Matt Hardy Hopes That AEW Can Find A “Larger-Than-Life” Character

During the latest episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the AEW superstar spoke about a recent "major announcement" from Tony Khan regarding an AEW and NJPW co-promoted pay-per-view called Forbidden Door on June 26.


Speaking about the PPV, Tony Khan said the show will feature dream matchups that people thought they'd never see before. Hardy detailed why the announcement was a great idea for All Elite Wrestling and Khan, believing this show will be filled with an amazing card.

"I thought it was an amazing event, a hell of an announcement," Hardy said. "When you have an actual card that's being presented, especially in an amazing building like the United Center and in an amazing city like Chicago, and you have legitimately AEW superstars going against NJPW superstars, that's incredible. This is two separate entities that are actually working together, in business together, and they're going to have this amazing show and it's going to be an amazing card.


"Diehard wrestling fans, especially now that the internet is here and the world is so interconnected, I feel like people in the US right now, they love New Japan Pro Wrestling more than they ever have in the past. To see there NJPW stars in person, in Chicago against AEW which is a very hot, cool, trendy brand here in America, it's going to be an amazing event. It's a win-win-win."

Continuing to talk about AEW and NJPW's relationship, Matt Hardy detailed why he believes it's a good move for both companies. The former WWE Tag Team Champion also mentioned how AEW needs to find a transcendent star in order to build their audience and not necessarily shows like this one.

"I do think it will help grow the audience as far as Japanese fans, or worldwide, global fans are concerned," Hardy said. "Once again, I do think you do have to have characters that are larger than life to gain casual fans, people that don't typically watch wrestling. There are some people that watch for a character and really don't give a s*** about a five-star match. That's what we do here, I'm speaking very openly and honestly. I think that's something that's very important that you have the Hulk Hogan's who transcend time, characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, two of the best characters ever. I hope down the road AEW, we find someone who really carries that and they ooze that larger-than-life charisma that does draw in casual fans, and I think that's one of the things we need to work towards our core base. If we can get someone in that position, then that's an added bonus."


"It's hard, I feel like now the world is so interconnected and there's like a genre of pro wrestling fans. Ratings have really changed a lot recently besides the way they have dropped down over the years, now I feel like the worlds more interconnected. I do think there are always times where you can get guys white-hot and have some sort of special quality about their character. That's where I think AEW can stumble upon or personally create at some point."

Lastly, Matt Hardy mentioned who he believes his boss Tony Khan is targeting right now to watch AEW. He also continued to talk about how the company needs a transcendent star that can crossover into entertainment to help the company grow.

"I think AEW is just trying to get pro wrestling fans to watch, I think that is their goal," Hardy said. "They are trying to offer up the best version of pro wrestling that they can in 2022. It's current with the times and I really feel like Tony Khan of all people is really on the pulse of what a 2022 wrestling fan wants. Sometimes do you need someone that's a crossover star in entertainment and not just pro wrestling? Yes, of course, but those are very far and few between, but hopefully that ends up happening for us."


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