Vince McMahon Wanted Matt Hardy And Bray Wyatt To Find A Fish For WWE Angle At 2 A.m.

Matt and Jeff Hardy created a WrestleMania moment at the 33rd edition of WWE's signature event, as they returned to the company after five years. Matt soon transitioned into playing the character he had created while away from the company, Broken Matt Hardy, with the goal of doing a cinematic match in WWE. When his dream became a reality on the March 19, 2018 episode of "WWE Raw," Vince McMahon was heavily involved in the match between Matt and Bray Wyatt on Matt's "compound."


The Ultimate Deletion was the main event of the show, with the culmination of the match involving the Lake of Reincarnation. Wyatt was thrown into the lake, leading to a change in his character's persona for WrestleMania 34, where he helped Matt win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It turns out McMahon, who was communicating with the on-site crew via telephone during the shoot, had a different plan for The Ultimate Deletion than what ended up airing, Matt revealed on the latest episode of his podcast, "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy." 

"One of my favorite suggestions, he said, 'I like this lake concept. I like this how it changes a character. That's great sh**, pal. What I could see is Bray gets knocked into the lake and then all of a sudden we have a false finish where he pops out of the lake but he's got a fish in his mouth and then sinks back down,'" Matt recalled. "And they mentioned something about this. They said, 'Can we get a fish?'


"I'm like, dude, we're in Cameron, North Carolina. When they're telling me this it's 2 o'clock in the morning. It's not like you can just go to a Bait and Tackle store that's open 24 hours. I don't think we want to spend time catching a fish out by the Lake of Reincarnation either. He said, 'Well if we can't do it, we can't do it, but it would be great.'"

Vince McMahon Lays Down Ground Rules For Ultimate Deletion

Continuing to talk about McMahon's involvement in the match despite not being present on "The Hardy Compound," Matt said producer Michael Hayes, writer Ed Koskey, and others tried to contact McMahon but were "ghosted" by the WWE Chairman until very late in the process. During their conversation, McMahon had told those involved not to do any "bells and whistles" or "serious wrestling bullsh**," wanting the match to be filled with "absurd stuff" and "over-the-top, super-campy" things. Matt revealed that the conversation with McMahon removed one big planned spot in the match involving him and Wyatt doing a callback to the first Hardy compound cinematic match, The Final Deletion.


"Where Jeff did the Swanton off the tree where I was on the ladder in the Final Deletion, I had two tables I was going to set up, put Bray on the bottom one and come off that tree," Matt said. "I had built a stand on it and everything to go up there and I had already practiced it. I was going to jump off the stand and leg-drop him through the two tables and he was going to move, which was going to put me in jeopardy to kind of go into the heat aspect of the match, and Vince said 'nothing else in the ring, no more of this sh**.' I thought that would've been a real cool spot because I wanted to still incorporate the wrestling ring and wrestling spots and TLC sh**. Once they got that call from Vince they said, 'Okay, we can't go back to the ring. Vince said he doesn't want any of this wrestling bullsh**, he wants this campy, over the top, this is supposed to be fun, larger than life, absurd to a degree.'"


Matt's vision for the Broken Matt character was never fully realized in WWE, and he left the company again after three years.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.