Matt Hardy recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard and talked about how his current form, “Big Money Matt” is catching on with the All Elite Wrestling audience because the character is grounded in reality. “Big Money Matt” first caught on in Ring Of Honor, getting involved in feuds with Adam Cole and S.C.U.M. before moving on to TNA (IMPACT Wrestling). Hardy says he and Jeff had been doing another version of their Hardy Boyz act before deciding he should turn heel, and Big Money Matt was brought to IMPACT TV.
Hardy is happy with the run he had with the character in TNA and said it was cool because his wife, Reby, and their son, Maxel, got to share the experience with him.
“‘Big Money Matt’ there [in TNA] was my first time really delving into it, but whenever I brought it back in AEW, it was much like the same scenario in some ways. Because I feel like myself and my brother, what we had done as the Hardy Boys at that point, for me, it was played out,” Hardy explained, “and it was time for me to change it and do something different.”
Hardy explained that ‘Broken Matt’ came as a result of wanting to do something drastic after his title program with Drew McIntyre (then Galloway) in TNA, but the situation was different in All Elite Wrestling. Hardy is happy he got the opportunity to play the character in AEW, but says he feels like Big Money Matt is resonating with fans more than his debut character did.
“I’m very grateful we got to try it, but I think [Broken Matt] was a little too much for people. So I really wanted to zone in on one persona, and considering I’m an older guy, their demographic is very young, I thought the best way to go is to be a heel and to be Big Money Matt. We ended up doing that and it worked well, and I think this time around is just going to be better and more fun,” Hardy explained. “I feel like Tony Khan is just more on the pulse of wrestling in this day and age, and he’s much more open to taking risks and trying things and thinking out of the box, and allowing Big Money Matt to do things that would be based in reality, but also things you might not be able to get away with and do in other places. So it’s been great thus far, so I’m really enjoying it.”
GO TO HELL, @theAdamPage!
It’s April 1st & I survived your underhanded financial extortion. I’m motivated to become richer than ever with the #HFO. I take back all the nice things I ever said about you.
You’re a TERRIBLE person & you deserve to be MISERABLE. pic.twitter.com/Tq7buHaQEh
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 1, 2021
Hardy also said in hindsight, they should have gone for the more reality-based approach from the start, since Broken Matt needs an audience to thrive and that option wasn’t available at the time. He explained that no one could have predicted how the year would go when plans for his debut were already in place, but feels like being a heel is good for him and it’s allowed older wrestlers like himself and Chris Jericho delve into more character work.
“It is what it is. But looking back in hindsight now, which is always 20/20, I think this character that I’m currently doing and being a heel [is beneficial].” Hardy said. “I think being a heel is also good for Chris Jericho, being an older guy as well, because a lot of the younger audience, they have a lot less tolerance for us guys who have been around for a while, as far that goes, and [allows us] to do more character work.”
Matt explained while he’s glad he’s getting a chance to do more character work, he didn’t think the teleportation angle in his debut would be a good idea. He went on to say that Chris Jericho went to bat for him and had a vision for it, but he’s most of all thankful for the opportunity to try new things and have the audience share their feedback.
“When I first was going to debut as Broken Matt, I’d already had my mind, I didn’t think teleportation was a good idea. I know how Tony Khan is, he is the current smart wrestling fan and he thinks in that same vein, so I love interacting and talking with him. When I first [debuted], Chris Jericho was the one that said, ‘Hey I think we should do this’ and really wanted to do it this certain way and he had it set and I was like, ‘Cool man, we’ll try it. Let’s give it a shot’ and we did it. I was worried about the reaction it’d have,” Hardy said, “because these are wrestling fans who are looking for more of a sports-centric feel. I love the fact that Jericho really put his reputation out there and he said, ‘No let’s do this, we’ll do this, it’ll work with Broken Matt.’ And he really tried and I was super happy that he did give me that opportunity.”
“Once again, looking back in hindsight, now that I know the AEW audience, I think that the best course of action is to stay based in reality, more than anything else. I love pro wrestling and I love how it allows you to go outside the parameters of basic reality and storytelling but I think at AEW, our audience, our fanbase,” Hardy said, “they just appreciate it staying more reality-based.”