Matt Hardy Reflects On Taking Unprotected Chair Shots In WWE

During the latest episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the former WWE superstar spoke about The Hardy Boyz tables match with The Dudley Boyz at Royal Rumble 2000.

On the podcast, Matt also revealed his experience taking Rikishi's infamous "Stink Face" finishing move. Hardy spoke about the high-flying moves the Hardy Boyz used to do, and mentioned why his brother Jeff gave him his signature leg drop off the top rope.

"I loved doing that, that was my gig," Hardy said. "Leg drops bothered Jeff more than it did me so he kind of ended up giving me the leg drops by default. He had all these cool high-flying maneuvers as it was, so I was the leg drop guy. Until I leg dropped my pelvis and lower back out of existence, years later."

Given the newfound knowledge of concussions and CTE across all sports, unprotected chair shots to the head have become taboo in wrestling. Last year, former WWE Doctor Frank Romascavage joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman to speak about chair shots to the head and why he doesn't like seeing those spots happen.

The former WWE Doctor also spoke about both Owen Hart and Chris Benoit's deaths and why unprotected chair shots to the head could've impacted Benoit's brain.

During that infamous tables match, there were several unprotected chair shots between the four competitors that you would never see today. Matt Hardy spoke about the business evolving and why it has moved away from chair shots to the head.

"When I look back at it, it doesn't really bother me," Hardy stated. "I get it, I get why people cringe about it because we've learned so much about the effects of concussions, and the brain, and CTE, and how real it is, but it's almost how it was back then. When you first came in, if you were getting a chair shot — like, to be accepted with the clique as far as the locker room, it was almost like you had to man up and take a chair shot like that. That's kind of how wrestling was, especially when it transitioned from the wild wild west days. A lot of it stems from the Chris Benoit situation and what happened, thinking back to that. There are just a lot of things in wrestling that can affect your brain, even regular bumps too.

"You almost have to put all of that stuff into one basket if you're going to talk about it. I'm good with not doing them, I think it's great and the business has evolved. Looking back on that, I just realize that's how the business was during that day and age, and it doesn't bother me or make me sick or cringe, or anything like that. It's just a positive thing that we moved past and decided to ban chair shots to the head."

Matt Hardy was asked whether or not he would take a chair shot to the head in today's climate of wrestling, with his answer being "probably not". The former WWE Superstar also revealed how he would take one, and where the big issue comes in with talent thinking they're able to absorb the pain.

"If I took one and bumped, I think I can take it as safe as possible," Hardy said. "The guys who get murdered with it stand there and try to look tough and no-sell it, that's when it gets murdered. If someone hits you with a chair shot and as soon as it hits the top of your head and you bump and absorb it, and it doesn't blow down through your head and into your brain, it is nowhere near as bad.

"That's how I would take them back in the day. I would try to snap bump out of them. Nowadays, they're just so taboo, you almost couldn't take it because of the blowback and I'm not encouraging that you do that. As far as it goes, I would probably say no, I don't think anyone would offer to do it but if we were going to do it. I don't think anything beneficial would come out of it, so I would say, 'No,' and say, 'Let's be creative and think of something else to do.'"

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.