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TNA Slammiversary 2016 Preview: Broken Matt Hardy vs. 'Brother Nero' Jeff Hardy

Broken Matt Hardy vs. “Brother Nero” Jeff Hardy

Full Metal Mayhem Match

If you just started paying attention to this story when the marvelous contract signing between Matt and his brother Jeff went viral, you may think that this is the most random thing ever. And in a way, you'd be right. But Matt Hardy's descent into madness has been going on for a long time.

When TNA debuted on PopTV in January, they were finishing up a tournament to fill their vacant World Title. This was a title that Matt Hardy forfeited just days after he won it because Ethan Carter, who lost the title, threatened to shut down Impact with legal actions. Being the good guy Matt was, he did the right thing and opted to surrender the title to avoid a TNA shutdown. He vowed to become champion again the right way. But he didn't.

Ethan Carter won that match and for all measures, doing the right thing did no favors for Matt Hardy. That affected the man to the point when where he had one final chance at the TNA title, he went a different route. He played dirty to defeat Ethan Carter. He used a hammer that his wife Reby Sky handed to him from her diaper bag. He paid EC3's bodyguard Tyrus to change allegiances. He became Big Money Matt - the ICONIC Matt Hardy. What he couldn't do after years of being good, he accomplished a day after joining the dark side.

Matt knew Jeff wouldn't approve of these actions, so prior to his match with EC3, he had Tyrus injure Jeff’s leg, sending him to the hospital. He was right. Jeff did not approve of his actions and challenged Matt to a match. Big Money accepted, but before the match, Eric Young attacked Jeff Hardy. Matt had no problem just standing by and watching as EY delivered a piledriver through a table to his brother.

When Jeff finally recovered months later, he had a score to settle with his brother. So when Matt Hardy was facing Drew Galloway in a rematch for the TNA title he lost, Jeff made sure that Tyrus couldn't interfere on behalf of Matt. Because of that, Matt was unable to regain his title. This enraged the ICONIC One, who was done with Jeff as his brother.

Their feud came to a head in an "I Quit" match. The match did not have a winner; however, after Jeff Hardy delivered a Swanton onto Matt from high above. Matt needed to be stretchered out before he could mutter any words.

Now Big Money Matt had lost everything. His title was gone and he was injured by his own brother, a brother who cost him the title. His psyche cracked further.

When Matt returned from injury, he targeted his brother by sending men dressed as Jeff's alter ego Willow to attack him. While this may seem silly to most, Jeff takes his art and his connection to Willow seriously. He described Willow as who he needs to be when he needs to go somewhere dark. Seeing his creation in the hands of someone else affected Jeff and it furthered the rift between the once close siblings.

Matt's descent into madness had hit full stride. He started wearing what looks to be fancy pajamas, dyed a blonde streak in his hair, only refers to his brother “Brother Nero” (Nero is Jeff’s middle name), and talks with an accent he can't even keep track of.

They agreed to fight at Slammiversary in a Full Metal Mayhem match, the match they made their careers off of. The last chapter of this story really got people buzzing. Their contract signing at the Hardy mansion famously ended in the Sanctuary of their Genesis when Reby Sky threw a fake baby at Jeff and Matt delivered a Side Effect on Jeff through a table. And it was as ridiculous and awesome as it sounds.

Matt thought that was enough to keep Jeff down, but last week, Jeff took back Willow and used him to resurrect himself from that hurt he sustained at the Sanctuary of their Genesis. Now he is ready to face the madness that is Broken Matt Hardy.

Somehow Matt Hardy found that sweet spot in a story that is so ridiculous it is good. If done at all wrong, this story could be awful. But the Hardys have found a way to tell it just right so that the ridiculous is captivating and fans are eager to see what they are going to do next. It’s a credit to Matt for taking a character that is outrageous and making us enamored with it and it’s a credit to Jeff for playing his roll as the semi-straight man just right. And it helps greatly that while this story is out there, it’s a story that has made sense with the way they’ve told it.

Now we get to watch them fight tonight at Slammiversary in story where literally anything can happen. Jeff has to deal with the unpredictability of a mad Matt Hardy who is a product of his failures. If Matt loses, what form will that take? Can Jeff bring his brother back or is Matt too far gone? How many Willows will appear in this match (I set the over/under at 5)? Tune into to Slammiversary tonight to find out.

For further coverage of Slammiversary, you can see our predictions here and the overall preview of the show here. And keep it at for the live blog and reactions post during and after the show.

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