"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." -Matt Hardy
I want you all to travel back in time with me. Back to Wrestlemania X-7, considered by many to be the greatest Wresltemania ever. Do you remember that Tables, Ladders and Chairs match? The match that was named Match of the Year by PWI in 2001? That match had three of the greatest tag teams in the history of the WWE. The Dudley Boys, E&C, and of course, the Hardy Boyz.
The high flying moves made by the Hardy Boyz have yet to be matched by any tag team from the past or present. The shock and awe they gave the fans when they performed seemingly impossible moves was absolutely astounding, They created masterpieces of matches whenever they were as a team because of their great chemistry together as brothers.
The Hardy’s lost that match at Wrestlemania X-7, but they had already proclaimed their status as the greatest tag team of all time, but they weren’t done yet. They had many great moments in the future, but first let’s go back to the beginning of greatness.
In 1997 the Hardy’s were young, fresh and ready to wrestle. Matt was 23, while Jeff was only 20 and only had wrestling experience from wrestling on a trampoline in their backyard. There was nowhere to wrestle in their home state of North Carolina, so what did they do? They started their own wrestling company. The Organization of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts (OMEGA) was where the Hardy’s first got their start. Where they were noticed by WWE officials and were eventually signed in 1999 to the WWE, right in the middle of the Attitude Era. OMEGA saw the birth of a few eventual WWE and TNA stars, including Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms. It folded when the Hardy’s signed with WWE.
They began in the WWE as jobbers, while being trained by Dory Funk Jr. WWE finally saw the greatness this team could produce so they started having them win some matches. Their big break as a popular team on Sunday Night Heat when they amazed fans with a win over Kaientai, which set them up to become serious contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship.
They were managed by-
*Kanye West interrupts*
Kanye: “Now I’m going to let you finish, but the Hart Foundation was the greatest tag te-“
*He falls silent as Matt Hardy hits him with a Twist of Fate, followed by a Swanton Bomb from Jeff. They pull him away and beat him up elsewhere.*
As I was saying, The Hardy’s were managed by former Fabulous Freebird Michael Hayes, and he managed them to their first tag team championships on July 5th 1999, by defeating the Acolytes (JBL and Farooq.) They would end up losing the titles less than a month later and then proceeding to dump Hayes, becoming heels. Their fanbase was so large by that point that they still got loud pops even if they were heels.
They took part in the first ever ladder match for the tag team titles (Let me clarify, the first tag team title match that was a ladder match) and continued to spoil the fans with fantastic matches after that. Their careers would really start to take off when they joined forces with the ever so sexy Lita, becoming Team X-treme.
Team X-treme was a huge contribution to the greatest tag team era in the history of pro-wrestling. Team X-treme won the PWI best tag team of the year award in 2000, and the PWI best match of the year in 2000 (Wrestlemania 2000) and 2001 (Wrestlemania X-7) and had a great 2 year feud with another fantastic team in Edge and Christian. Their Steel Cage match at Unforgiven in 2001 where the Hardy’s won their second tag championships was legendary. The Hardy’s would end up splitting after winning three more championships to go on to their separate careers. They both had personal problems outside of the ring and were both let go by WWE at some point in their careers. They were both brought back, however, and we reunited in 2006.
They returned to face Rated RKO for the titles in 2006, but they came up short when Edge intentionally disqualified himself and Randy Orton. The Hardy’s feuded with MNM for awhile, which included a great four team ladder match at Armageddon, where they legitimately injured Joey Mercury but still did not win the titles. The Hardy’s continued the feud until Backlash the next year, where Matt beat Mercury to end the feud.
They were part of a 10 team battle royal to determine the Tag Team Champions, where the Hardy’s won their sixth championship after Shawn Michael eliminated his own team member in order to further their storyline. This would be the Hardy’s last championship as they would keep them through most of the 2007 summer before losing them at Vengeance to Cade and Murdoch. After that they would only team sporadically until Jeff was released from the company and joined TNA in 2009.
Before that however, they had an absolutely fantastic last storyline which pitted them against each other starting at the Royal Rumble when Matt turned heel by costing Jeff the World Heavyweight title. They feuded for about 4 months with Matt winning an extreme rules match at Wrestlemania 25 and a stretcher match after. Jeff won the I Quit match at Backlash, which ended the feud between the Hardy’s. They would team one more time before Jeff left and joined TNA.
Today Jeff is probably going to jail for his numerous drug charges (Don’t drop the soap!) while Matt is jobbing to younger superstars on Smackdown. They still put on great shows on their respective shows, and will be great for many years to come.
I picked the Hardy’s because they were the big tag team of my generation. The team that amazed me as a kid deserves to be remembered as the greatest tag team of all time, no matter what Kanye West says.
Thank you for reading and I would like you to please critique it in the comments below if you can. Thanks again!