Matt Hardy has reflected on the “bad culture” that used to be around the professional wrestling industry with alcohol and pills.

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy have been open about their struggles with drinking and drugs over the years, but Matt revealed to “Drinks With Johnny” that the first time they had a beer was after they signed with WWE. Of all people, their first time came when they “had the beer with Stone Cold,” who was obviously notorious for his beer bashes.

To this day, Steve Austin remains an avid beer drinker, having since created his own IPA and lager, but Matt admitted, “there were other guys that had different things.” For a lot of talent, they got sucked into taking pills to initially deal with pain, and Matt reflected on his own back problems, which led to him telling WWE, “I think I need time off.”

“The first 12-13 years that I had with WWE, my back was so beat up,” he said. “They just said, ‘Oh, we can’t give you any time off, we really trust you, your really dependable and what you do, just go to the doctors and see what he can do to help you,’ and all he can really do is just prescribe you pills.”

Matt admitted that it was “such a bad culture back in the day,” as the wrestlers were “working so hard” which led to them needing to “take stuff to get through it.” He confessed that they “got into that at the very end,” and that stigma is something that has stuck with Jeff throughout his career.

The reason Jeff’s most recent WWE run ended is that the company demanded he go to rehab after he controversially jumped the guard rail during a WWE live event match and exited through the crowd. The company suspected that Jeff could have been taking something, despite the fact his results ended up coming back clean.

Even though there were difficult moments for both Hardy Boys in their private lives, Matt admitted that it was a “great learning experience” and he “matured more” during that time period. He is now proud that he got himself “back together” and he has a “good hold on how to tackle life.”

“There’s always going to be situations in life and you just have to be able to mentally stay strong, keep yourself in check, and do your thing,” he said. “I am so happy that I went through that before I got married and before I had children, and now it’s just the best thing, I am living the good life.”

Both Matt and Jeff now find themselves on the AEW roster, working together again in what they are claiming to be their final run as a tag team. They will challenge for the AEW Tag Team Championships next week on “AEW Dynamite” in a ladder match against The Young Bucks, and the current title holders Jurassic Express.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “Drinks With Johnny” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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