After a few weeks of cryptic Twitter messages and YouTube posts hinting that his tenure in the WWE would soon be coming to an end, Matt Hardy officially got his wish on Friday as he was released by the company.
This saddens me a great deal because I have always been a big Hardy supporter, and I feel that luck never seemed to be on his side.
Hardy had given a solid 15 years of his life to the WWE and it is really sad the way his tenure came to an end with the company.
Forget the fact that he was constantly overlooked.
Forget the fact he was never given a world title run.
Hardy deserved better then this.
Now I understand that at the end of the day, this is probably the best case scenario for all parties involved.
The WWE did not see Hardy as someone they could build the company around, and it is their prerogative to decide who they deemed the best fit to be the face of the company.
At the same time, Hardy was clearly not happy with his increasingly limited role with the company, and his overall health had become an issue in recent months.
But one question remains. How did it get to this point?
Rewind two years ago. Matt Hardy was at the height of his career with the WWE. He had just recently won his first major singles title when he won the US Title from MVP in mid 2008.
He would parlay that success into becoming ECW Champion later that year and holding the belt for an impressive five months before dropping the title to Jack Swagger.
Around this time, Jeff Hardy finally was able to climb the mountaintop and became WWE champion, allowing both brothers to become world champions (WWE treated the ECW as a world title at this point) at the same time.
Then Matt did the unthinkable as he betrayed his brother and cost him the WWE title to, of all people, Edge.
Now if you remember correctly, Jeff Hardy had been getting ambushed for a few months, and there were rumors running rampant that Christian would be revealed to be Jeff’s attacker.
Apparently, Vince didn’t like that too many people were on this storyline, so he called a last minute audible and made it so Matt was the attacker.
Turning Matt heel was one of the worst things that could have happened to him at that point. He was THE face of ECW and was proving he could indeed carry a brand (even if it was a big fish in a small pond theory that many people believed in).
Even towards the end of his run with the company, Matt would still receive some of the loudest pops of any superstar; the fans wanted him to succeed.
Leave that as it may be, Matt was able to score one of the biggest wins of his career when he beat Jeff in a hardcore match at that year’s Wrestlemania.
At this point, it seemed the WWE wanted to make Matt a top heel with the company, even though he would eventually (and inevitably) lose the feud with his brother.
Matt was then traded to Raw where he was immediately lost in the shuffle and became stuck in mid-card hell yet again. How exactly could he compete with all the Raw heels for face time on the show?
Hardy had a brief feud with Kofi Kingston for the US title before he had intestinal issues that would linger for a few weeks before leading to emergency surgery.
Hardy would lose a lot of momentum during his time away from the ring, and he was noticeably out of his shape when he did return to action.
When he was finally able to return to the ring, he was back on Smackdown and made a surprising face turn when he saved his brother Jeff from a CM Punk led assault.
Matt would aid his brother in his feud with CM Punk, and apparently, all his sins were simply forgiven because of a simple apology.
Once Jeff left the company, Matt was left to basically float around the mid-card. He last notable feud was the on again off again feud he had with Drew McIntyre this past summer.
Hardy had been noticeably absent from WWE programming after supposedly being sent home for causing a scene while the WWE was touring Europe.
The WWE has been relatively mum on what happened, but it seems as though Hardy’s frustrations may have finally gotten the better of him.
He noted several times how he was unhappy with the backstage politics that went on within the WWE, and since it seemed as though the WWE did not want to push him any longer, he felt the need to start speaking out.
While it is sad to see Hardy leave the WWE to presumably join up with Jeff in TNA, I can only hope he finds the happiness and appreciation he felt he lacked (and many fans would agree) in the WWE.
It’s just unfortunate that Matt seems to have burnt so many bridges within the WWE, even though he thanked several people including Vince McMahon in one to his latest tweets.
Matt, I wish you the best in your future endeavors.