Matt Hardy Talks Life After Rehab, Signing With WWE In The 90s, Almost Signing With ECW, OMEGA, More

Was he upset over WCW taking their name: "I'm sure I was. Looking at it now, it's just wrestling. Whoever gets it on TV first, they kind of own it. That's the way it works now. I'm sure looking back then I was upset because I'm sure it took a lot of pride and coming up with the name High Voltage and this persona that I used. Although very few people knew who I was at the time. It wasn't going to be a big deal to change my name. I'm sure I had a lot of pride and just that being my first real name sake and first character persona in the pro wrestling business. Looking back now, it's funny. I'm sure it didn't make a big difference. But back then I was probably upset."

If he came close to signing with WCW during that time: "We really didn't. A couple times we got really close to just being booked by WCW as extras. We actually came close to working something out with the original ECW right before we went to WWE. Which, some people know that. Not everyone does. We actually had worked a match in Greenville, North Carolina, myself and Jeff against Sabu and Rob Van Dam, that went really well. We had met Sandman up in Philadelphia and he saw a few of our demo tapes, our demo reels. He was pretty interested in what we had to offer. We actually had been talking about going on an international tour with some of these ECW guys and that was actually starting to turn up conversations of us going to do an opening match in the arena at one of the ECW events, but by the time that actually came to be we had already signed developmental deals."

Signing with WWE when he did: "We were really blessed and we were really lucky to come in whenever we did. Whenever we first started, obviously we did jobs. We worked on TV as enhancement guys from 1994 to 1998. We actually signed our deals in March of 1998. Then we went to a few dojos over the course of the summer that were in Stamford, CT, the WWE dojos with Terry Funk and Tom Prichard. September of that year is when we started on TV. Basically we came on TV, we defeated Kaientai via pin fall on Heat, a live episode kind of just to reintroduce us to the crowd or whatever. The next on Shotgun Saturday Night we beat Too Cool by DQ and then we lost probably 20 matches straight on TV until we beat the new version of the Road Warriors that were out at that time. We were still used very sparingly and we came in at a time and we came in in a very believable way, I think. Once we did, we got put with Michael Hayes and we got the character makeovers. We started on the road full time, which once we got thrown into the thing with Michael Hayes we were full speed ahead from that point on. Every night we were on the road we had sold out houses of 20000, 25000. There was Rock and Stone Cold, DX was red hot. We were so blessed to be able to land in that era. It was insane."

Make sure to check back later this week for the second part of the interview, where Hardy talked about returning to ROH, if it would have been better to sign with TNA now than when he did, WWE adding him to their Alumni section and if he knew it would happen, his future with ROH and much more.

OMEGA's "Support the Sport" event takes place this Saturday, May 25th at East Wake High School in Wendell, NC. Hardy will team up with "Hurricane" Shane Helms to battle CW Anderson and Steve Corino. Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly are also scheduled to appear, you can get more details about the event at this link. You can also follow Matt on Twitter @MATTHARDYBRAND, and you can purchase Hardy related merchandise at shopmatthardy.com.

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