Matt Hardy Talks Changes In Business From Attitude Era, If He Signed With TNA Too Soon, More
|By Raj Giri||July 31, 2012 | Comments|
Click here for part one of the interview, where Hardy discussed his time an an enhancement talent for WWE, signing with WWE, his favorite stars growing up, working with the Kliq, tag team wrestling today and much more.
WrestlingINC: You've pretty much been there when 1998 to 2010 and you've seen the changes from being able to do the promos on your own to scripted promos, having dress codes and things like that and how the backstage atmosphere has changed. It seems like wrestlers today aren't as happy as they were back in the day. They're not able to be as involved, creatively, in their story lines and angles. Is that kind of what you've seen over the years? Do you see something that could be done that was being done back then that could help kind of turn around the business?
Hardy: I have to admit, I appreciated when there was a lot more creative freedom. The guys had the chance to either go out and succeed on their own or fail on their own. I think that's a good thing in a lot of ways. It's kind of like, the times are a-changing. [Laughs.] The business changes with it, it's just where they're at right now. They're a publicly traded company, it's a huge corporation and they have people that are in control of almost every aspect, with the exception of a few guys they might trust to go out and do what they do. It's just kind of the state of the game.
Do I think it's better when guys go out and succeed or fail on their own? Yeah. I think that's how you get your next break out star in some ways. Because if "Stone Cold" Steve Austin hadn't started in that era in '96-'97 and got the chance to be "Stone Cold" -- as opposed to ten years later in 2007-2008, where they say, 'OK. You're going to be The Ringmaster and this is what you're going to say. This is what you're going to do and this is what you're going to wear.' I mean, you'd never have that amazing character of "Stone Cold" evolve into what he was. Let's face it, that's the thing that really set the business on fire more than anything else. He's sold more merchandise than any other superstar in history and he's the most popular guy ever.
So, sometimes, I feel like guys get sent down to developmental territories, to FCW, and they kind of strip down what's special or creative about them which allowed them to get hired in the first place. They kind of put them as a cog in the WWE creative machine. Is that a good decision? I don't know. I guess if someone pops out that they created and becomes a bigger star than 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, maybe so. But, I have a feeling that you strip away a lot of the originality from the guys that may have needed that original spark to become the next big thing.
WrestlingINC: You're one of those guys that seemed like the push he received never matched the fan reaction that you were getting. You see that a lot nowadays were guys get over on their own and then they kind of have their legs cut out from underneath them. You saw that with Zack Ryder. It's almost if WWE isn't responsible for your fan reaction and you get over on your own, they almost want to bring you down and kind of prove the fans wrong. Is that something you've seen? Does that sound like a fair assessment or am I completely off base?
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