Matt Hardy Looks Back On The Early Days Of TNA Wrestling

While Matt Hardy would later become a phenomenon in TNA/Impact Wrestling during his mid-2010s run as "Broken" Matt Hardy, there was a possibility he could've left his mark in the promotion sooner. The former WWE and AEW star, who recently resurfaced in TNA, almost joined the promotion back in 2005 following his release from WWE, before Hardy decided to return to WWE in order to feud with Edge.


Despite not going to TNA at the time, Hardy was still keenly aware of the promotion, and discussed his initial impressions of them during the latest "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy." He admitted that, above all else, what impressed him the most about TNA's early days was the roster they assembled.

"I remember being super happy for Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, a couple of guys that I knew and I like a lot, who I thought were very talented," Hardy said. "AJ was very impressive. I had heard about AJ on the scene right before I made it. I'd never seen him do a lot of stuff, but I thought AJ was impressive from the early days of TNA, and watching him do that stuff. It was good to see Samoa Joe. 


"I'm not sure what year he came in, but whenever he was there and he got a break there, I was very happy for him as well. All good dudes man, all very talented, all guys that deserved an opportunity on a national stage like that. So I really liked the roster they were putting together. And they were starting to cook as the kids say nowadays. They were starting to cook with that roster."

Matt Hardy Says Jeff Hardy Was Killing Time During His First TNA Run

Over time, several WWE stars Hardy was closely with did make it over to TNA, including Christian Cage, who Hardy believes the promotion did a great job in elevating him into a star. Hardy didn't have the same opinion, however, about his brother Jeff Hardy, who worked from 2004 to 2006 in between runs with WWE. In hindsight, Hardy believes his brother's heart wasn't quite into his first stint in TNA, at least compared to later runs he'd have with the promotion.


"Jeff was just killing time during that," Hardy said. "He went and he put effort into doing it. But he still...he hadn't got himself together in his personal life yet. He didn't get himself to where he needed to be. So I felt like he could've been that much more impactful if he had been in a better place in his personal life. 

"But I feel that while he was there he did some good stuff, but at the end of the day, he wasn't driven to make the company a better place. I feel like he was kind of killing his time, and he was wrestling because he was a really good wrestler. And he, you know, just kind of hanging out. That was kind of his mindset during that time."

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