During his final days with WWE, Matt Hardy was inserted into the storyline feud between Edge and Randy Orton where he was booked to be get beaten down by Orton. Orton continuously beating down Hardy was eventually supposed to lead to a major match between the two to put Orton over and build towards his match with Edge before Hardy left the company.
Jim Ross talked about Matt Hardy debuting in AEW as a result of the lack of booking he received and why Vince trying to bury Matt Hardy on the way out actually put him over more.
“Why would you have someone on your payroll, and you’re paying them and traveling them, you’re putting them on television, if you wanted their character to die?” Ross asked. “Everybody said ‘They’re burying Matt Hardy’, and that was their intent is to bury Matt Hardy, but for their own mismanagement and lack of attention to detail and lack of common sense, they got Matt Hardy over more on his way out then they did while he was there. He was doing promos, he was in hot angles, he was with Randy Orton. You’re not burying him, you’re getting him over, dumbass! Now Matt Hardy is in AEW which is going to be great for us.”
Along with Hardy’s debut, Brodie Lee, f.k.a. as Luke Harper in the WWE, also recently debuted on AEW Dynamite. Ross talked about the fans’ excitement of constantly seeing something new and AEW giving the fans that by reinventing two underutilized stars in WWE.
“We all love something new,” Ross said. “People saw Matt Hardy on AEW as something new, they love the new aspect of that, not even knowing where we’re going with that and neither do I. Same thing with Brodie Lee, new guys, new roles, they have a track record but they’re still hungry. They have something to prove.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.