which Hardy won. After the match, it was announced that McIntyre's visa had legitimately expired and was sent back to Scotland, thus ending their feud.[144]

On September 12, WWE confirmed they had sent Hardy home from a European tour.[145] Following this, Hardy began posting videos on his YouTube channel expressing his disinterest in the WWE product and insisting that he wanted to be released from the company.[146] On October 15, 2010, WWE announced that Hardy had been released from his contract.[147] Hardy later stated that his release had been in effect two weeks before WWE made the announcement.[148]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2011)[edit]

Hardy at a TNA live event in 2011

On January 9, 2011, Hardy made his debut for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) at the Genesis pay-per-view, as part of the stable Immortal. He was the surprise opponent for Rob Van Dam, and defeated him to prevent Van Dam from receiving a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, held by Hardy's brother Jeff. In the main event, Hardy attempted to interfere in Jeff's World Heavyweight Championship match with Mr. Anderson, but was stopped by Van Dam, which led to Jeff losing both the match and the championship.[149] On the January 13 episode of Impact!, the Hardy Boyz reunited to defeat Anderson and Van Dam in a tag team match, following interference from Beer Money, Inc..[150] On February 13 at Against All Odds, Van Dam defeated Hardy in a rematch.[151]

On the following episode of Impact!, Hardy, along with the rest of Immortal and Ric Flair, betrayed Fortune.[152] On March 13 at Victory Road, Hardy was defeated by Flair's previous protégé, A.J. Styles.[153] On April 17 at Lockdown, Immortal, represented by Hardy, Abyss, Bully Ray and Ric Flair, were defeated by Fortune members James Storm, Kazarian and Robert Roode and Christopher Daniels, who replaced an injured A.J. Styles, in a Lethal Lockdown match.[154] On the April 21 episode of Impact!, Hardy faced Sting for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Hardy's first World Title match in TNA, but was defeated.[155] The following month, Hardy was granted a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship against Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm and Robert Roode). While the champions looked to defend the title against the Hardy Boyz, Matt instead introduced the returning Chris Harris, Storm's old tag team partner, as his partner for the title match.[156] The match took place at Sacrifice, where Storm and Roode retained their titles.[157]

On June 21, it was reported that TNA had suspended Hardy.[158][159][160][161] On August 20, Hardy was released from TNA following a DUI arrest that occurred earlier that same day.[162][163]

Return to the independent circuit (2011–2017)[edit]

Hardy announced his retirement from full-time professional wrestling due to injuries on September 1, 2011.[164] He issued a challenge to his long-time rival MVP, who was wrestling in Japan at the time, to one final match at "Crossfire Live!" in Nashville.[165] The event was held May 19, 2012 and benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[166] Hardy won the match.

Throughout 2012, Hardy wrestled sporadically on the independent circuit, working with promotions such as Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling,[167] Pro Wrestling Syndicate[168] and Northeast Wrestling.[169] On October 5, Hardy was defeated by Kevin Steen at Pro Wrestling Xperience's An Evil Twist of Fate.[170] On November 11, Hardy, as the masked wrestler Rahway Reaper, defeated the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Kevin Matthews, winning the championship.[4] On February 9, 2013 Hardy lost the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Championship back to Matthews.[171]

Hardy preparing to face MVP at a Crossfire independent show in 2012

On February 16, 2013, at Family Wrestling Entertainment's No Limit, Hardy wrestled a TLC match for the FWE Heavyweight Championship against the champion Carlito and Tommy Dreamer, but he was defeated.[172] On November 30, 2013, at WrestleCade, Hardy defeated Carlito to become the first ever WrestleCade Champion.[173]

On May 3, 2014, following a match between Christian York and Drolix, Hardy defeated Drolix to become the new MCW Heavyweight Champion.[174] At Maryland Championship Wrestling's Shane Shamrock Cup, Hardy defeated Luke Hawx in a TLC match for Hardy's title and Hawx's Extreme Rising World title. Hardy won the match, but he gave back the title to Hawx.[175] On October 4, Hardy lost the MCW Heavyweight Championship back to Drolix, following outside interference from Kevin Eck.[176]

On February 9, 2015, Hardy appeared on FWE's "No Limits 2015" iPPV, challenging Drew Galloway for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated.[177][178]

On November 28, 2015, Hardy lost the WrestleCade Championship to Jeff Jarrett at WrestleCade IV in Winston-Salem, NC. Hardy regained the title in a triple-threat cage match against Jarrett and Ethan Carter III in Hickory, NC on May 20, 2016. He appeared at the #DELETEWCPW event for What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) in Nottingham, England on November 30. Hardy, billed as "Broken" Matt Hardy, lost a no-disqualification match to Bully Ray, with Ray proposing the no-disqualification stipulation at the last minute, and Hardy accepting there and then.[179]

Return to ROH (2012–2014)[edit]

Hardy at a Ring of Honor television taping in 2013

At Death Before Dishonor X: State of Emergency in 2012, Hardy returned to Ring of Honor, confronting Adam Cole and challenging him to a match for the ROH World Television Championship.[180] On December 16 at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, Hardy defeated Cole in a non-title match.[181]

At the following iPPV, 11th Anniversary Show on March 2, 2013, Hardy joined the villainous S.C.U.M. stable.[182] On April 5 at the Supercard of Honor VII iPPV, Hardy unsuccessfully challenged Matt Taven for the ROH World Television Championship in a three-way elimination match, which also included Adam Cole.[183] On June 22 at Best in the World 2013, Hardy defeated former S.C.U.M. stablemate Kevin Steen in a No Disqualification match to become the number one contender to the ROH World Championship.[184] Hardy received his title shot at the following day's Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings, but was defeated by the defending champion, Jay Briscoe.[185] Later that same day, S.C.U.M. was forced to disband after losing a Steel Cage Warfare match against Team ROH.[185] On December 14, 2013 at Final Battle 2013, Hardy defeated Adam Page in a singles match; later on in the main event, Hardy aided Adam Cole in retaining his title and forming a tag team with him. After aiding Cole at Supercard of Honor VIII, Hardy was given Jay Briscoe's unofficial "Real World Title" belt, which he renamed the "ROH Iconic Championship".[186] In July, Hardy opted out of his ROH contract and went back to TNA.

Return to OMEGA (2013–2018)[edit]

Matt announced that OMEGA would return in January 2013 with an event titled "Chinlock For Chuck". The main event featured Matt, Jeff, Shane "Hurricane" Helms and "Cowboy" James Storm defeating Gunner, Steve Corino, CW Anderson and Lodi. On October 12, 2013 at "Chapel Thrill", Hardy announced a Tournament for the OMEGA Heavyweight Championship which featured himself vs. CW Anderson and Shane "Hurricane" Helms vs. "The King" Shane Williams. After Hardy's qualifying match he was attacked by CW but was saved by the returning Willow the Whisp. Hardy won that match and advanced to the finals.

On November 21, 2015, Matt won the OMEGA Heavyweight Championship for the second time, defeating former student Trevor Lee. Following this, Matt (upon regaining the TNA world title as part of his villainous egotistical "Iconic" gimmick) began proclaiming himself to be the only world champion that matters, and the only "true" world champion in wrestling, as he held both the TNA and OMEGA Championships, which (according to him) put him above any other promotions' world champions.[187] Throughout 2016, Hardy defended the TNA and OMEGA titles jointly at OMEGA events as part of his "only true world champion" gimmick.[187]

On January 29, The Hardys won the OMEGA Tag Team Championships.

Return to TNA/Impact Wrestling[edit]

The Hardys third reunion (2014–2015)[edit]

Hardy making his entrance at a set of TNA television tapings in 2014

On July 24, 2014, Hardy returned to TNA and reunited with Jeff to reform The Hardys for the third time. At the Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys were defeated by The Wolves in a match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.[188] On the August 14 episode of Impact Wrestling, Team 3D (formerly the Dudley Boyz) challenged The Hardys to a match, which Team 3D won. At the Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys and Team 3D talked about a match involving themselves and The Wolves. When The Wolves were asked by the two teams, they agreed. Later that night, Kurt Angle announced all three teams would compete in a best of three series for the TNA World Tag Team Championship with the winners of the first match choosing the stipulation of the next one. The Hardys won the second match of the series on the September 10 episode of Impact Wrestling in a tables match and choose a ladder match for the third match of the series. The Hardys were unsuccessful in winning that match on the September 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, as the Wolves won that match. The Wolves then went on to pick the final match of the series to be a Full Metal Mayhem match to take place on the October 8 episode of Impact Wrestling. The Hardys were unsuccessful in that match as the Wolves won that match.

On October 22, The Hardys entered a number one contenders tournament for the TNA World Tag Team Championship defeating The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and DJ Z) in the first round of the tournament.[189] On the October 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys defeated Team Dixie (Ethan Carter III and Tyrus) in the semifinals to advance to the finals of the tournament, where they defeated Samoa Joe and Low Ki to become number one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On the January 16, 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys defeated the Wolves. At the Lockdown episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys were defeated by The Revolution in a six sides of steel cage match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On the February 20 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy and The Wolves defeated The Revolution in a six-man tag team match. In March, The Hardys participated in a tournament for the vacant TNA World Tag Team Championship. On March 16, 2015, Matt and Jeff won an Ultimate X match for the titles. On May 8, 2015, Hardy vacated the TNA World Tag Team Championship due to his brother Jeff being injured.

World Heavyweight Champion (2015–2016)[edit]

On June 28, 2015, Hardy was among the five wrestlers who competed for the TNA King of the Mountain Championship at Slammiversary, with Jeff Jarrett ultimately emerging victorious. On the July 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy requested a world title shot against Ethan Carter III, but was denied and forced to face the Dirty Heels (Austin Aries and Bobby Roode) in a handicap match, which he lost. On the July 22 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy defeated Roode in a Tables match to become the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. On the August 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy got his shot at the title against EC3 in a Full Metal Mayhem match, but failed to win the title. On the September 2 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy got another shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against EC3, but again failed to win the title; as part of the storyline, Jeff Hardy was forced to act as Ethan Carter's personal assistant. On the September 30 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy was added to the Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway main event match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory after he and Galloway defeated Carter and Tyrus, making it a three-way match, following which Jeff, who EC3 had just "fired" in the previous episode, was revealed to be the special guest referee.

On October 4 at Bound for Glory, Matt won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship by pinning Galloway. However, EC3 filed an injunction (kayfabe) that banned Hardy from appearing on Impact Wrestling for a month, which forced Hardy to relinquish the title in order to stay on the show.[190] However, Hardy has been participating in the TNA World Title Series for the vacant title. He qualified to the round of 16 by defeating Davey Richards, Robbie E and Eddie Edwards. He then advanced to the round of 8 by defeating the King of the Mountain Champion Bobby Roode and then to Jessie Godderz to continue his winning streak. The semifinals and finals were held on the January 5, 2016, live episode of Impact Wrestling during its debut on Pop TV, in which he defeated Eric Young to advance to the final round. Hardy faced EC3 in the TNA World Title Series finals, but lost the match via pinfall.

Hardy performing one of his signature poses in 2016

Hardy won the TNA World Title from EC3 on the January 19, 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, becoming the first man to defeat him in a one-on-one match in TNA. During the match a double turn took place; Hardy turned heel after Tyrus betrayed EC3. The following week on Impact Wrestling, Jeff Hardy had confronted him about last week and issued a challenge to Matt for the World Heavyweight title in the main event and Matt accepted. However, later before the main event could begin, Eric Young and Bram attacked Jeff from behind. Kurt Angle then came out to try save Jeff, and Matt had Tyrus attack Angle from behind. While Matt watched from the ramp, Young attacked Jeff with the Piledriver off the apron through a table.[191] The following week, he successfully retained his title against Angle. At Lockdown, he retained his title in a Six-side of steel match against Ethan Carter III, with the help of Rockstar Spud. He lost his title against Drew Galloway on the March 15 episode of Impact Wrestling, after a match featuring EC3 and Jeff Hardy.

Two weeks later he received a rematch for the title on Impact Wrestling, but was again defeated by Galloway. After losing the title he started a feud with Jeff. On the April 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, and an I Quit match ended in a no-contest as both Matt and Jeff were badly injured and Matt was taken out to the hospital on a stretcher.

The Broken Hardys (2016–2017)[edit]

Hardy returned on May 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, revealing himself to be one of the impostor Willows behind the attacks on Jeff. Later that night, he attacked Jeff. In the following weeks, Hardy debuted a new persona as a "Broken" man with part of his hair bleached blonde along with a strange sophisticated accent, blaming Jeff (who he began to refer to as "Brother Nero", Nero being Jeff's middle name) for breaking him and becoming obsessed with "deleting" him. On June 12, at Slammiversary, Matt was defeated by Jeff in a Full Metal Mayhem match.[citation needed] On the June 21 episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt was once again defeated by Jeff in a Six Sides of Steel match. On the June 28 episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt challenged Jeff to a final battle with the Hardy brand on the line, to take place at their home in Cameron, North Carolina the next week.[citation needed] On July 5, during special episode "The Final Deletion", Matt defeated Jeff in the match to become sole owner of the Hardy brand, forcing Jeff to drop his last name and become referred to as "Brother Nero".[citation needed]

On the August 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt and Brother Nero defeated The Tribunal, The BroMans and The Helms Dynasty in an "Ascension To Hell" match for an opportunity to challenge Decay for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. On September 8, during special episode "Delete or Decay", the Hardys faced Decay in a match held at the Hardy compound, where Brother Nero sacrificed himself to save Matt from Abyss.[192] Thanks to Brother Nero's sacrifice, Hardy was able to confront Rosemary and prevent his son Maxel from being abducted, which turned Hardy babyface as a result, and he furthered the face turn by healing Brother Nero in the Lake of Reincarnation. At Bound for Glory, the Hardys defeated Decay in "The Great War" to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship for the second time. On the October 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, they successfully defended their titles against Decay, in a Wolf Creek match.

Matt (above) and Jeff (below) as Broken Matt and Brother Nero (The Broken Hardys) with the TNA World Tag Team Championship (right) and the OMEGA Tag Team Championship (left) at an independent show in 2017

On the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, the Hardys successfully defended the titles against The Tribunal. After the match, the Hardys were attacked by the masked trio known as Death Crew Council (DCC). After accepting DCC's title challenge, The Hardys faced Bram and Kingston, and Matt pinned Kingston to retain the titles.[193] On December 15, during special episode "Total Nonstop Deletion", they were once again successful in retaining. Brother Nero attacked Crazzy Steve with the Twist of Fate, who then fell into a volcano (that had appeared on the compound in the weeks leading up the event), and was shot up into the sky, landing in the ring. Matt then covered him to win the match.[194]

On the January 12, 2017 episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys successfully defended their titles against The Wolves.[195] At Genesis, The Hardys retained their titles against the DCC and Decay in a three-way tag team match.[196] On Open Fight Night, the Hardys began a storyline where they would teleport to different promotions and win that promotions' tag team championship gold, which was referred to by Matt as their "Expedition of Gold".[197] On February 27, Hardy announced that both he and Jeff had finally left TNA, following years of speculation, with their contracts expiring that week.[198] Though the two sides were reportedly close to a contract agreement, talks began to break down and changes in management prompted their departure from the company.[199] The TNA World Tag Team Championships were vacated due to the Hardys' departure and was explained on TNA television in a segment where The Hardys teleported to their next Expedition of Gold destination, but a technicality resulted in them disappearing and the belts appearing in the arms of Decay.[200]

Broken gimmick legal battle[edit]

Hardy in a ring under his critically acclaimed Broken gimmick in 2017

Shortly after the departure of Matt and Jeff from TNA was made public, Matt's wife, Reby, went on a social media tirade in which she repeatedly slammed TNA, the company's new management and the way in which contract negotiations between the company and the Hardy family were conducted.[201] A few weeks following this, the bad blood between the two sides intensified, so much so that the new management of TNA (now renamed Impact Wrestling) Anthem Sports & Entertainment issued a cease and desist letter to The Hardys' new promotion Ring of Honor (ROH), in which Anthem essentially ordered ROH as well as any broadcasting company airing ROH's 15th Anniversary pay–per–view show (on which The Hardys were to participate in a match) to not in any way speak of, indicate or acknowledge the existence of the Broken Matt and Brother Nero characters and instead to refer to The Hardys as simply Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy.[citation needed] The issue with this is that while The Hardys were in TNA, they had full creative control over the Broken gimmick, with them even filming their own segments to air on TNA programming in some circumstances, thus making the Hardy family (in their belief) the owners of the Broken gimmick. It is believed that civil litigation will follow and a potential court hearing will take place regarding the final outcome on who owns the Broken gimmick: Anthem or the Hardy family. Until then, the status of the Broken gimmick remains undecided.[citation needed] Despite this, Matt continues to use the Broken gimmick through his social media accounts, but neither him or Jeff use the Broken gimmick at any professional wrestling shows for ROH or on the independent circuit, presumably until the results of the expected legal proceedings have been finalized.

Newly–appointed Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm credits the invention of and the vision behind the Broken gimmick to Jeremy Borash, Dave Lagana and Billy Corgan, and while Borash specifically had the most input into the gimmick of the three aside from Matt, the Hardy family deny that Borash was the sole person behind the gimmick.[202] In November 2017, Impact Wrestling changed their policy, allowing all talent to retain complete ownership over their intellectual property, essentially forfeiting ownership of the "Broken" character to Hardy.[203]

On January 31, 2018, the legal battle officially concluded when Matt legally acquired ownership of all trademarks related to the Broken universe and the Broken gimmick, which includes 'Broken Matt', 'Brother Nero', 'Broken Brilliance' and 'Vanguard1'.[204] Matt is now able to use the Broken gimmick as he sees fit, regardless of the promotion he competes in with the one caveat being that the promotion green-lights the use of the gimmick in that promotion, which includes major domestic U.S. promotions such as WWE or ROH.

International matches (2014–2015)[edit]

On November 1, 2014, Hardy traveled to Japan to compete for Wrestle-1 at the promotions Keiji Muto 30th Anniversary Hold Out show in a triple threat match against Seiya Sanada and Tajiri, which he lost.[205]

On May 24, 2015, Hardy traveled to Mexico to compete as a team captain for Team TNA/Lucha Underground with teammates Mr. Anderson and Johnny Mundo at Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide's 2015 Lucha Libre World Cup pay–per–view show. In the quarter–final round, Team TNA/Lucha Underground faced Team Rest of the World (Drew Galloway, Angélico and El Mesías) to a 15-minute time limit draw, with Team TNA/Lucha Underground winning in overtime and advancing to the semi–final round. In the semi–final round, Team TNA/Lucha Underground defeated Team MexLeyendas (Blue Demon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr. and El Solar) to advance to the final round. In the final round, Team TNA/Lucha Underground faced Dream Team (El Patrón Alberto, Myzteziz and Rey Mysterio Jr.) to a 15–minute time limit draw, with Dream Team winning both the match and the tournament in overtime with Hardy on the losing end of the final pinfall.[206]

Second return to ROH (2016–2017)[edit]

On December 2, 2016, Hardy returned to ROH for the second time while still under contract with TNA, appearing at the promotions Final Battle pay-per-view show as Broken Matt, where a video message showed him addressing The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe).[207]

The most important thing in the professional wrestling industry in this day and age of technology and the Internet and social media is to be able to make wrestling unpredictable. We were very happy we were able to do that, and it's one of the things I take a lot of pride in, along with my universe. I do all that I can to surprise people and make things unpredictable because that is what makes wrestling fun. Matt Hardy may be dysfunctional, but you can't spell dysfunctional without fun. My goal in the professional wrestling industry is to put fun into the dysfunctionality of it.

— Matt on his surprise second return to ROH at Final Battle[208]

On March 4, 2017, in the same week that both Matt and Jeff were released from TNA, The Hardys defeated The Young Bucks in an impromptu match at ROH's 2017 installment of the company's Manhattan Mayhem show series to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions for the first time.[209] Moments after winning the titles, Hardy announced in a post-match promo that both he and Brother Nero (Jeff) had signed "the biggest ROH contracts in (the company's) history". It was later confirmed that the contracts were short-term, only for the "immediate future".[210] On March 10, The Hardys successfully defended the ROH World Tag Team Championship for the first time at ROH's 15th Anniversary pay-per-view show against The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) in a three-way Las Vegas tag team street fight match. Prior to the event, the Hardys had been sent a legal threat by Impact Wrestling regarding the use of the Broken Matt and Brother Nero gimmicks.[211] The following night on March 11, The Hardys (not billed but using the Broken gimmicks anyway) once again retained the titles, this time against The Briscoes at a set of Ring of Honor Wrestling television tapings. The Hardys lost the titles back to The Young Bucks in a ladder match on April 1 at ROH's Supercard of Honor XI pay-per-view show, which would be the final ROH appearances for both Hardys in this tenure with the promotion.[212]

Second return to WWE (2017–2018)[edit]

The Hardy Boyz as Raw Tag Team Champions in May 2017

On April 2 at WrestleMania 33, Matt made his surprise return to WWE, along with his brother Jeff, being added as last-minute participants in the ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championship against the teams of Gallows and Anderson, Cesaro and Sheamus, and Enzo and Cass. Afterwards on Raw Talk, Matt mentioned that the Hardy Boyz had successfully completed the Expedition of Gold after winning the Raw Tag Team Championship.[213] At Payback, the Hardy Boyz retained their championships against Cesaro and Sheamus. After the match, they were attacked by Cesaro and Sheamus. The next night on Raw, Cesaro and Sheamus explained their actions, claiming the fans were more supportive of 'novelty acts' from the past like The Hardy Boyz, who they feel did not deserve to be in the match at WrestleMania 33.[214] Subsequently, at Extreme Rules, the Hardy Boyz lost the titles in a steel cage match against Cesaro and Sheamus,[215] and failed to regain it back the following month at the inaugural Great Balls of Fire event.

On the August 28 episode of Raw, Hardy participated in a 15-man battle royal for the WWE Intercontinental Championship where he eliminated Karl Anderson after allowing him to hit the ring post from the apron, but was later eliminated by Luke Gallows from ringside as the duo would attack him afterwards. Afterwards, it was revealed that Jeff had gotten injured and would be out for an estimated six months, thus Matt began wrestling in singles matches. On the October 9 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman defeated Hardy in singles competition and continued to attack him after the match, before he was saved by The Shield. On the October 30 episode of Raw, Hardy failed to win the Intercontinental Championship from The Miz. At the Survivor Series kick-off show, Hardy was defeated by Elias and subsequently attacked Elias the following night on Raw. On the November 20 episode of Raw, Hardy was interviewed, ultimately saying he was reaching his breaking point.[216]

Hardy and Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 34 in April 2018

On the November 27 episode of Raw, Hardy was defeated by Bray Wyatt. After the match, Hardy sat in the corner of the ring and started shouting "delete" repeatedly. This was the beginning of introducing the "Broken" gimmick to WWE after Impact Wrestling dropped their claim to the gimmick and Hardy gained full ownership of it. On the December 4 episode of Raw, Hardy interrupted Wyatt's promo, claiming he was "Woken", before saying he had no choice but to sentence Wyatt to deletion. The two had another match on the 25th Anniversary of Raw where Wyatt was victorious. Hardy entered the 2018 Royal Rumble match at number 19, but he failed to win the match after Wyatt and Hardy eliminated each other. The following night on Raw, Wyatt cost Hardy his Elimination Chamber qualifying match against Elias. At Elimination Chamber, Hardy defeated Wyatt in a singles match. Their final match happened on the March 19 episode of Raw, dubbed The Ultimate Deletion, with Hardy winning after distractions from Señor Benjamin and appearance by Jeff Hardy. Wyatt then disappeared after being thrown into the Lake of Reincarnation. The following week on Raw, Matt entered into the annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34 and with the returning Bray Wyatt's help won the match.

After WrestleMania, Hardy and Wyatt performed as a tag team, sometimes being called The Deleters of Worlds. They participated in a tournament for the vacant WWE RAW Tag Team Championship, defeating the teams of Titus Worldwide (Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews) in the first round and The Revival in the second round. Then, they defeated Cesaro and Sheamus at Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they won the titles. At Extreme Rules, they lost the titles to the B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel). On the July 23 episode of Raw, Hardy and Wyatt attacked the B-Team after losing against them in their rematch clause for the titles. However, the following week, Hardy and Wyatt were defeated by The Revival in an impromptu match.[217] Following this, Hardy revealed that he was taking time off due to his back fusing with his pelvis, effectively disbanding the team. Despite teasing retirement, Hardy would deny rumors of retirement on The Ross Report.[218]

Other media[edit]

In 1999, Matt, along with his brother Jeff, appeared as an uncredited wrestler on That '70s Show episode "That Wrestling Show".[219][220] Matt and Jeff also appeared on Tough Enough in early 2001, talking to and wrestling the contestants.[221] He appeared in the February 25, 2002 episode of Fear Factor competing against five other World Wrestling Federation wrestlers, including his brother.[222][223] He won $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.[222][223] Hardy also appeared on the October 13, 2009 episode of Scare Tactics, as a mental patient who threatens to attack the prank's victim.[224][225]

In 2001, Matt, Jeff, and Lita appeared in Rolling Stone magazine's 2001 Sports Hall of Fame issue.[226] In 2003, Matt and Jeff, with the help of Michael Krugman, wrote and published their autobiography The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire.[227] As part of WWE, Matt appeared in their DVD, The Hardy Boyz: Leap of Faith in 2001.[228] On April 29, 2008, WWE released Twist of Fate: The Matt and Jeff Hardy Story.[229] The DVD featured footage of the brothers in OMEGA and WWE.[229] Hardy also appears on The Hardy Show, an Internet web show which features the Hardys, Shannon Moore, and many of their friends.[230]

Hardy plays himself in the 2013 film Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies in which he and his real-life wife Reby Sky battle the undead.[231]

Hardy's first WWE video game was WWF Wrestlemania 2000 in 1999 on the Nintendo 64 shortly followed by WWF SmackDown! in early 2000 on the PlayStation. He made several appearances later in WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role, WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw. He later returned to the series in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, which was his last WWE video game before his departure to TNA. Following his return to WWE in 2017, he was revealed as a DLC character in WWE 2K18 on September 25 that year alongside tag team partner and brother, Jeff Hardy. Hardy was revealed as a playable character in WWE 2K19 on August 30, 2018.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2013 Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies Himself
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1999 That '70s Show Wrestler No. 3
2001 The Big Breakfast Himself
2001 Tough Enough Himself
2002 Fear Factor Himself Episode winner
2004 Headbangers Ball Himself
2009 Scare Tactics Patient 12
2012 The 99 Awang/Ben Hargreaves

Personal life[edit]

Hardy with his wife Reby Sky in 2014

Hardy is good friends with fellow wrestlers Marty Garner, Shannon Moore, and Gregory Helms.[232][233] He was in a six-year relationship with former WWE Diva Amy "Lita" Dumas. They first met in January 1999 at a NWA Mid-Atlantic show but did not begin dating until a few months later.[234] They broke up when she had an affair with one of Hardy's close friends, fellow wrestler Adam "Edge" Copeland, in February 2005.[56] Hardy also dated WWE Diva Ashley Massaro.[235]

Hardy married Rebecca "Reby Sky" Reyes on October 5, 2013.[236] On June 23, 2015, they had their first child, a son named Maxel Hardy. On June 8, 2017, Matt and Reby welcomed their second son, Wolfgang Xander Hardy.[237]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

In WWE, Hardy was a former ECW Champion...
...as well as a former United States Champion
Hardy was also a former Cruiserweight Champion...
...and with brother Jeff (left), won six WWF/World Tag Team Championships
In TNA, Hardy was a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion...
...and (with Jeff), a two-time TNA World Tag Team Champion

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Edge (Money in the Bank/brand contract) Matt Hardy (brand contract) Dallas, Texas Raw Homecoming October 3, 2005 This was a ladder match.
Matt Hardy (hair) Billy Blade (hair) Santa Maria, California Terror Rising October 27, 2012 This was a ladder match.[257]
Matt Hardy (contract) Ethan Carter III (championship) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Impact Wrestling January 8, 2016 Aired January 19, 2016.

This was a last man standing match.[191]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hardy's reign was not recognized by Extreme Rising.[243]
  2. ^ The title was vacated in 1999 due to The Hardy Boyz signing contracts with the WWF.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "04/01/17 SUPERCARD OF HONOR XI - LAKELAND, FLORIDA". Ring of Honor. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  3. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  4. ^ a b c "Pro Wrestling Syndicate live Dec 7th in Rahway NJ with Matt Hardy". Bedofnailz.com. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Matt Hardy Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved March 21, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e "WWE Alumni Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "TNA Wrestling profile". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  8. ^ "Matt Hardy Profile". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "Matt Hardy Bio". Pro Wrestling Direct. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  10. ^ a b "SummerSlam 2000". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Broken Matt Hardy". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Varsallone, Jim (December 2001). "Flying to the top: the Hardy Boyz used hard work, dedication, and passion to become a premier WWF tag team – wrestlers Matt and Jeff Hardy". Wrestling Digest. Archived from the original on September 3, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Hardy, Matt (February 2, 2007). "My first official blog thingy... "Who Am I?"". Retrieved March 17, 2007.
  14. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  15. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  16. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  17. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  18. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  19. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  20. ^ a b Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  21. ^ "Organization Of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts" (in German). Cagematch.de. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
  22. ^ "WWE Raw Results – May 23, 1994 – Raw". Online World of Wrestling. May 23, 1993. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
  23. ^ "1994 WWF Results". Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  24. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  25. ^ Hardy, Jeff; Hardy, Matt; Krugman, Michael (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. WWE Books. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7368-2142-1.
  26. ^ "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Hardy Boyz (1)". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on November 29, 2005. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  27. ^ "The New Brood Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved March 23, 2008.
  28. ^ a b "No Mercy 1999 Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 31, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
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