AEW's Matt Hardy Explains How Kayfabe Can Survive In Current Era

AEW star Matt Hardy has discussed how the concept of kayfabe has changed with the times.

On a recent podcast episode of "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," Hardy stated that he believes that kayfabe in its original form no longer exists, comparing how it was in his early years in wrestling to now. 


"Kayfabe to 1997 and earlier, that kayfabe is pretty much dead," he said. "Kayfabe from 1997 going forward is just more or less situational things that we can possibly manipulate, possibly manufacture, and do things to keep the crowd guessing. And it's one of the unique tools that you can utilize in pro wrestling where they're just not really sure where the lines between reality and fiction lie."

Using CM Punk's shocking return to WWE as an example, Hardy and co-host Jon Alba debated whether fans having greater access to information behind the curtain has impacted the product. Ultimately, the two agreed that regardless if kayfabe is dead or alive, the most important aspect is making fans feel invested and connected. 


Hardy concluded that the modern version of kayfabe which integrates social media and fans being privy to backstage information can still be very effective. 

"That's one of the tools we have to our advantage. I feel like in pro wrestling, and there's many ways you can utilize that depending on how you promote yourself online, depending how you promote your show on a TV screen, whatever it may be. But there are definitely things there that you can utilize that can be positive for the industry."

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.