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Matt & Jeff Hardy Return at WWE WrestleMania 33, Win Raw Tag Team Title

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Matt and Jeff Hardy returned to WWE programming Sunday when they whipped the WWE Universe into a frenzy by appearing at WrestleMania 33.

The Hardys joined the three-team ladder match for the Raw tag team championships. WWE showed the legendary team making its return:

WWE @WWE

OMG! @JEFFHARDYBRAND and @MATTHARDYBRAND are BACK! #WrestleMania #HardyBoyz https://t.co/EAgTyBWR7R

The Hardy Boyz would go on to win the title in one of the more memorable matches in quite some time, via WWE: 

WWE @WWE

IT HAS HAPPENED! @MATTHARDYBRAND and @JEFFHARDYBRAND are your NEW #RAW #TagTeamChampions! #WrestleMania https://t.co/Ar8xIsmtzL

The Ringer's Bill Simmons summed up how over the Hardy Boyz are already: 

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

It took like 2.3 seconds for my son to dump Enzo and Big Cass for the Hardy Boys. Wrestling can be that cruel.

The Bella Twins were as surprised as every member of the WWE Universe to see the Hardy Boyz back:

Nikki & Brie @BellaTwins

OMG!!!!! The Hardy Boys!!! Best surprise ever!!! 🙌🏽💯 #WrestleMania #HardyBoyz

WrestleMania shared an image WWE fans haven't seen in years:

WWE WrestleMania @WrestleMania

#PoetryInMotion from @MATTHARDYBRAND and @JEFFHARDYBRAND! Can The #HardyBoyz reach the top of #RAW's tag team division?! #WrestleMania https://t.co/Nc450u0Erz

Both members of the Hardy Boyz were last in WWE in 2009 before Jeff departed and joined TNA. Matt followed one year later on the heels of his release.

The Hardys went on to enjoy great success in TNA, but it wasn't until last year that they became the talk of the wrestling world.

Matt created the "Broken" gimmick, and although he initially feuded with Jeff, they eventually joined forces with Jeff becoming Brother Nero.

The Hardys dubbed themselves the greatest tag team in all of time and space, and they made Impact Wrestling appointment viewing due to their entertaining segments, particularly the Final Deletion and Delete or Decay filmed at the Hardys' home.

Despite the notoriety they were bringing to Impact Wrestling (after TNA changed its name), the Hardys parted ways with the company near the end of February. Matt tweeted the following about the situation:

#WOKEN Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND

I wish @IMPACTWRESTLING all the best going forward, especially the INDUSTRIOUS talent. I hope they're all treated with respect & fairness.

Shortly thereafter, Matt and Jeff appeared in Ring of Honor as part of the Manhattan Mayhem show, defeating the Young Bucks to become Ring of Honor Tag Team champions.

They then retained over the Young Bucks and RPG Vice at ROH's 15th anniversary pay-per-view, but something was amiss, as they were unable to truly embrace their usually over-the-top characters.

It was later revealed that Impact Wrestling was attempting to take legal action and claim ownership of the gimmick, and Matt offered the following response:

#WOKEN Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND

If this was sincere, you wouldn't have sent legal letters to all PPV providers in an attempt to destroy @ringofhonor's PPV. #BurningBridges https://t.co/4slTiI5TPl

In the following weeks, WWE's social media accounts made some not-so-subtle overtures toward the Hardys by mentioned some of their catchphrases.

Matt responded to a tweet sent out by the WWE Network account:

#WOKEN Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND

Did someone say #BROKEN? EXQUISITE. https://t.co/ystJfco39m

He also did the same when WWE Universe alluded to his current character:

#WOKEN Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND

YEEEAAAASSS, it was absolutely.. @WWEUniverse https://t.co/tOLAH3uUQC

After signing the Hardys, ROH COO Joe Koff told ESPN.com's Tim Fiorvanti that the contract was "time-based" and intimated it wasn't a long-term deal.

Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet then reported that the Hardys were offered contracts by WWE, which made it clear that a WWE return could become reality.

Now that the Hardy Boyz are seemingly back in the fold officially, WWE's tag team division figures to receive a massive boost.

It isn't yet known exactly how much of the "Broken" characters Matt and Jeff will be able to portray on WWE programming either due to WWE's own restrictions or those created by their legal battle with Impact Wrestling.

Even so, they bring a unique element to the table that promises to make WWE's post-WrestleMania programming must-see television.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player above (warning: some language NSFW).

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