Matt Hardy was limited by injuries and the worsening physical conditioning of his body, but his run in the WWE should’ve been much better.
When Matt Hardy and his brother Jeff left IMPACT Wrestling to return to the WWE in the spring of 2017, many fans were excited about the potential of the duo bringing their Broken Brilliance to the company. He was coming off of his most creative run in the history of the business with IMPACT and his star was arguably never higher.
During his time in IMPACT, he reunited with brother Jeff, won the world title, and became the face of the promotion with his psychedelic Broken Hardy gimmick. Hopes were bolstered even higher when co-creator of the gimmick Jeremy Borash joined about eight months later.
Hardy had a memorable return with his brother as well as an ill-fated tag team with Bray Wyatt but failed to do much else, other than hurt the Broken (now Woken) gimmick’s marketability. A once ‘cool’ gimmick was rendered into lame, thanks to the neutering control of the WWE creative.
Now Hardy is weeks from leaving the WWE and wherever he goes he’ll be wrestling on borrowed time. Hardy missed a chunk of time due to his back and pelvis bones merging, which lead to many believing he could be retiring. A claim Hardy rejected. That said, Hardy’s gate is out of whack, he hasn’t been able to really bend his knees in decades and after the career he’s had, it’s hard to imagine he can still go another five years.
Could Hardy be the next Ric Flair, Terry Funk or Sting? Sure. Will he be? Who knows. Hardy will have to reinvent himself yet again and do so in a different company. The WWE made sure Hardy left with the intellectual property he came in with, but he won’t be leaving with it in the same condition.