Matt Hardy Reveals How Vince McMahon Viewed Bray Wyatt, Talks for The Fiend vs. JeffMay 22, 2022
AEW star Matt Hardy provided some insight into Bray Wyatt and his standing within WWE prior to getting released last year.
On the latest episode of the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, Matt did a deep dive on Wyatt, specifically regarding the time he worked with and against Bray in WWE:
In late 2017 and early 2018, Hardy began using a version of his "Broken" Matt Hardy character from Impact Wrestling in WWE, calling himself "Woken" Matt Hardy. That led to a feud with Wyatt, and they eventually teamed up, becoming Raw tag team champions.
Matt was front and center for some of Wyatt's conversations with WWE chairman Vince McMahon during that time, and he described what he felt was a bizarre dynamic between them (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News):
"Windham [Wyatt] has always had a very strange relationship with Vince, very strange, like, I almost felt like Vince looked at him like a son in some ways. When he would do things that he liked, he would love him and he would really give him everything that he could possibly give him. He would bend over backwards to try and accommodate him. But then when he did something he didn't like, he hated, like he was going to lock him away for good.
"It was almost like a really weird, a really strange and different duality that Vince shared with Bray. When he liked him or loved him, he was all about him. But when he disliked him, oh my god, it was really bad and he would like punish him and insult him. To me, it was so strange. It was almost like a parent."
Hardy also expressed his belief that McMahon never viewed Wyatt as an unquestioned top guy in the company in the same vein as John Cena or Roman Reigns (h/t Mukherjee):
"Because ultimately Vince didn't see him as such. You know, if you're a guy like, you know, Undertaker you’re going to be treated differently when you're older, obviously, you know someone like John Cena, obviously Roman Reigns is the tippy top guy. Then you're gonna have other guys who like cycle in and out of those things. You know, Cesaro got close there at the end, you had times where Braun Strowman was up and down."
The fact that WWE shockingly released Wyatt last year seems to support Hardy's notion, although he had a fairly lengthy run at or near the top of the card for much of his time with the company.
Wyatt was a three-time world champion in WWE, holding the Universal Championship twice and WWE Championship once. He also feuded with many of the top stars in the company, including Cena, Reigns, The Undertaker and Randy Orton, plus he had a WrestleMania segment with The Rock.
He received an especially big push after creating "The Fiend" character, and it seemed at that point that Wyatt was destined to be a top star for years to come.
Hardy divulged that before he asked for and received his release from WWE in 2020, he was approached with the idea of him and his brother Jeff Hardy feuding with The Fiend.
Specifically, Matt said WWE wanted him to use his "Woken" character, while Jeff would become Willow The Wisp, which was a character Jeff utilized in Impact and in prior years (h/t Mukherjee).
Matt noted that while it sounded "very cool and awesome," he had already "mentally checked out," and figured the storyline would only last six or seven weeks.
As a result, he departed WWE and signed with AEW where he was recently reunited with his brother.
Meanwhile, Wyatt has not wrestled anywhere since WWE released him, and he has given no indication regarding where, when or if he intends to resume his wrestling career.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: profanity).