Photo by Bobby Green.
If you've been reading Cageside Seats long enough, you know we reached a point where we were basically through with Matt Hardy. The troubled wrestler/entertainer/glutton for punishment had a once promising career that started in his own backyard with his brother, Jeff, before they reached the pinnacle of success as a tag team in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
But somewhere down the line, after the WWF turned into World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and he was split from his brother to begin a singles run on Smackdown -- which was actually quite successful -- he lost it. And there is, perhaps, no one incident we can point our fingers at more than his break up with Lita.
In 2004, Hardy moved from Smackdown over to the Raw brand for the sole purpose of being able to spend more time with his special lady friend. This proved to be a disastrous career move because he was a much bigger fish swimming in the Smackdown waters. Eventually, he injured his knee and was taken off TV for an extended period.
During this time, Lita was still on Raw and with Hardy not around, she sacked up with Edge.
While he was laid up with his knee injury, slowly but surely rehabilitating so he could make his big return to be back with his girly girl, Hardy went through some voicemails on Lita's phone and discovered the illicit affair. Word got around WWE headquarters and the decision was made to release Hardy.
Wait ... what?
Hardy went off the deep end once he found out and began posting some seriously strange and psychotic messages on his website. This was before Twitter was huge, so we were saved of countless retweets of Hardy's insanity. But he was in legitimate need of help nonetheless.
Help he never got.
He worked a few indies and what not until WWE got the bright idea of turning this real life issue into a storyline on screen. So they brought Hardy back into the fold for a feud with Edge and operated as though it was all a shoot.
And it was on this date in WWE history (July 11, 2005) that Hardy returned to the company on Monday Night Raw to attack Edge and call Lita a whore.
The angle was actually quite successful and ever since, Lita was blasted at every arena she went to. In fact, this marked the beginning of the end of her career in professional wrestling, as she was never able to escape the slut and whore chants she received going forward.
The next day, Hardy continued the insanity by posting the following on his website:
If you guys are ready for a ride, jump the f*ck on. Well, I promised you all fireworks, so I hope I didn't disappoint. As of July 11th, 2005, my personal Independence Day, the Movement has begun-- and the Movement's purpose is two-fold. Purpose one--To never let anyone control what Matt Hardy says and does and thinks. Purpose two--To make Adam Copeland, Amy Dumas, and the WWE regret what they did to me, what they did to us.
It's time for Matt Hardy to stand up for all the MFer's that have been chanting "We Want Matt", and "You Screwed Matt". Although you may not know this--you guys, the MFers, started the Movement months ago. I can now finally join the Movement because I am no longer controlled by the WWE. The McMahons, the Johnny Aces, and all of the WWE management can kiss my @$. I did what I did tonight because for me to live with myself, Adam "Feces" Copeland must pay. I'm not going to let the WWE forget that they f*cked up when they released me instead of that scumbag home-wrecker. And Amy Dumas, you know what's it's like to have me as your closest ally--but you're gonna hate to see what it's like to have me as your worst enemy b*tch. Even though I didn't slash your tires FCF, slashed tires are going to be the least of your problems--Bank on it. A little message to the whore, the feces, and the horsesh*t "family" that is the WWE--Matt Hardy is like cancer, I don't go away and you won't find a cure. I thank EVERYONE that has supported me through thick and thin--I promise I will always be there for my MFers. I love you guys--and as I always say, without you, there is no me. I am going to turn a hugely negative situation into something that will benefit us. If you don't want to be able to predict what happens next, you're all in for a treat.
P.S. - If you're thinking about pressing charges Vince, I got a couple bucks, I'll fight it. Besides, I think I might have some pixs and video from a camera phone that shows your officers Rodney Kinging my @$. My wrist is cut from the handcuffs, and I would suggest that there was a little unnecessary roughness involved in kicking me out of your building.
P.S.S. - And don't forget to catch Matt Hardy in action this Friday in Indiana, PA, this Saturday in Woodbridge, CT, and you never know where I'll show up on Sunday. And The Matt Hardy Show is so on...
Matt "F*cking" Hardy
Not long after, the three appeared on a Byte This for a heated exchange in the lead up to Hardy vs. Edge at SummerSlam 2005.
It's clear in the video, with Edge even pointing it out, that Hardy speaks in pro wrestling terms with a pro wrestling mindset even in his personal life, something that helped lead to this situation in the first place. Unfortunately, that very thing would lead to Hardy getting into a great deal of trouble later on, as he took to Twitter and YouTube in the years to come, where he would get increasingly worse with what he was doing.
It all came to a head when he released a video that seemed to double as a suicide note that caused a huge stir and ultimately led to Hardy's girlfriend, Reby Sky, intervening and leading to the cops to his stash. He was arrested multiple times, outcast from all the major wrestling promotions in the world and ended up in drug rehab.
Edge, meanwhile, got the better of their feud, both in real life and on screen, because he was headed for bigger and better things. WWE had plans for him that included a WWE championship victory in Jan. 2006, his first but certainly not his last.
By the time his career was over, he was widely regarded as one of the best and was inducted into the Hall of Fame just this past year. Not only that, he was the main event inductee at the ceremony.
I guess the bad guy does win sometimes. Or maybe not.