Matt Hardy Says 'I Have Great Respect For' WWE's Vince McMahon After Joining AEW

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2020

Matt Hardy arrives on the ring during WWE show at Zenith Arena on May 10, 2017 in Lille, northern France. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Matt Hardy said Monday that he holds no ill will toward WWE and Vince McMahon despite leaving the company to sign with AEW.

When asked by a fan on Twitter if he still likes McMahon, Hardy offered the following response: "Yes. I have great respect for Vince &and will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me. I had to leave because we didn't share the same visions for my future. My decision to leave was ultimately based on business and to ensure my own happiness going forward."

Hardy made a surprise debut for AEW on last week's episode of Dynamite when he appeared on a balcony and was named the replacement for Nick Jackson on The Elite's team for Blood and Guts against The Inner Circle.

After several years away, Hardy and his brother, Jeff Hardy, made their shocking WWE return at WrestleMania 33 three years ago.

The Hardy Boyz had initial success as a tag team, and Matt later got to bring his "broken" character to WWE programming, but the run was relatively short, and he was unable to convince the powers that be to give him another opportunity to bring that gimmick to life.

Hardy has been open about the fact that he was frustrated creatively in WWE, which ultimately led to his departure.

During an appearance on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth) last week, Hardy noted that he couldn't get through to McMahon creatively:

"I pitched idea after idea after idea to WWE, and I never got any feedback. I would hear a little chatter here, a little chatter there, but there was never anything that like stuck or like, you know, anything that ever like sparked any kind of like creative fire in Vince's mind. That just became frustrating, and then later they were just trying to re-sign me just to have me under contract so that I was a WWE employee, and I kept turning down money, which was good money. But like I wanted to be in a prominent role in television, and I don't think Vince saw that for me."

The 45-year-old Hardy had essentially become enhancement talent in WWE, but there is seemingly a good chance that he will be more of a main event player in AEW.

AEW has shown a penchant for pushing former WWE Superstars, such as Jericho, Jon Moxley, Cody, Dustin Rhodes and Jake Hager. AEW also hasn't shied away from putting older wrestlers in big spots, as Jericho is 49 and Rhodes is 50.

It also appears that AEW gives more creative freedom to its performers, whereas McMahon has final say in much of what happens in WWE, which can lead to situations such as the one Hardy experienced.

Even so, Hardy made a name for himself in WWE and became a global star because of his time in the company, and he appears to have a great deal of appreciation for the role McMahon played in that.

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