The DELETION Files: The Complete #BROKEN Saga (VIDEOS)

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Photo: Impact Wrestling

The world of pro wrestling is abuzz with the long awaited greenlight for the Broken Universe of Matt Hardy to appear in the WWE Universe. Following his breakdown on Raw last Monday, his bizarre tweets on Tuesday and his declaration of a Great War, to his video today, it’s apparent that Broken Matt Hardy (or Woken Matt Hardy) is finally here. For those who followed him and his Brother Nero Jeff Hardy in Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor, this is exciting news. For those who didn’t, you’re probably wondering what all the hub-bub is about. Bub.

So grab some popcorn, crack a beer. Hell, smoke ’em if ya got ’em.

Here’s the entire story of how Broken Matt Hardy got “Broken”, broke his brother, and became the most ludicrously popular cult angle of 2016. (Editor: Parts of this article are from a previous article on Last Word on Pro Wrestling from September 9, 2016, ‘Broken: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hardy’)

IMPACT WRESTLING, 2015

Matt Hardy finally achieved World Champion status in TNA by pinning Drew Galloway in a 3-way match that included TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III on October 4, 2015. Hardy developed an arrogant style character that drew mixed reviews, but Hardy was finally back in the main event. But it was the aftermath of losing his title (after his second reign as TNA World Champion), that Matt Hardy finally became a buzz name in the world of wrestling once again.

Following a hellacious “I Quit” Match involving his brother Jeff in early 2016 that resulted in both Hardys being stretchered out, Matt Hardy disappeared from TNA Impact television for weeks. When he returned, it was under a persona that was unlike any character Matt had performed before.

The wrestling world was stunned by this new character. Speaking in strange pacing with the dialect of bad theatre acting, many began to speculate that perhaps Hardy was back to his old habits. That he was abusing substances once again and he was literally losing his mind. In essence, he took the public perception of him from six years ago and transformed it into a character that was as much captivating as it was troubling and uncomfortable. And the world began to watch Matt Hardy like never before.

For weeks, #Broken Matt Hardy stalked his brother, referring to him only as “Brother Nero” (Nero is Jeff Hardy’s real middle name), determined to delete him from wrestling history and prove he was the only man worth carrying the Hardy mantle. The Hardy Brand. And on July 5, 2016, it all culminated in the viral sensation, The Final Deletion.

The world was shocked. This wasn’t wrestling was a prevalent decree by purists, while others lamented it’s creativity and bravery. It took the kayfabe of the ring into the backyards of the real world. With absurdity and drones galore, it was unlike anything TNA had done before. Only CHIKARA had dared to show something so outside the box. It’s narrative and use of sci-fi drones was also reminiscent of some of the angles of Lucha Underground. But if Lucha Underground was a wrestling show in the style of gritty director Robert Rodriguez (who himself is an actual Executive Producer), then The Final Deletion was a wrestling short under the direction of Ed Wood. At first glance, it was a train wreck. But on repeated viewings, it became a glorious witness to something that many had been waiting for. Something different.

The Final Deletion segment caused extreme buzz for TNA heading into July 5 and the day after, the numbers were in. TNA Impactexperienced its largest live viewing audience in ages. The Hardys were once again must-see-TV for wrestling fans.

Following his win over Brother Nero, Broken Matt publicly deleted Jeff Hardy and began to put his brother on trial for ruining his chance at Tag Team gold the previous year and for ruining his World title reign. He pushed Jeff in handicap matches on a mission to reclaim the TNA World Tag team titles, as Matt’s “obsolete mule”.

And following his last obstacle, Jeff Hardy finally saw the “light” his brother was pushing for.

With his brother now as broken as himself, Matt Hardy turned his attention on the TNA World Tag Team Champions, Crazzy Steve and Abyss, who, alongside Rosemary, made up the faction The Decay.

With the battlegrounds now set, it became apparent it was going to be an all out war for the belts. And in many instances, it appeared that the titles were secondary to the chaos that surrounded everything that seemed to fall in Broken Matt’s shadows. Which ultimately led to what happened last night on TNA Impact.

Final Deletion 2: Delete or Decay followed the style of the original short, except this time diving darker into the twisted psyches of the Hardy Brand as they competed with the demented horror of the Decay.

 

 

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