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Add The Hardys to the list of frustrated AEW talent

All Elite Wrestling

Last Saturday on Collision, Keith Lee cut a promo backstage where expressed his frustration about a few things. Among them was “lack of opportunity”.

A television interview is storyline, but it’s an angle that resonates because we’ve heard a lot about wrestlers being unhappy with AEW’s creative for them — or lack thereof. Talents like Frankie Kazarian and QT Marshall respectfully said part of the reason they left the company was because they weren’t interested in going where they saw the company headed. With Marshall’s departure still in the news, this week former AEW Women’s champion Britt Baker publicly aired a grievance about her lack of promo time.

It’s also a recurring theme among ex-WWE wrestlers. Lee isn’t the first person who signed on with Tony Khan after a frustrating stint in WWE only to find more frustration. Directly or indirectly, we’ve heard similar sentiments from Malakai Black and Miro.

Add Matt & Jeff Hardy to the list.

On the 100th episode of his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Matt talked with his brother Jeff about “The Future of The Hardys”:

“I feel like there is such a great spot for us at AEW if we’re just utilized in the correct way and we’ve just got to get there.”

Matt acknowledges he and his brother are past their primes, but feels the way they’re being used now isn’t even ideal for the young talent they’re trying to help elevate. He thinks things are changing, even though the last few months have been particularly tough:

“There’s a huge fanbase that wants to see us and we’re beloved. Sure, we’re not Matt & Jeff Hardy of 1999 and 2000 but there is so much we can do to help young guys continue to come up and also give our rub-off to these young guys, but we just need to be utilized in the right way. And we hope we can get there, we feel like we’re taking steps in the correct direction now.

“Just creatively — just the way we’ve been utilized the last four months, it’s been very frustrating. We’ve been very patient but there has been a lot of frustration — things we’ve done, and kind of how we’ve been utilized in some ways.”

He floats the idea of a heel turn for Jeff & himself as a way to change their fortunes, but even without that Matt thinks the Hardys’ legacy should make them a useful part of AEW. While there was talk of a Tag title run after Jeff signed with AEW (reportedly derailed by his latest drug & alcohol-related arrest; all indications are that the younger Hardy is currently sober after a lengthy absence which included rehab), that doesn’t seem to be what Matt’s after. He described the spot he sees for him & his brother in AEW:

“I felt like we would be in some sort of circulation where we come in, we have some wins here and there, we get some momentum going, then we go into a big issue with a younger guy, and then we make this younger guy look good, but we haven’t really got the opportunity to do that, and that’s what I want.”

Matt does seem to worry about the role a pair of 40-something former sports entertainers can have in Tony Khan’s company, though. He praised the roster for their hard work in the ring and efforts to continually raise the bar in that aspect of pro wrestling, however he seems to have some of the same concerns Marshall allegedly had:

“I think it’s tough to try to top all this stuff over and over. I would like to see a little more story and entertainment based stuff into characters and whatnot in AEW just like, you know, to continue to draw more casual fans in, you know, not just hardcore wrestling fans. I feel like they’re there and the wrestling is always going to be there. I mean, that’s what Tony loves. He’s a huge fan of great, great wrestling matches and I don’t think that’s gonna go away at all.”

Instead, Matt would like to see the Hardys do something more like their old rivals Edge & Christian are:

“I’m a huge fan of the Christian Cage/Adam Copeland storyline. It has been tremendous. I love what they’re doing. I want us to kind of like get into that territory where we have a very interesting journey like, what are these two living legends going through right now making them act this way? Why are they being like this? What frustrations drove them to act like this? I think there’s something that is very intriguing that we could really capitalize on.”

Agree? Disagree? Is creative frustration inevitable in the wrestling business, especially with a roster the size of AEW’s? Or can things be done to keep more people in the locker room satisfied?

Sound off below, Cagesiders. And check out Matt & Jeff’s entire conversation here.

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