Once their familiar music hit at Camping World Stadium in Orlando last night (April 2, 2017) and The Hardy Boyz return to WWE was official, speculation immediately turned to what version of Matt & Jeff we would get. Ownership of the “Broken” gimmick which shot them back to their old heights of popularity in 2016 was being disputed with TNA Impact’s new owners, and the Hardys danced around the issue during their short run with Ring of Honor in the month of March.
At WrestleMania 33, aside from a white streak in Matt’s hair, they seemed to largely be the Team XTreme of the Attitude Era. Even in a post-show promo where the elder brother used some of his character’s familiar vocabulary, Jeff was himself and not in any way “Brother Nero”.
When they appeared on Raw tonight, it was only to defend their newly won tag titles. So all eyes were on the Raw Talk post-show on WWE Network to see how how broken the boyz might be. Here are the highlight of their first full interview since returning.
When Renee Young asked what made the timing right to come back to WWE, Matt replied:
Matt: "Many things. I think myself and my brother were both in great places in life. We took time off, we healed, and I think we not only healed physically but mentally and emotionally. We both started families and we're just in such great places. Maybe before we truly were the Hardy Boyz, maybe now we're the Hardy Men, we're grown up. Being here this time around, it just feels so right and I think this is going to be the most fun we've ever had here."
Jeff: "The perfect story with a perfect ending. I've got the Hardy girls now and Matt's about to have the Hardy boys, so I've been a father for the last six years and it's the best thing to ever happen to me."
Her follow up - asking what the Hardys have been up to since leaving WWE - really provided an opportunity to address the elephant in the room, and while it gave Matt an opportunity to use some of the quirky turns of phrase he got over in the last year, he didn’t make any direct references to, or take any shots at, the places they’ve worked since leaving:
"A lot. We've been everywhere, truly everywhere. One of the things we were doing, we were on an expedition of gold where we were going to every federation or promotion that was worthwhile and we were winning tag team championships. And we did, we won every tag team championship that we went to a promotion and we worked for. To come home and win these the first night in, obviously the most prestigious tag team championships that there are, concluded our expedition of gold."
In addressing the current crop of Raw teams they’ll be battling in this run, Matt played it pretty straight, with nary a “Day of the New” to be found:
"It's going to be hot, it's going to be fun, and for us it's very exciting because we have a new crop of opponents. Before in the days we faced the New Age Outlaws and Edge & Christian and The Dudleys but now there's The Revival, there's Cesaro & Sheamus, there's Enzo & Cass, and tonight The Club that we faced. There are so many great tag teams so there are so many different stories and so many amazing scenarios you can find yourself in. I know the competition is going to be coming hard. It's going to be fun and we're here to cement our legacy and we're also here to prove that we are the most exhilirating tag team in history."
Reinvention’s been something the brothers, and especially Matt, have been very good at throughout their careers, so it looks like while they’ll sample from past work, their WWE run will be something new.
Looking forward to what they come up with?