#BROKENdown: Matt Hardy is #WOKEN

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Photo: WWE

For most of 2017, Matt Hardy emerged as the unlikely comeback wrestler of the year, if not the decade. After departing the WWE in 2010 amidst a substance abuse haze, many expected Hardy to become another pro wrestling tragedy. But through hard work and some serious lifestyle changes, he returned to Ring of Honor and then Impact Wrestling, which resulted in his first World Championship, but most importantly, the creation of arguably his most popular character to date. Broken Matt Hardy and the entire Broken universe. We previously covered his fall and rise last September, so we won’t rehash too much of the same narrative. But his descent into madness, beginning in October of 2015, resulted in one of 2016’s strongest storylines in wrestling and Impact’s best programming in years.

Photo: ROH

When the ownership of Impact Wrestling changed this spring, the Hardys – both Broken Matt and his “brother Nero” Jeff Hardy – left the company, with a surprise return at WrestleMania 33 where they won the Raw Tag Team titles. But to many Broken fans surprise, they returned as an updated Team Extreme, rather than continuing the Broken characters and their Expedeeeshun of Gold. Of course, we now know that it was hugely due to a (still) on-going legal battle with Impact Wrestling over ownership of the Broken characters. But Matt Hardy handled the criticism in stride, and even kayfabe, by saying on Twitter that his return “home” had cured him of his previous condition (not condeeshun). For months now, both he and brother Jeff have teased facets of the Broken Universe, but as more and more details emerged of the ongoing lawsuit, it seemed we’d never again see the Broken Universe in pro wrestling (unless perhaps they returned to Impact Wrestling).

When Jeff Hardy went down with a shoulder injury in September (and no scheduled to return until April of 2018), Matt Hardy began a decline from being in the main event of the tag team division, becoming more of a mid-card enhancement talent rather than the elite level superstar he was last year. But as his losses began to compound, he began to show signs of breaking down. Finally, last night on Monday Night Raw, in a seemingly throw away random match-up, Hardy faced Bray Wyatt and suffered yet another loss. But this time, following his defeat, he rolled himself into the corner and had a full mental collapse, beginning the famous “DELETE!” chants that rocked arenas around the world in 2016.

His breakdown continued backstage, with WWE posting further evidence of Hardy’s mind imploding, laughing hysterically to himself.

What happened to @matthardybrand after his loss to #BrayWyatt? #RAW

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On Twitter, Matt Hardy immediately changed his Twitter handle to #WOKEN Matt Hardy (as Impact still owns the rights to Broken) and announced his previous “condishtion” had returned, not so subtly implying he was once again “broken”.

He solidified the speculation further later in the evening, when he declared that his primal passenger (what he used to call his Broken spirit in Impact) had returned to his “vessel” (another term from his Broken universe character) and that he was now “more” than he was.

He even pleaded to the Seven Deities this afternoon as to what his vessel was thinking prior to the passenger’s return, evoking his anti-spot monkey stance that Broken Matt Hardy held dear.

It seems that the WWE has finally pulled the trigger on Matt Hardy’s cult favourite creation and Matt Hardy will now become Woken in the WWE Universe. Let’s hope he’s allowed at least half the creative freedom he was given in Impact to let Broken (sorry, WOKEN) Matt Mardy soar to the heights we all know he’s capable of.

PS Bring back Senior Benjamin!

Photo: Matt Hardy

 

 

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