ROH signing Matt Hardy is a sign of desperation on their part. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
Former WWE / TNA star Matt Hardy, who is on the slow path of rehabilitating his name after a checkered 2011 where he was always in the news for the wrong reasons, has announced via Twitter that he will be attending Ring Of Honor's next iPPV, Death Before Dishonor X, this Saturday:
After visiting @RingOfHonor's event in NC & speaking with ROH executives, I've been invited by ROH to attend their PPV Saturday in Chicago.
I WILL be at @RingOfHonor's PPV, I'll be doing a signing & have FULL access to the locker room & talent. Extremely interested in 1 match..
Of course, the probability that he won't appear on the iPPV itself is zilch; this is pro wrestling, after all. Indeed, expect Hardy to shoot an angle with ROH World Champion Kevin Steen for a few reasons.
Firstly, it perfectly fits in with ROH's current top storyline, that Jim Cornette and the rest of ROH management are so disgusted with Steen as their champion and how he represents the company that they're desperate to find someone, anyone, even outsiders, to take the title off him.
Secondly, all signs are that Hardy will be shot straight to the top of the cards. Business is flat and they need a spark. Hardy would give them a much needed boost in star power. Leading wrestling website f4wonline.com confirmed that this was the rationale behind bringing Hardy in:
Jim Cornette had been in talks with Hardy for some time to build a program and also hoping his name value would help live show attendance and iPPV interest.
Personally I'm sceptical whether Hardy will help out much in that regards, although he should boost attendance if he appears on shows in his home market of North Carolina. Over the last couple of years, his image has taken a real battering with the hardcore fans that are most likely to buy ROH iPPVs. Moreover, there will be question marks about whether his body can hold up to the physical ROH style and whether he can still deliver performances of a high enough calibre to warrant a main event spot.
Finally, they've already shot a YouTube confrontation after a recent ROH house show in North Carolina, which can be viewed after the jump, where Hardy was scouting Steen in preparation for a match on October 5th for local indy promotion PWX and Steen vowed to be the guy to finally kill Matt Hardy when he bumped into him. Logical booking would have Hardy win that match to set him up for a shot at Steen's ROH World Championship at a future iPPV.
This will be Matt Hardy's first appearance for Ring Of Honor in over seven years. In the summer of 2005, he worked three dates for the promotion, beating Christopher Daniels and Homicide before losing to Roderick Strong. Those appearances came about when he was briefly fired by WWE on April 11th, 2005 for his volatile behaviour in the fallout from his then girlfriend's Amy "Lita" Dumas' affair with Adam "Edge" Copeland, and were agreed to before the public reaction to the affair and his firing caused WWE to hire him back to try and cash in on the situation with a worked shoot feud between the threesome.