Note: This is an updated version of The Broken Matt Hardy Saga, an article that was originally published on Voices of Wrestling June 1, 2016. The intent is to update the story leading up to July 5’s Final Deletion match between Matt and Jeff Hardy on TNA’s Impact Wrestling on Pop TV. 


TNA Goes Crazy

One year ago this week, TNA went a little crazy. Mickie James, James Storm, and Magnus were in the middle of a grounded feud where Storm was trying to drive a wedge between Mickie and Magnus, trying to convince Mickie to join his Revolution. When Mickie declined Storm, he lured her to a train station and pushed her in front of a train. Storm attempted to murder Mickie James on national television. Thankfully Mickie James managed to escape with only a concussion.

So of course with this being pro wrestling, rather than having Storm arrested, Magnus sought to get revenge for the attempted automotive massacre by besting Storm in a wrestling match (Magnus failed as it happens, Storm beat him at Slammiversary last year – he failed to avenge his wife’s near death). It would seem this time of year is silly season as TNA were at it again this week.

Matt and Jeff Hardy have been at odds for a few months now. Ever since Matt, egged on by his evil manipulative wife Reby, gave in to his worst instincts and screwed Ethan Carter III (EC3) out of the World title – Jeff has been concerned with the direction Matt was going. This led to the emergence of Big Money Matt – which was basically Matt Hardy playing a Twitter troll come to life. He would crow about how much money he had and how much his brand was worth and how great he was. It was a little silly and over the top at times (particularly some of Matt’s in character Twitter tirades) but it was nothing wrestling hadn’t seen before. He was a conceited heel who would do anything to win. Fairly par for the course.

Matt had lost the TNA World title to Drew Galloway, and then lost his subsequent rematch after Jeff Hardy intervened. Matt and Jeff’s issues came to a head in a fun I Quit match on the April 19th episode of Impact. It was exactly what you’d imagine a Matt and Jeff Hardy stunt brawl would look like. Jeff, as he is wont to do, found the highest point in the Impact Zone and hurled himself off it with a Swanton Bomb to Matt. This seemed like the end of their issues. Jeff jumping from a really high place onto his brother comes with an innate sense of finality. But this would not be the last we see of Matt Hardy.

Broken Matt Hardy? 

In the weeks following rumblings of a “broken” Matt Hardy began to stir. That Matt wasn’t going to take his I Quit humiliation lying down, that he was coming back a changed and damaged man. Multiple Willow’s began to appear stalking Jeff. The bizarre alter ego of Jeff was appearing in public in front of his very eyes. Of course it was revealed that Matt Hardy was one of the Willows – using Jeff’s creation to torture his brother. Matt no longer sounded like the usual Matt Hardy. One week he sounded like he was trying to do his best Mick Foley impression. The next week he sounded like he had just come from performing in a bad high school production of Shakespeare. His appearance had changed too. He looked more mystical, more wizard-like even. He had a white streak in his now frizzy hair that must give Seth Rollins horrible images of a future that may be to come for him. “Broken” Matt Hardy apparently just meant goofy Matt Hardy.

But all of that—even the wackiness that was the multiple Willow’s—was mere window dressing for what occurred last night on Impact. Last night, they took what was a strange and occasionally amusing scenario to a whole new absurdist level. You see, Matt and Jeff are set to face off once again at Slammiversary on June 12th in a Full Metal Mayhem match. Jeff had already signed the contract and Matt stipulated that Jeff must meet him at the Hardy family compound before Matt would also sign the contract. The Hardy property was filled with strange objects as well as Jeff Hardy artwork cut into the grass. The whole thing began with Matt Hardy slowly emerging from his house, arms aloft grimacing like he was some sort of vampire (he was in the sunlight though so I can confirm that he is not actually a vampire) – all while the camera cut between dramatic shots from behind to sweeping shots zooming in from the sky on Matt’s snarl. I would say it was over the top but they’ve went far past the top a long while ago now. Matt began to welcome us to his home and discussed in his melodramatic accent how he we were going to witness Brother Nero’s personal Armageddon.

Jeff arrived in sensational fashion on a motorbike insisting to Reby he knew this whole thing was a trap but he preceded nonetheless. As Jeff walked into the house as Matt was sitting playing the piano in sombre fashion—sulking at his current situation—as Jeff emerged dramatically behind him. Even the hammiest of soap operas would think this was all just a little too much. Matt invited Jeff to the “sanctuary of our genesis” demanding they settle this where it all began.

This all led to a glorious climax. Matt and Jeff met in the ring where they began their career. Matt signed the contract for the Slammiversary match. Reby distracted Jeff by hurling her child at him, though as it would turn out it was only a stunt baby (of course there was close up of the fake child). Jeff was understandably baffled at why Reby would toss a fake child at him which allowed Matt to smash Jeff on the head with a glass of some sort. Matt then hit a frankly nasty looking Side Effect on top of the table to the concrete below (which including a little slow motion shot of them leaping in the air). Words honestly don’t do this whole scenario justice. It truly has to be seen to be believed.

I’d guess that they didn’t entirely intend for all of this to play as comedy in the way it actually did. But with that said I don’t for a second believe that they thought it would come off as anything else when they actually watched the footage back. The whole thing was fairly brilliant nonetheless. Not in regards to selling PPV’s, but in regards to making me laugh. Everything was so over the top, over acted, accompanied by an overly dramatic score that only served to heighten the hilarity of the whole scenario rather than the tension, and played in a way that made it seem like they were just having some silly fun. This may not sell any PPV’s but at the very least it has more people talking about Impact on a Wednesday than usual. It’s not what I’d have expected out of a Matt and Jeff Hardy feud but when embraced for what it is it is tremendously amusing.

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Slammiversary

…And embrace it TNA did. Jeff battered Matt with a Swanton through a table after overcoming a powerbomb through a keyboard in a thoroughly enjoyable Slammiversary match. But this didn’t deter Matt. Matt challenged Jeff to a cage match and then proceeded to slide Jeff down a rail into a table. Jeff defeated Matt again after jumping off a cage. Jeff has yet to learn that jumping on his brother from an improbably high place is not the answer to his Matt’s broken woes. Matt was then bound to a chair with wheels, not due to his physical misfortune but more due to the mental burden his brother had placed on him.

The Final Deletion

After all of that, Matt and Jeff will face off one final time in their home in Cameron, North Carolina but this no ordinary match. This will be THE FINAL DELETION. Matt is seeking to eradicate his brother once and for all in the sanctuary of their genesis. They’re going back to where it all began. They’re going back to their backyard. True to it being Fourth of July weekend they will shoot each other with fireworks. They will jump out of trees. They will attempt to drown one another in a lake. And yet somehow in spite of how baffling the whole thing has been, no other ending could possibly do the whole Broken Matt Hardy Saga justice.