On Sunday night, when a fan on Twitter asked if Matt Hardy had retired, Matt Hardy responded with a rather shocking response.
No, I am not retired & not going to be retiring anytime soon. I’ve worked my ass off to rehabilitate & have physically been greenlit. My body is in the best shape it’s been in in years & I’m the lightest I’ve been in 20 years. https://t.co/XE1GzBP58A
— The VESSEL of Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) January 20, 2019
The shocking part was because back in September of 2018, Matt Hardy – in the midst of a run as “Woken” Matt Hardy alongside Bray Wyatt in the Deleters of Worlds – announced via YoutTube that he was “going home” and that that was probably the last time the WWE Universe had seen “Woken” Matt Hardy in a WWE ring.
Matt Hardy had been battling a series of niggling injuries – including one in that his lower spine and pelvic bones were starting to fuse together due to a long-standing injury – and was beginning to work backstage in a producer/agent role in the WWE. Many fans began to wonder if indeed his in-ring days were over and he’d transition to a backstage role in the company that gave him his first major opportunity in the 1990s.
But during a fan Q & A on his YouTube channel, Hardy suggested that if he couldn’t retire in the WWE, it wouldn’t be the be-all or end-all:
“With that being said, I’m not naive enough to say ‘I will never leave WWE,’ anything is possible in this world, we don’t live in a perfect world, we don’t live in a perfect scenario. Sure, could I see myself going back to IMPACT Wrestling or Ring of Honor, if something didn’t work with the scheduling, or whatever the job was, if it conflicted with my family and I could do a shot here and there, kind of have my own schedule, almost like a Chris Jericho does? Sure, it’s a possibility.”
At the time, Ring of Honor and IMPACT Wrestling – the two companies he’d worked with prior to his 2017 WrestleMania return as “Broken” Matt Hardy – seemed the most viable alternatives to a potential return should he ever get back to his regular healthy self. But since then, a lot has changed. For one, his dear friends, the Bucks of Youth – er, The Young Bucks – have gone on to help start up a new promotion, All Elite Wrestling. Matt Hardy – alongside his Brother Nero, Jeff Hardy – finished up their run with ROH in a series of classic matches against the Young Bucks before showing up at WrestleMania 33.
But how likely is it that we see “Broken” Matt Hardy and Brother Nero in AEW? It could be more possible than one thinks. The Hardy brothers signed two-year deals with the WWE in 2017 when they rejoined the WWE, contracts that will run out just before the company’s biggest show of the year – WrestleMania 35 in New York/New Jersey. “I know that both of their deals will be up right before WrestleMania because they signed right before WrestleMania a couple of years ago,” Dave Meltzer said on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. But WWE won’t make it easy to depart the company in the current climate of AEW offering comparable monies. “I could see [WWE extending their contracts] right now. I don’t know it, but it makes sense,” Meltzer went on to postulate. “I know they don’t want Matt and Jeff Hardy as free agents right now, you know? The Hardy Boys going to AEW to feud with The Young Bucks? Man, I wouldn’t want that at all if I’m WWE.”