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Matt Hardy

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Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy as 'Broken' Matt Hardy in January 2017.jpg
Hardy as Broken Matt in January 2017
Birth name Matthew Moore Hardy
Born (1974-09-23) September 23, 1974 (age 42)
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
Family Jeff Hardy (brother)
Señor Benjamin (father-in-law)[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Broken Matt[2]
High Voltage[3]
Ishan Hardy[4]
Matt Hardy
Rahway Reaper[5]
Surge
Wildo Jynx
Wolverine[6]
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[7][8]
Billed weight 236 lb (107 kg)[8]
Billed from Cameron, North Carolina[7][8]
Trained by Dory Funk Jr.[6]
Debut October 15, 1992[6]

Matthew Moore Hardy[9] (born September 23, 1974)[10] is an American professional wrestler and professional wrestling promoter currently signed to WWE on the Raw brand.

Hardy is best known for his work during all of his three tenures in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), later renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), as both one–half of The Hardy Boyz and as a singles competitor, as well as just his second tenure in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), later renamed to Impact Wrestling, with his work as his "Broken Matt" character.

Along with his real-life brother Jeff, he gained notoriety in WWF's tag team division due to their participation in Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches.[11] As a tag team wrestler, Hardy is a 12-time world tag team champion, having held six WWF/World Tag Team Championships, two WWE/Raw Tag Team Championships, ROH World Tag Team Championship, one WCW Tag Team Championship and two TNA World Tag Team Championships (the first man to have held all said titles, followed by Jeff).[6][7]

Aside from his success as a tag team wrestler, Hardy is a three-time world champion, having held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WWE's ECW Championship once. In WWF/WWE, he has also won the United States Championship, the European Championship, the Hardcore Championship and the Cruiserweight Championship once each. Altogether, Hardy has won 18 championships between WWF/WWE, ROH and TNA, as well as 44 championships in his overall career.

Early life[edit]

Hardy was born in Cameron, North Carolina,[12] the son of Gilbert and Ruby Moore Hardy. He is the older brother of Jeff Hardy.[13][14] Their mother died of brain cancer in 1986.[14][15] Hardy played baseball as a child and throughout high school, but had stopped by his senior year.[16] He also played football, either as a linebacker or a defensive end.[17] 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.[18] Hardy attended University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he majored in engineering;[19] 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.[20]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1992–1998)[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.[13] 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.[12][21] 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.[12][21]

Independent circuit (1994–2001)[edit]

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.[6] A month later, High Voltage defeated the Willow for the NFWA Championship.[12]

Matt would continue to wrestle in various independent promotions until 2001.[22]

OMEGA Championship Wrestling (1997–1999)[edit]

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.[12] The Hardys launched the promotion because, at the time, there weren't many places to wrestle, nor did they know anyone who could help. Both Matt and Jeff would take apart the ring and put it back together at every event they had, while Matt sewed all the costumes worn in OMEGA. The promotion would fold in October 1999,[23] after both Matt and Jeff signed with the World Wrestling Federation. Eight years later in 2007, Highspots.com produced a two-disc DVD set entitled OMEGA: Uncommon Passion, chronicling the history of the promotion, including matches and interviews with many OMEGA wrestlers.

On December 1, 2000, OMEGA returned for a one–night–only reunion show with Matt back in charge for the night, where Steve Corino won the OMEGA Heavyweight Championship.

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.[24] Hardy made his Monday Night Raw debut on July 1, 1994, losing to Crush. A night later at a taping of WWF Wrestling Challenge, he would lose in 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.[25][6]

Hardy teamed with real–life brother 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 would go on to have 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 would experiment 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 would lose to Val Venis on a taping of Shotgun in 1998.

During this period, Hardy wrestled 32 matches for the promotion.

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.[12][26] 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). Although Jeff was better known for his extreme moves, Matt was a prodigious high-flier himself. In 1999, while feuding with Edge and Christian, the duo briefly picked up Michael Hayes as a manager.[27] On July 5, they won their first WWF Tag Team Championship by defeating The Acolytes, but lost it to them a month later.[28] However, they soon dumped Hayes, and joined the short lived stable The New Brood with Gangrel.[29] After breaking away from Gangrel, Matt and Jeff were briefly managed by Terri Runnels,[30] after they won her services in the first ever tag team ladder match.[31]

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

In 2000, the Hardy Boyz found a new manager in their real-life friend Lita.[32] Together, the three became known as "Team Xtreme".[33] Throughout 2000 they continued feuding with Edge and Christian, defeating them for the WWF Tag Team Championship on two occasions.[34][35] 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!.[36] At SummerSlam, 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.[11]

In 2001, after Jeff's Intercontinental Championship run,[37] Hardy was given a singles championship push. He won the European Championship on SmackDown! four days before Backlash.[38][39] Hardy believes that he was pushed to win the title because of Jeff winning the Intercontinental Championship, and because of the effort he put into his previous storyline with Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin.[39] He became the second-longest reigning European Champion in history and the longest-reigning American-born European Champion.[40]

Throughout the year, the Hardy Boyz continued to win as a tag team, winning the WWF Tag Team Titles two more times,[41][42] and the WCW Tag Team Championship during the Invasion.[7] By the end of the year, the Hardy Boyz began a storyline where they were having trouble co-existing.[6] This culminated in a match between the two, with Lita as the guest referee, at the Vengeance pay-per-view, which Jeff won.[43]

Version 1 (2002–2004)[edit]

At the beginning of 2002, it seemed Team Xtreme had patched things up.[6] After the Brand Extension, however, Hardy was relegated to Heat while Jeff wrestled on the main show, Raw.[6] 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, making Hardy a heel in the process.[44] A short time later, Hardy joined the SmackDown! roster.[45] On the October 3 episode of the show, Hardy took advantage of a run-in from Brock Lesnar to defeat The Undertaker in a falls count anywhere match.[46]

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

Hardy began dubbing himself "Matt Hardy: Version 1", complete with a "version 1" hand signal. 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.[6][47][48] After just barely making weight, Hardy defeated Billy Kidman at No Way Out to win the Cruiserweight title.[49][50] At WrestleMania XIX, he successfully defended it against Rey Mysterio.[51][52] The Mattitude faction then expanded to include Crash Holly as Moore's "Moore-on" (follower).[53] 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.[54] On his first night back, he turned on Lita in storyline after teasing a proposal to her.[54] Hardy spent little time on Raw[6] until he turned into a fan favorite after saving Lita from getting attacked by Kane in April 2004.[55][56] After losing a match against Kane at SummerSlam, Lita was forced to marry Kane on the August 23 episode of Raw, Hardy was chokeslamed off the stage by Kane.[6][57] Hardy then spent almost a year off from wrestling due to a severe knee injury.[58]

Departure and sporadic appearances[edit]

Along with his friend Rhyno, Hardy was released by WWE on April 11, 2005.[12][59] Edge and Lita received jeers from the crowds at WWE events, often resulting in chants, "You screwed Matt", and, "We want Matt".[60] Paul Heyman, in a "shoot" promo, mocked Edge for his actions at One Night Stand.[61] Lita, for the first time in over five years, turned heel as a result of the affair becoming public knowledge.[62] Fans began a petition on the internet, wanting WWE to re-sign Hardy, and amassed over fifteen thousand signatures.[60]

Hardy released two character promotional vignettes, that he was planning to use before he was offered a new contract by WWE.[60] 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.[60][63] 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.[64] On the July 11 episode of Raw, Hardy made his return, attacking Edge as he made his way to the ring.[65] On the July 13 episode of WWE's webcast Byte This!, which featured Lita as its guest, one of the callers was Hardy himself.[6]

Return to the independent circuit (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).[22]

Ring of Honor (2005)[edit]

Hardy appeared at a scheduled Ring of Honor (ROH) event on July 16, 2005, in Woodbridge, Connecticut where he defeated Christopher Daniels via submission.[66] 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.[67] The next day at his final ROH appearance, he lost to Roderick Strong.[68]

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, Hardy posted on his website that he was finally "free", that wrestling fans had not seen the last of him, and that he had a surprise for the fans who had supported him. That night on Raw, Hardy attacked Edge backstage and again later during Edge's match with Kane, leaving the commentators speechless.[65] 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.[65] 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.[69][70]

On the August 1 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon officially announced Hardy's return to WWE, adding that Hardy would face Edge at SummerSlam.[71] Hardy made his in-ring return, defeating Snitsky on the August 8 Raw.[72] 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.[73] 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.[74] 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.[75] 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. After a contentious match, Edge tied Hardy's arms in the ropes, and Lita trapped Hardy in a crucifix hold, leaving Hardy only able to watch Edge win.[76] When the match ended, Edge and Lita gloated over the victory, but Hardy took it in stride and left the arena.

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.[77] One week later, Hardy won the fan vote to represent Team Smackdown (alongside the second-highest vote-getter 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 would win.[78]

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. One of his partners, Road Warrior Animal, brutally attacked him after they were defeated – sick of "pulling all the weight in tag teams". Animal, who was renamed The Road Warrior, and Hardy feuded for a while after this, with Hardy picking up several wins over the veteran,[79] including a qualifying match for a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 22. The match would be won by Rob Van Dam.[80]

Hardy next competed in the SmackDown! King of the Ring tournament, losing to eventual winner Booker T in the opening round thanks to a low blow and distraction from Sharmell.[81] Hardy also became the first man to defeat Mr. Kennedy in singles' competition. 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. Hardy made a surprise appearance backstage at Unforgiven after Jeff's match against Johnny Nitro. Lita joined the two in the segment, making this the first time the three had been seen together on WWE television since February 2003.

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.[82] The two met again at Survivor Series, where Hardy's team won in a clean sweep.[83] They wrestled one final match, a one time appearance in Booker T's Pro Wrestling Alliance (PWA) promotion, where Hardy defeated Gregory Helms in a North Carolina Street Fight.[84]

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.[85] MNM answered their challenge by reuniting at December to Dismember, a match that the Hardy Boyz would be victorious in.[86] 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.[87] Subsequently, he and Jeff feuded with Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro after the legitimate incident where they injured Mercury's face at Armageddon 2006.[88] This led to a bitter long term rivalry, and at the 2007 Royal Rumble, Hardy and Jeff defeated MNM.[89] Mercury and Hardy continued to feud until Mercury was released from WWE in March.[90] Before Mercury's release, however, Hardy defeated him to earn a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 23, which was ultimately won by Mr. Kennedy.[91]

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.[92] 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.[93] The Hardy Boyz would also successfully retain 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.[94] 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.[95] They invoked their rematch clause against Cade and Murdoch at Vengeance: Night of Champions, but were unsuccessful.

Championship reigns (2007–2009)[edit]

Hardy began pursuing the United States Championship in 2007

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.[96] Hardy was unsuccessful to defeat MVP at The Great American Bash for the United States Championship.[97] 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.[98] 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.[99] 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.[100] 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.[98][101]

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.[102][103] It was the first time Hardy held a tag team championship with someone other than his brother. Hardy and MVP retained the titles at Unforgiven in a rematch against former champions Deuce 'n Domino.[104] Hardy was scheduled to face MVP at Cyber Sunday, but due to a real-life head injury sustained on the previous episode of SmackDown!,[105] he was not medically cleared to compete.[106] 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. During this time, MVP teased a babyface turn as he seemingly got along better with Hardy during matches, even when they were on opposite sides.

On the November 16 episode of SmackDown!, Hardy and MVP dropped the WWE Tag Team Championship to John Morrison and The Miz.[103][107] Despite the fact that Hardy was hurt, MVP immediately invoked the rematch clause.[107] After the rematch, in which Hardy was forced to tap out, MVP attacked Hardy, repeatedly targeting his knee.[107] 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.[108] Despite his absence at the pay-per-view, his team was able to win the match.[109] On November 21, WWE's official website reported that Hardy underwent an emergency appendectomy in Tampa, Florida. A CAT scan revealed an inflamed appendix after Hardy was feeling extreme pain. Later surgery revealed that his appendix had already burst.[110] According to Hardy himself, on December 8 doctors back in North Carolina found an abscess of infection that had not been caught, and he had it drained, spending an additional several days in the hospital. 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.[111][112] Hardy made his return at a live event in Muncie, Indiana on March 1, 2008.[113]

Hardy as United States Champion in 2008

On March 30, 2008, at WrestleMania XXIV, Hardy made his televised return to WWE programming in the Money in the Bank ladder match by cutting through the crowd, and attacking 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.[114] On April 27, 2008, Hardy defeated MVP to win the United States Championship at Backlash,[115][116] and successfully retained his title against MVP five days later on Smackdown.[117]

Hardy declared himself as a fighting champion that would take on all challenges, defending the United States championship against Shelton Benjamin,[118] Elijah Burke,[119] Chuck Palumbo,[120] Mr. Kennedy,[121] Chavo Guerrero and Umaga.[122] 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.[123] 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.[124][125]

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.[126] 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.[127] 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.[128]

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, thus making Hardy the first person in history to win a championship scramble in WWE, and marking his first world heavyweight championship win.[129] He continued to feud with Henry until No Mercy, where Hardy successfully retained the title. After successful defenses against Henry, Chavo, Finlay, and Evan Bourne, Hardy lost the title to Jack Swagger on the January 13, 2009 episode of ECW, which was taped on January 12.[130]

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 turning him heel for the first time since 2004.[131] 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.[132] 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. 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 viciously 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.[133][134][135]

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.[136] 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.[137][138] 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; this time with Hardy as the heel. He also formed a tag team with William Regal, and the two acted as henchmen for General Manager Vickie Guerrero.[139] At the June 22 taping of WWE Superstars, Hardy suffered yet another injury, when his intestines "exploded" through his abdominal wall, during a triple threat match against MVP and Kofi Kingston.[140][141] 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.[140]

He was then traded to the SmackDown brand on June 29, and underwent surgery for the torn abdominal muscle on July 2.[142][143] 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.[144] The following week Hardy saved his brother when CM Punk and The Hart Dynasty attacked both Jeff and John Morrison, turning into a fan favorite again.[145] 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.[146]

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 February 16, 2010 episode of ECW, it was announced that Hardy would be mentoring Justin Gabriel on NXT.[147] 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.[148][149] Hardy was suspended by Vince McMahon because he attacked Drew McIntyre after McIntyre lost to Kofi Kingston at Over the Limit.[150] 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 Theodore Long stating that Hardy was suspended from SmackDown, but not from Raw.[151] On the following episode of SmackDown, however, Vickie Guerrero announced that, per orders of Vince McMahon, Hardy had been suspended from all WWE programming.[152] However, at Fatal 4-Way, Hardy prevented McIntyre from regaining the Intercontinental Championship, thus continuing their feud.[153] On the following edition of SmackDown he was reinstated by General Manager Theodore 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.[154] Hardy would then qualify for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view's Smackdown ladder match, which would be won by Kane.

On September 12, WWE confirmed they had sent Hardy home from a European tour.[155] 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.[156][157] On October 15, 2010, WWE announced that Hardy had been released from his contract.[158] Hardy later stated that his release had been in effect two weeks before WWE made the announcement.[159]

Second return to the independent circuit (2010)[edit]

Hardy would again return to the independent circuit in 2010 for only one match against Shawn Daivari with Mr. Anderson as the special guest referee for Great Lakes Championship Wrestling (GLCW).[160]

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 heel 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.[161] 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..[162] Two weeks later, Hardy suffered his first loss in TNA when he was defeated by Mr. Anderson.[163] On February 13 at Against All Odds, Rob Van Dam defeated Hardy in a rematch.[164]

On the following episode of Impact!, Hardy, along with the rest of Immortal and Ric Flair, betrayed Fortune.[165] On March 13 at Victory Road Hardy was defeated by Flair's previous protégé, A.J. Styles.[166] 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.[167] 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.[168] The following month Hardy was granted a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship against James Storm and Robert Roode, Beer Money, Inc. 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.[169] The match took place at Sacrifice, where Storm and Roode retained their title.[170]

On June 20, Hardy announced that he was taking a few weeks off from TNA. The following day, it was reported that the promotion had actually suspended Hardy.[171][172][173][174] On August 20, Hardy was released from TNA following a DUI arrest that occurred earlier that same day.[175][176]

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

Hardy announced his retirement from full-time professional wrestling due to injuries on September 1, 2011.[177] 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.[178] The event was held May 19, 2012 and benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[179] Hardy won the match.

Throughout 2012, Hardy would wrestle sporadically on the independent circuit, working with promotions such as Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling,[180] Pro Wrestling Syndicate[181] and Northeast Wrestling.[182] On September 22, 2012, Hardy defeated Sami Callihan at Northeast Wrestling's Under the Stars event.[183] On October 5, Hardy was defeated by Kevin Steen at Pro Wrestling Xperience's An Evil Twist of Fate.[184] On October 19, Hardy was defeated by Eddie Edwards at Squared Circle Wrestling's V2 event.[185] On October 26, Hardy defeated Chris Masters at the Big Time Wrestling 16th Anniversary Show.[186] On November 11, Hardy, as the masked wrestler Rahway Reaper, defeated the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Kevin Matthews, winning the championship.[5] On November 17 in the main event of Extreme Rising Remember November iPPV Hardy wrestled Shane Douglas to a no contest after Luke Hawx interfered and pushed Hardy off the top rope to the floor, legitimately injuring him. At Extreme Rising's third iPPV on December, 29 Hardy defeated Sabu. On February 9, 2013 Hardy lost the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Championship back to Kevin Matthews.[187]

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.[188] On November 9, Hardy and Devon defeated Homicide and Eddie Kingston at House of Hardcore 3. On November 30, 2013, at WrestleCade, Hardy defeated Carlito to become the first ever WrestleCade Champion.[189] On December 28, at Extreme Rising Unfininished Business iPPV, Hardy was defeated by Luke Hawx in a steel cage grudge match, ending their year-long feud.

On May 3, 2014, following a match between Christian York and Drolix, Hardy defeated Drolix to become the new MCW Heavyweight Champion.[190] On June 14, 2014 at House of Hardcore 6, Hardy defeated Tommy Dreamer and Carlito in a three-way TLC match. At Maryland Championship Wrestling's Shane Shamrock Cup, Hardy defeated Luke Hawx in a TLC match for Hardy's MCW Heavyweight title and Hawx Extreme Rising World title. Hardy won the match, but he gave back the title to Hawx.[191] On October 4, Hardy lost the MCW Heavyweight Chamapionship back to Drolix, following outside interference from Kevin Eck.[192]

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.[193][194]

On November 28, 2015, Hardy lost the WrestleCade Championship to Jeff Jarrett at WrestleCade IV in Winston-Salem, NC after taking two guitar shots to the head, which opened a six-inch gash on his head, and required 38 stitches to close. Hardy regained the Wrestlecade Championship in a triple-threat cage match against Jarrett and Ethan Carter III in Hickory, NC on May 20, 2016.

He was scheduled to appear at the #DELETEWCPW event for What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) in Nottingham, England on November 30. On the night, 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.[195]

Hardys final independent circuit match that took place before signing with and returning to WWE once again along with Jeff occurred on March 31, 2017 at WrestleCon's 2017 SuperShow, where he and Jeff defeated Pentagón Jr. and Rey Fénix in a tag team match. His final independent circuit match after signing with and returning to WWE once again with Jeff will take place on April 29 for Pro Wrestling South (a date that Hardy had pre–booked prior to re–signing with WWE), where Matt and Jeff will face Crazzy Steve and Dax Cable in a tag team match at the promotions "Broken Deletions" show.[196]

Return to ROH (2012–2014)[edit]

Hardy at a Ring of Honor television taping in 2013

On September 11, 2012, ROH announced that Hardy would be returning to the promotion, with his first appearance being at Death Before Dishonor X: State of Emergency.[197] At the pay-per-view, Hardy confronted Adam Cole and challenged him to a match for the ROH World Television Championship, thus establishing himself as a babyface character.[198] On December 16 at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, Hardy defeated Cole in a non-title match.[199]

At the following iPPV, 11th Anniversary Show on March 2, 2013, Hardy joined the villainous S.C.U.M. stable.[200] 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.[201] 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.[202] Hardy received his title shot at the following day's Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings, but was defeated by the defending champion, Jay Briscoe.[203] Later that same day, S.C.U.M. was forced to disband after losing a Steel Cage Warfare match against Team ROH.[203] 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.[204]

After Hardy's client Adam Cole defeated Jay Briscoe to become the Undisputed Ring of Honor World Champion, Cole presented Jay Briscoe's custom made world championship belt (Briscoe claimed to still be the Ring of Honor champion as he forfeited the title due to injury and never officially lost it) to Hardy as a show of appreciation, Hardy re-branded the belt as the Ring of Honor Iconic (Innovative Creator and Originator of a New-Found Industry Champion) Championship, however, the title has not been sanctioned as an official championship by Ring of Honor. On June 22, 2014 at Best in the World, Hardy and Michael Bennett were defeated by The Briscoe Brothers in a no disqualification tag team match. In July, Hardy opted out of his ROH contract and went back to TNA.

Return to OMEGA (2013–present)[edit]

Matt had 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.

In their April 2014 event "Chaos in Cameron", The Hardy Boyz defeated The Briscoe Brothers in the main event.

On February 28, 2015, OMEGA held an event called "Night of a Champion", featuring the finals of the OMEGA Heavyweight Championship tournament. Jeff (replacing an injured Shane Helms) defeated Matt to become the first OMEGA Champion since 2000.

On August 14, 2015, OMEGA announced a partnership with Global Force Wrestling (GFW).[205]

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.[206]

Throughout 2016, Hardy would defend the TNA and OMEGA titles jointly at OMEGA events as part of his "only true world champion" gimmick.[206]

On January 25, 2017, OMEGA announced it would crown its first tag team champions since 1999, which occurred four days later on January 29, when The Hardys won the OMEGA Tag Team Championships.

As of 2017, Matt is heavily involved with OMEGA in various on–screen and behind–the–scenes roles, most notably being a two–time and current OMEGA Heavyweight Champion, a two–time and current OMEGA Tag Team Champion (both with Jeff) and the promotions main booker.

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 as a face and reunited with Jeff Hardy 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.[207] The next week, Matt was one of many TNA wrestlers who stopped Dixie Carter from running away from Team 3D, which led to Carter being put through a table. 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.[208] 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 Hardy Boyz 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.

On March 10, 2015, TNA announced that Hardy had signed a full-time contract with the company.[209] 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.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion (2015–2016)[edit]

Hardy celebrating after winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory in 2015

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 August 5 episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy defeated Tyrus. 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, making Hardy the third man in professional wrestling history to win the ECW Championship and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship since Rob Van Dam and Lashley. 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.[210] 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 would attack Jeff from behind. Kurt Angle would then come out to try save Jeff and Matt would have Tyrus attack Angle from behind. While Matt watched from the ramp, Young attacked Jeff with the Piledriver off the apron through a table.[211] The following week, he successfully retained his title against Kurt 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, he wanted an I Quit match with Jeff. On the April 19 episode of Impact Wrestling, the match eventually ended up 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 would attack Jeff. In the following weeks, Hardy would debut a new persona as a "Broken" man with part of his hair bleached blonde along with a strange British-like 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.[212] 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.[213] 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".[214] It was around this time that Matt's broken gimmick would become very popular due to his accent and over-the-top way of words, starting a slow face turn.

On the August 18 episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt and Brother Nero defeated The Tribunal, The BroMans and The Helms Dynasty in a "Ascension To Hell" match for an opportunity to challenge Decay for the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Throughout the following weeks, Matt began showing signs of a face turn as The Broken Hardys would feud with Decay. On September 8, during special episode "Delete or Decay", the Hardys faced Decay in a match held at the Hardy compound, where Brother Nero would again sacrifice himself to save Matt from Abyss.[215] Thanks to Brother Nero's sacrifice for which Matt was grateful, Hardy was able to confront Rosemary and prevent his son Maxel from being abducted, thus confirming Hardy's face turn in the process. 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 titles against The Tribunal. After the match, the Hardys were attacked by the masked trio known as Death Crew Council (DCC). He would later suffered (kayfabe) amnesia after being knocked off a forklift by one of the DCC members. On the November 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, he was struck by lightning, and regained his memory. The following week on Impact Wrestling, Matt returned to the ring, ambushing DCC by using their entrance theme; he would accept DCC's title challenge. The Hardys faced Bram and Kingston, and Matt would pin Kingston to retain the titles.[216] In the following weeks, the Hardys would issue an open challenge for the tag team titles. 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.[217]

On the January 12, 2017 episode of Impact Wrestling, The Hardys successfully defended their titles against The Wolves.[218] At Genesis, The Hardys retained their titles against the DCC and Decay in a three-way tag team match.[219] On Open Fight Night, the Hardys would begin 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".[220]

On February 27, Hardy announced that both he and Jeff had finally left TNA, following years of speculation, with their contracts expiring that week.[221] 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.[222] 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 would teleport to their next Expedition of Gold destination, but a technicality resulted in them disappearing and the belts appearing in the arms of Decay.[223]

Broken gimmick legal battle[edit]

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.[224]

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

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.[225] 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.[226] 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.[227]

Wrestle-1 (2014)[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 would lose.[228]

Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2015)[edit]

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.[229]

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).[230]

"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[231]

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 (which makes Matt the first professional wrestler in history to have held WWE's World Tag Team Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship, WCW Tag Team Championship, TNA World Tag Team Championship and ROH World Tag Team Championship, followed by Jeff when they won WWE's Raw Tag Team Championship).[232] 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".[233] 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.[234] 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.[235]

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

Matt (left) and Jeff (right) as Raw Tag Team Champions in 2017

At WrestleMania 33, held the day after Supercard of Honor XI on April 2, Matt returned to WWE after seven years alongside Jeff. Hosts The New Day announced that they were added to the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship triple threat tag team ladder match involving champions Gallows and Anderson, Enzo and Cass and Cesaro and Sheamus, making it a fatal four-way tag team ladder match where they would win the titles. The next night on Raw, The Hardy Boyz retained the titles against Gallows and Anderson. Afterwards on Raw Talk, Matt mentioned that the Hardy Boyz had successfully completed the Expedition of Gold after winning the Raw Tag Team Championship.[236] At Payback, The Hardy Boyz successfully defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Sheamus and Cesaro. After the match, both Sheamus and Cesaro turned heel by attacking Matt and Jeff.[237] This resulted in another match between the two teams in a steel cage at Extreme Rules, where the Hardys were defeated, ending their reign at 63 days.[238] At Great Balls of Fire, The Hardy Boyz received their rematch for the titles, facing Cesaro and Sheamus in a 30-minute Iron Man match in a 4–3 losing effort. After the match, Matt received nine stitches backstage after being busted open during the match. The following night on Raw, after being defeated by The Club, The Hardy Boyz were attacked by The Revival.

Other media[edit]

In 1999, Matt, along with his brother Jeff, appeared as an uncredited wrestler on That '70s Show episode "That Wrestling Show".[239][240] Matt and Jeff also appeared on Tough Enough in early 2001, talking to and wrestling the contestants.[241] He appeared in the February 25, 2002 episode of Fear Factor competing against five other World Wrestling Federation wrestlers.[242][243] He won $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.[242][243] Hardy also appeared on the October 13, 2009 episode of Scare Tactics, as a mental patient who threatens to attack the prank's victim.[244][245]

In 2001, Matt, Jeff, and Lita appeared in Rolling Stone magazine's 2001 Sports Hall of Fame issue.[246] In 2003, Matt and Jeff, with the help of Michael Krugman, wrote and published their autobiography The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire.[247] As part of WWE, Matt appeared in their DVD, The Hardy Boyz: Leap of Faith in 2001.[248] On April 29, 2008, WWE released Twist of Fate: The Matt and Jeff Hardy Story.[249] The DVD featured footage of the brothers in OMEGA and WWE.[249] Hardy also appears on The Hardy Show, an Internet web show which features the Hardys, Shannon Moore, and many of their friends.[250]

Hardy plays himself in the 2013 film Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies in which he and his real-life wife Reby Sky battle the undead.[251]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies Himself

Television[edit]

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.[252][253] 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.[254] They broke up when she had an affair with one of Hardy's close friends, fellow wrestler Adam "Edge" Copeland, in February 2005.[59] Hardy previously dated former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro.[255]

In February 2011, Hardy stated he was dating Rebecca "Reby Sky" Reyes. Hardy married Reyes on October 5, 2013.[256] On December 5, 2014, Hardy announced that he and Reby were expecting their first child. On June 23, 2015, they had their first child, a son named Maxel Hardy.[257][258] Reby and Maxel were in attendance at Bound for Glory in 2015, in Hardy's home state of North Carolina, when Hardy won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. They were seen celebrating with him afterwards.[259] On December 16, 2016, Reby announced that she and Hardy were expecting a second son.[260] According to multiple tweets from Matt Hardy's, Maxel Hardy's and Reby Sky's accounts, the first initial of the second son's first name will be "W". On June 8, 2017, Matt and Reby welcomed their second son, Wolfgang Xander Hardy.[261]

In wrestling[edit]

Hardy performing the Twist of Fate on Cesaro
Hardy applying the Ice Pick on A.J. Styles in 2011

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

While in WWE, Hardy was a former ECW Champion
Hardy defeated MVP for his sole United States Championship
The Cruiserweight Championship was claimed by Hardy in 2003
Hardy reigned as European Champion for 125 days, the second longest individual reign in the championship's short-lived history
After rising to prominence with brother Jeff (left), The Hardy Boyz won six WWF/World Tag Team Championships

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.[311]
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.[211]
Broken Matt (rights to use the Hardy name) Jeff Hardy (rights to use the Hardy name) Cameron, North Carolina Impact Wrestling Unknown Aired July 5, 2016. This match was known as The Final Deletion.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The title was vacated in 1999 due to The Hardy Boyz signing contracts with the WWF.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]