AEW star Matt Hardy sat down with EssentiallySports to talk about all things AEW. A near thirty-year veteran, Matt Hardy is a strong presence inside the current AEW locker room. He was asked who else, besides himself and AEW President Tony Khan, has helped contribute to the overall positive vibe behind the scenes.
“I feel like the locker room does in general,” Hardy said. “You almost look back at the beginning, like Chris Jericho was with them from day one. And Chris Jericho is one of the greatest of all time. So he’s definitely a huge part of the formation of the greatness that has become All Elite Wrestling. He’s kind of almost been the nucleus from the jump. And he does a great job. Chris, ever since I’ve met him from the very first day, he’s always been the same guy. He’s always very good for morale, and he’s a great locker room leader there.”
Another thing Matt Hardy believes has helped AEW is how comfortable the entire locker room is. He believes this stems from Tony Khan being approachable about everything, something that is not the case about Vince McMahon, Hardy’s former boss in WWE.
“I think AEW is very special because the mentality AEW uses, starting from Tony Khan all the way down, is really just ‘come in, do your job, work hard, be part of the team and let’s make this product as good as possible,'” Hardy said. “They don’t really try and force people into a hierarchy, they don’t try and reign by fear. And everyone is allowed to feel comfortable. If you have an issue, you can talk to anyone. Tony Khan is so accessible. If you need to address Tony Khan, then you can speak to him, where at WWE it’s quite the opposite with Vince.
“Vince is very hard to be able to speak with. And Tony, I just feel like Tony has the current mindset of the wrestling fan in 2021. So he can kind of make that come alive through his wrestlers and the way he puts together and books shows. It’s just such a comfortable family environment where everyone feels like if you need to speak out, if you need to address something, you can. Everyone is comfortable in AEW, and it really does feel like a really big family.”
Hardy later also compared Khan and McMahon, describing them both as really hard workers. Another thing that differentates them, according to Matt Hardy, is Khan’s level of passion for pro wrestling.
“They’re both ridiculously hard workers. There’s no doubt about that,” Hardy said. “Vince works his ass off. No one can ever take that away from him. Tony does as well. And on top of also running AEW, Tony has so many other responsibilities. He has stuff to do with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, he has Fulham, the football team over in the UK. He has a lot of stuff going on. But he is so passionate about pro wrestling, and you can tell. At his core he’s a pro wrestling fan.
“I think that translates helping him be more passionate as a boss or as a booker. And I feel that it allows him to do an even better job. I feel like he’s very thorough. And he also really respects the AEW wrestling fans, and he does everything he can to not insult their intelligence. If they’re going to invest their time in watching weeks of a story, he’s going to make sure to reward them by giving them a big pay off to the story as well.”
You can watch the full interview below.
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