Matt Hardy is working on a master plan.
Whether it's because people find it compelling or because they want to point and laugh, the latest angle between the brothers Hardy has drawn some eyeballs to Impact Wrestling.
Since their "I Quit" match earlier this year ending in a no contest as both Matt & Jeff were stretchered out of Impact Zone, the former has become increasingly unhinged. They're currently setting up a match for TNA's next pay-per-view (PPV) that was built with Matt dressing up as Jeff's "Willow" persona before being revealed as his newest gimmick tweak, "Broken" Matt Hardy.
After refuting rumors of TNA's demise, Matt used his YouTube show Thoughts from the Throne to explain how his new character is designed to return Impact to prominence:
I'll be honest, the people who are gonna give me feedback across social media, this character really isn't out to catch them. It isn't out to attract them. This is out to attract more of a casual fan. And that is what Impact Wrestling has to do to grow right now. Because the audience that we get weekly - we get between 300 and 350 thousand live viewers and between 500 and 600 thousand by the time they watch it on DVR or whatever the number is - we have to add casual viewers. That is where TNA has to go if they want to grow because we lost those casual viewers after the Spike era and we're trying to get those casual viewers back and bring them to POP TV. That is what we're working on now and my character is definitely someone who is there to attract casual viewers, not the smart mark fans.
Interesting then, that Matt goes on to explain the act by comparing it to his history and using insider-y terms, while encouraging viewers to stick with the story for the long haul:
A lot of people always compared "The Iconic Matt Hardy" or "Big Money Matt" to "Version 1" except they said "Version 1" was better because I had Matt Facts and I did more athletic moves. Well, I'll be honest. Whenever I first did the Sensei of Mattitude, I did "Version 1" - it was a good, compelling character, but it wasn't a phenomenal heel. "The Iconic Matt Hardy" was a phenomenal heel. And "Broken Matt Hardy" is gonna be an even better heel.
And I know people have criticisms of "Broken Matt Hardy" with the look and the accent and everything else, but just try to enjoy the ride and let me tell you a story, and learn as we go one on why this character has acquired these certain traits. I think it will make sense when it's all said and done.
It's smart to pitch the concept to all potential audiences. Probably 99% of folks watching Matt Hardy's YouTube channel are "smart mark fans", so he's gonna try to hook us in the forum even if we're not the target audience.
TNA's biggest challenge, from my perspective, if getting fans of all stripes to seek out POP TV - a station many don't get and others think of as a scrolling channel guide. Regardless, he's trying something - and as with just about everything Hardy does in wrestling, he's fully committed to this character and Impact, which earns my respect.
Check out the show, which include Matt's reviews of current TV shows he's watching like Banshee.
Will the ratings uptick Impact has seen with "Broken Matt Hardy" continue? Is it a phenomenal heel character?
Even though it's not for you, let us know what you think in the comments below.