Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Matt Hardy Fuels AEW Speculation
Matt Hardy recently announced that his WWE contract had come to an end, and WWE both confirmed the news and wished him the best in his future endeavors.
Hardy's future has been a major topic of discussion in the pro wrestling world in recent months, and now that he is a free agent, he is able to reference any and all companies he is considering joining. The following tweet has led some to speculate that Hardy might make his All Elite Wrestling debut on Wednesday's episode of Dynamite:
Hardy also interacted with AEW's Young Bucks in Wednesday's episode of Free the Delete, adding to the speculation:
Many hints have been dropped with regard to Hardy being revealed as The Exalted One, running the show for Dark Order. Whether it has been done to get people talking or because it is in the plans remains to be seen.
On Tuesday, Hardy praised Impact Wrestling, which is where his Broken character was created before he made the move back to WWE in 2017:
The UNKILLABLE Matt Hardy @MATTHARDYBRAND
Very happy for & proud of the job @EdNordholm, @ScottDAmore, @CyrusOverHuge & their team & talents have done to rebrand & reshape @IMPACTWRESTLING into a great place for men & women to work & perform. Kudos! The pro wrestling industry needs #IMPACTonAXSTV. https://t.co/qW5vCyLREx
Hardy also had an exchange with Impact star Eddie Edwards:
He has been clear that the main reason why he didn't re-sign with WWE was because of creative frustration. While Hardy didn't rule out a return to WWE, it is obvious that he wants to go somewhere that will afford him significant creative input.
He had that in the past with Impact, and since AEW has several wrestlers in positions of power (Cody, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega), it is assumed that Hardy would have relative free rein there as well.
Perhaps Hardy has lost a step or two in the ring at 45, but his mind for the wrestling business is better than most, and he garnered mainstream attention for himself and Impact when he created the Broken character.
Those factors would make him an asset to whichever company he chooses to sign with, and his status as a free agent will be a major storyline worth following until he makes his decision.
Jeff Hardy Reveals He Is Cleared for In-Ring Action
Jeff Hardy appeared on Tuesday night's episode of WWE Backstage on FS1 and revealed that he has been cleared to compete by WWE.
Hardy has been out of action for nearly nine months with a leg injury, but he confirmed that he has been backstage at SmackDown the past two weeks and is waiting for an opportunity to jump back into the mix on television.
While Matt's future is uncertain, Jeff seemingly has designs on remaining with WWE moving forward, as he talked about his desire to face Roman Reigns and make more WrestleMania moments:
Jeff is among the most decorated Superstars in WWE history, as he has held the WWE, World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States, European, Hardcore, Light Heavyweight, Raw Tag Team, SmackDown Tag Team, WWE World Tag Team and WCW Tag Team Championships.
Although Jeff is getting up there in age at 42, he can still do some remarkable things in the ring that those half his age aren't capable of. Hardy doesn't have to do the same daredevil routine that got him to the top earlier in his career anymore, though, since he is already so popular and over with the crowd.
His name recognition makes him valuable anywhere on the card, and it wouldn't be a stretch to put him in the world title scene at some point in the near future given everything he has accomplished.
The first step is getting Hardy back on screen and in a storyline. It is unclear whether that will happen now since WrestleMania is April 5, but he should be a key piece in the months following the Showcase of the Immortals at the very least.
Gillberg Retires from Pro Wrestling
Duane "Gillberg" Gill's long and unlikely pro wrestling career came to an end Friday.
Former WWE Superstar James Ellsworth tweeted that he faced Gillberg in his final match for Adrenaline Championship Wrestling, and Gillberg later confirmed the news and thanked Ellsworth for the contest:
Gill was best known early in his career for working as an enhancement talent in WWE in the 1990s. It wasn't until the Attitude Era arrived that he took off, however.
In 1998, Gill debuted the Gillberg character, which was a clear shot at Bill Goldberg, who had established himself as a top star in rival WCW at the time.
Like Goldberg, Gillberg was bald with a goatee and wore black trunks, but his physique was far less impressive. And rather than walking through pyro en route to the ring, Gillberg was merely surrounded by sparklers.
Gillberg is one of the most celebrated comedic gimmicks in WWE history, but he had legitimate in-ring success as well, holding the Light Heavyweight Championship for a record 448 days.
While Gill left WWE in 2000, he made several one-off appearances in the ensuing years, including entering a 15-man Battle Royal on the 15th anniversary edition of Raw in 2007.
Gill has largely focused on developing young wrestlers as a trainer in recent years, and the 60-year-old will likely continue to impart his wisdom on up-and-coming performers moving forward.
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