wrestling / News

Matt Hardy Recalls Making Decision To Leave WWE For AEW, Talks Tony Khan’s Respect For Older Wrestlers

November 30, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Orange Cassidy Matt Hardy AEW Dynamite Image Credit: AEW

In a recent interview on AEW Unrestricted, Matt Hardy discussed making the decision to leave WWE for AEW, Tony Khan’s respect for older wrestlers, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Matt Hardy on making the decision to leave WWE for AEW: “It was a long process. When I was at WWE, and obviously whenever I went back to WWE in 2017, it was really important for me to go there and leave on a good note because when I left in 2011, I just wasn’t in a good place. I wanted to go back because I do owe all those guys. I have a great appreciation for WWE, Vince McMahon, and all those people because I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I very openly acknowledge that, and I’m grateful for that. So, I went there, and I wanted to be the best I could be. I wanted to go back and work, and if I’m leaving or finishing, leave on the right terms, whatever it may be.”
On what led to him joining AEW: “So, my brother got hurt, which is very weird because he hasn’t been hurt throughout his 27-year career. Finally, things caught up to him. He had a couple of surgeries during that time, and he was gone, and he was away. So, I was talking with Vince and creative about different ideas and what I was going to do.  They were trying to get me to resign because this is right around the time AEW started up.

“I had been very close to The Bucks for a while. I had worked with them originally back in Impact, and then I worked with them in Ring of Honor. I had worked with them a few different times. Right towards the end of that Impact run, we were going to do a cross-promotional thing between ROH and Impact doing The Hardy Boyz vs The Bucks. If that would have happened, that would have been very, very cool, but it didn’t end up happening because Jeff Jarrett came back, and he wasn’t in the best place in his life.  We ended up leaving and returned to WWE. Then when I did come back to WWE at that time, I just wanted to be the best employee I could and really show them that I’m grateful, I’m appreciative, I’m going to kick my ass and be as good as I can for you. So, the last eight or nine months I was there, they were working on resigning me, especially when AEW was there. It was almost like they didn’t want anyone to go to AEW. That was kind of the feel or the mindset there. So, they offered some good deals with money. I said, ‘But, it’s also important to me that I’m going to be treated appropriately as a wrestler’ because there’s kind of this thing there with Vince and older wrestlers. He just feels like they’re done. I think Tony Khan does a masterful job of putting older guys into certain positions where they can succeed and you can optimize their efforts and their talents.”

Matt Hardy on his initial conversations with Tony Khan and Khan’s respect for those who have contributed to the business: “So, I spoke with The Bucks and Tony. We talked about some things like wrestling on a limited schedule, whatever it may be, and maybe represent some guys. Tony was just amazing to talk to. He was so respectful. Tony Khan is so respectful of guys who have contributed to this business. Just the way he talks to you, the way he treats you, the way he books you, everything. It was great talking to him. After talking to The Bucks and talking to Tony Khan, my mind was made up. I knew I was going to go to AEW. It was just a great experience, and I have nothing but the best things to say about Tony Khan, especially considering the state of dealing with him and him compensating you, and him also taking care of you. He is just great across the board, so I was very happy I ended up coming to AEW.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit AEW Unrestricted with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

article topics :

AEW, Matt Hardy, WWE, Blake Lovell