On the latest edition of his The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Matt told co-host Jon Alba about an angle that was pitched to him during his time with WWE that he’s glad never came to pass.
It was during his first run with the company, circa 2004. Here’s Hardy:
“There was one thing I was very nervous about doing that didn’t end up happening. I was going to have a deal where I teamed with Mark Henry. There was talk of us working against Booker T & Rob Van Dam when they were the tag champs and actually winning the tag titles. But it was right towards the end of Matt Hardy V1. The whole story — what was pitched to me from Vince [McMahon] and creative was I was almost gonna go to Mark Henry, and him being Black had a lot in common with me having Mattitude because we were both oppressed. And I would talk like a Black person, because they knew at this time — even when John Cena was doing raps, we’d be on international trips, myself and John we’d be freestyling back there and messing around. The whole crew would as we were driving around, so they knew I was a big rap fan, and I was aware of all that stuff.
“But there would be a point where I was almost going to start talking with more Black slang, and then almost tell Mark Henry like, ‘Mattitude is oppressed too, man. We have that in common.’ And I was very uncomfortable with that then, at that juncture. But obviously, Mark got hurt, and maybe it was a sign from the seven deities — it didn’t happen at all. So, that was something I was a little worried about doing because it was something they were kind of wanting me to start doing and pushing me into.”
If you ever wondering where WWE’s collective heads were at in the aughts, this would have also been around the time of Vince McMahon’s infamous use of the n-word on Raw, Shad Gaspard & JTG being given the Cryme Tyme gimmick, and the Mexicools entering on riding lawnmowers.
You’re never glad to hear about an injury, but at least Henry getting hurt meant we don’t have to “Matt Hardy speaking in AAVE about being discriminated against” to that list.