The debut episode of Matt Hardy’s new ‘the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy’ podcast aired last week, where the AEW star spoke about the iconic Tag Team Ladder match at No Mercy 1999.
Hardy explained the significance that match had on the wrestling business, as well as Vince McMahon’s view of tag team wrestling.
“If that match turns out being a disaster in any capacity, we don’t continue to do more things,” Hardy said. “You don’t see table matches, you don’t see TLC matches, you don’t see those amazing memories from WrestleMania 16 & 17. They don’t exist, they don’t materialize, they don’t happen. You also don’t see the tag team division become as over as it did at the time too. That spoke volumes about how successful that match was that myself, my brother, Edge and Christian and the Dudleys were able to raise the equity of the tag team division in WWE. People know too, Vince McMahon isn’t a tag team wrestling person. The way he looks at things, I need singles stars who can be my world champion and that’s what people are invested in. If he ever gets a tag team that becomes extremely over like mad, he’s just looking to break those guys up and turn them into singles stars. It’s just his mindset, that’s one of the things I love about The Young Bucks, they want to be a tag team forever. That was mine and Jeff’s mindset at the time. Even looking back at that match with Edge and Christian, they may have separated that night and they didn’t. We wanted to take tag team wrestling and elevate it to the highest level that we possibly could.”
Hardy continued on, detailing a match the teams had the following night on Raw where they shook hands. Hardy then revealed that he pitched the idea of the four of them becoming a faction to rival D-Generation X.
“I think it was very smart, and I would imagine this was a Vince call. Vince read the room correctly. Following that match, it’s new era of wrestling where fans were starting to dictate what they enjoyed more and they were going to start to dictate who gets over courtesy of their work rate. There were always times where WWE would push someone and they would force or manufacture some type of superstar on the fans, and sometimes they would buy into it. We’re getting into that period where enough people understand wrestling that they can’t really manufacture a superstar, it has to happen organically. That’s what happened that night, I think Vince knew myself, my brother, Edge and Christian were going to be extremely respected, people dug into our work ethic and we did some groundbreaking stuff that night before. He did that call to shake hands and have a mutual respect for each other and I think that was the correct call. Going forward, I actually pitched initially, my idea was to have us together as a group and work against DX, and I wanted our group to be Version 1 of the Hardys and Edge and Christian. That’s initially where I came up with the Version 1 concept, Version 1 of the prototypes of wrestlers that you’re going to see in the future. That didn’t end up happening.”
Hardy is currently wrestling for AEW, and has heavily teased his brother Jeff Hardy joining him when his non-compete clause is up.
transcription via Wrestling Inc.
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