AEW's Matt Hardy Discusses Former Issues In Pro Wrestling Locker Room Culture

In the wake of Vince McMahon resigning from WWE and TKO's board of directors following a lawsuit accusing McMahon of sex trafficking and abuse, many have started to take a closer look at WWE's culture under McMahon over the last few decades. As someone who spent plenty of time in the WWE environment over his career, AEW's Matt Hardy believes most people won't like what they find.

On the latest episode of "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," Hardy was asked by co-host Jon Alba whether the locker room culture in WWE during his time there could best be described as contentious. For Hardy, that word was almost too kind.

"I would even probably use a stronger adjective than contentious," Hardy said. "There were some times the culture was malicious. Really bad...Not a lot of people, especially with the mentality people have in this day and age, and [I'm] not saying that in a bad way, just people are much more caring and giving and open, and willing to help everyone out and give everyone chances and opportunities, right?

"But the culture when we first came in, the way they would bring you in and haze you and test you and do things to you to make you earn your place in that dressing room. You had to earn a seat, you had to earn a locker in that dressing room. It was...there were some things that I saw done over the course of my first few years which...people would be arrested for nowadays. It was a different business."

Matt Hardy Says Current Wrestling Stars Could Not Have Survived Past Wrestling Culture

Hardy would stop short of giving details regarding some of the more horrifying things he had witnessed. He did provide examples of hazing he saw, and made a point of noting that things were so horrendous at times, that certain top stars in wrestling today likely wouldn't be in wrestling if they had to experience that environment.

"You would see...somethings where guys had heat, where they would take their suitcase as soon as they went out, they would cut up their clothing," Hardy said. "They would put it into the shower. I've seen where guys had heat, they would be in the showers and guys would make fun of them and say terrible things, push them to the limits, which would horrify them, just to put them through what they thought was a test.

"I mean, I've seen a lot of stuff over the years that I've been there, which is like 'Whoa,' looking back in hindsight. I did a promo with the Bucks on a BTE before we wrestled the Bucks in, I want to say in Vegas. But there was a thing where I said 'If you guys would've come up when we came up, you never would've made it.' And it was a legit statement, cause they're both nice guys, they're both sweethearts. But like, a lot of people could not have survived through that. It's crazy. The culture was just so different."

To quote this article, please credit "The Extreme Life Of Matt Hardy" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription