Matt Hardy Talks Signing With WWE, Tag Team Wrestling Today, Working With The Kliq & More

You hear a lot of horror stories about those guys, but Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac were all really good to us early on.

WrestlingINC: When you signed your first contract in 1998, what went through your head?

Hardy: It was in March of 1998 when we signed up, and it was exciting. It was obviously something that had been a life-long dream for both of us. So, it felt like we had really attained something that we had worked for and busted our asses to get. So, when we signed that, we knew the work was just starting in so many ways, but to have that realization of achieving a life-long dream was really special.

WrestlingINC: In your first run there, you saw all sorts of crazy stuff. Wrestling had hit these heights that it had never been. What were some of your favorite memories during that first run?

Hardy: Man, it's really amazing that we were able to come in during that time. Once again, looking back, 'Stone Cold' was white hot. The Rock was white hot. DX was a huge deal. For Jeff and I, once we got out on the road full time, we were wrestling Too Cool/Too Much every night as the opening match. For us, we almost became accustomed to it. Every night, we were in a building that was sold out with 20,000 people. That was pretty amazing, pretty special. I think we were almost spoiled a little bit because in 2001-2002 when the business slowed down a little bit and the big, hot Attitude cycle ended and the shows weren't sold out anymore, we were like, 'Oh, my God. What is this? We've never seen this before. This is new to us.' So, we were really lucky and really gifted to be there.

I mean, there were so many great memories between the 'Stone Cold'-McMahon thing. Just for us, obviously, our feud with Edge and Christian and going through with the first ever tag team ladder match and having that and the TLC matches. Winning the tag team titles, which was our only goal that we really set for ourselves when we started in the business. There were so many great, monumental moments that there's too many of them to list now. But, it was a really special time in the wrestling business.

WrestlingINC: You mentioned your feud with Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz and I kind of look at that period as the last great era for tag teams. It's been kind of downhill ever since then. Do you think tag team wrestling will come back or do you think it's being pushed aside and there's not much of a future in it.

Hardy: I do agree, that was the last time that tag team wrestling was really great during that era. I think you had an era in the late '80's when you had the Hart Foundation, The Bulldogs and all those other great teams then. I think the biggest thing that affects tag team wrestling in this scenario -- because I get asked this question a lot and this is usually the answer that I go with -- in the late 80's, they had the Hulkamania era and the Rock & Wrestling connection. Hulk Hogan was white hot and they had their top guy. Hogan was selling out arenas everywhere and they could focus on other aspects and other areas of the company.

Same thing in that period when they had The Rock and 'Stone Cold' and they were white hot, selling out buildings everywhere. They could focus on other things besides their main acts. Right now, they're in a period where they're still looking for something. John Cena is the face of the company, but John Cena isn't setting record numbers on TV. Time and television has changed a lot as well.

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