In a somewhat strange move, WWE has quietly released* a new feature on their streaming Network where Matt & Jeff Hardy chat with Corey Graves about their return to the company and plans for the future.
Entitled “Original Specials - Reborn by Fate: Hardys Interview”, the 14 minute video recently showed up in the video-on-demand (VOD) “Originals” section. It’s the typically well produced piece which showcases some previously unreleased footage of the brothers sneaking in for their surprise re-debut at WrestleMania 33 and greeting old friends backstage after winning the Raw tag titles in Orlando.
They also hit most of the topics you’d expect: personal goals (Matt wants to win the WWE title, Jeff has “be in a Hell in a Cell match” on his bucket list), dream opponents (both would like to face Roman Reigns, while Matt also lists Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt) and overcoming the issues which led to their leaving WWE after past runs (a variety of things, but becoming fathers was key for each of them).
But the headline grabbing discussion is about their “Broken” gimmick, ownership of which has been claimed by Anthem Entertainment, the new owners of the promotion where the Hardys made the concept famous, TNA Impact Wrestling.
It first comes up when Graves asks Matt if it’s difficult to go back to a character he hasn’t played in a while - himself:
For me, it was very odd going back to being regular Matt Hardy version 1 or Matt Hardy, Team Xtreme. It was tricky at first. It was hard to actually be me, which sounds strange, but it was because I got so used to my other thing. Things that I had created or morphed into, I almost became. I felt like a broken man having to go back to being plain old Matt Hardy in many ways. It’s still within me, it’s still contained, and I think when the time is right, I will unleash it again.
Then, the Raw commentator just... brings up the “broken personas” made famous in 2016 with things like Total Nonstop Deletion. The Hardys acknowledge the “legal reasons” they’re not playing those characters right now, but don’t hesitate to promote a belief they will eventually do so on WWE television at some point in the future:
Graves: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, to the best of your ability. What is the status of your shattered or broken personas coming here in WWE?
Matt: I definitely think there’s a chance. It’s something that’s a work in progress. Unfortunately, because of legal reasons, I really can’t go into that right now. But I find it very flattering and humbling that every time we come wrestle in front of the WWE Universe they chant, and they address it and they acknowledge it. Please, keep doing that. We love it when they do that. And hopefully sooner rather than later we’ll be able to go into more detail about everything.
When it happens - I’m not even gonna say if - when it happens, it’s gonna be the most exciting thing to hit WWE programming in a long long time. We’re gonna keep people guessing.
Jeff: I’m so glad that my middle name’s Nero... I’ve always loved it, but I love it more than ever now...
Matt: Ladies and gentleman, I give you my brother - comma - Nero. See, they can’t do anything about that, know what I mean?
That WWE unceremoniously* dropped this special on a Monday is going to raise some eyebrows. But regardless of why they chose to do that, the content of it is going to generate some hope and excitement among fans.
Combine these quotes with the fact we’ve just experienced the first lull in the verbal hostilities between the Hardys and Anthem in months, and maybe there’s cause for optimism?
Stay tuned, and check out the whole interview on WWE Network.
* UPDATE: This was promoted on Raw, featured during the new Bring It To The Table and is now highlighted on the front page of WWE.com, so while it was initially posted without fanfare, that seems to have just been a case of putting the cart before the horse for a few hours.