— Matt Hardy was a guest on Talk is Jericho recently and discussed how he ended up leaving WWE, including specific incidents with Vince McMahon and other personnel on the creative team. He also talked about an idea that he pitched to WWE that went nowhere and suggested that if Triple H was running things himself, he probably would have had a better opportunity, creatively speaking.
On leaving WWE for AEW:
“I just had dinner with them (Young Bucks) and we were talking about different things and AEW came up. I said ‘well, I’m gonna see what happens in these next few months for me and see what I think is my best bet going forward’ because it was important for me to finish up strong as I end my career. I pitched idea after idea after idea to WWE on my own and I never got any feedback. I would hear a little chatter here and a little chatter there but there was never anything that stuck or anything that sparked a creative fire in Vince’s mind. It became frustrating. They were trying to re-sign me at this point just to have me under contract so I was WWE property and I kept turning down money, which was good money. I wanted to be in a prominent role on television and I don’t think Vince saw that for me. Even right towards the end when I did that stuff with Randy. The first time we did the deal with Randy that was supposed to be my write-off and it did great ratings. They brought it back the next week and then we ended up doing two. That week, in the production meeting, we were going to have a two-segment match that was going to end Raw. I was going to come out selling a neck brace. I already made up my mind that I was gone at this point.
Even though they actively tried to sign me, I couldn’t have any creative assurances and that’s what I wanted. I wanted a dialogue with Vince like, ‘hey, I need to know you’re going to have my back and will protect my creative interests.’ This isn’t just like ‘hey, I want this older guy because he has some star power to his name.’ That day in the production meeting Vince is like, ‘I don’t think we should have this match cause I think Matt is leaving. I don’t think he’s gonna stay. I don’t think he’s signing.’ Paul Heyman grabbed me and said, ‘Tell me the truth, are you leaving?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. If there’s nothing for me to do here, I can go elsewhere and be utilized in a better way and that’s what important to me towards the end of my career.’ What a weird day. I was very honest and open with everyone. I told everyone from Vince all the way down, what I wanted and kind of what I expected if I was going to stay around. Once we weren’t on the same page, I said, ‘Okay, thank you guys very much. I’ll go my own way.”
On Having a Better Opportunity if Triple H Ran Things
“Even days after I left, after my contract was up, I talked to Triple H and he was cool. I feel like if Triple H would have been the guy that was solely in power, I would have probably had a much better opportunity of getting to do what I wanted to do creatively. But it is what it is. “
On an Idea He Pitched That He Felt Was Great But That Didn’t Happen
“I pitched an idea to be off TV for a while and then start broadcasting vignettes from the Hardy Compound as Broken Matt. I had a backstory to get there. I said I want a meeting with Vince, Triple H. This was after they came out in 2018 and said they were going to listen to the fans and give them what they want, we are going to change their ways. They won’t meet me, I started showing up backstage, attacking people, production assistants. Eventually, I get a meeting and it’s ‘What do you want? Do you want to get fired, do you want us to release you, why are you out here?” I said ‘no, I don’t want any of those things, I want to save the show. This is my home and I love it here and you guys said in December of 2018 that you’d start listening to fans and I don’t think you have.’ What I pitched was given me 10 to 15 minutes on the show and I’ll call it “Broken Block” and my idea was give me under-utilized guys like Chad Gable and Ali and Apollo, guys that aren’t being utilized at all. Let me put them on the show, let them do badass things, let me put some vignettes from the Hardy Compound and House Hardy. And just get me 10 to 15 minutes and I’ll call it The Broken Block and let’s see how it does. These guys would have matches in the arena, I’d be like this little commissioner, heading up this Broken Block. Give Ali and Chad Gable a best of seven, cut them loose, let them great matches. And they’ll become stars on their own just because of the quality of their matches. And then we’ll interject Vanguard1 and House Hardy on it, whatever. That’s all I was asking for, never heard anything about it.”