Former TNA Executive Producer Eric Bischoff has lifted the veil on the problems he had with Matt Hardy when bringing him into the promotion for a run in 2011.
Hired to help take Total Nonstop Action to the next level, much in the same way that he had done World Championship Wrestling over a decade and a half prior, Eric Bischoff had highlighted many talents from the heaving roster that he would work with in order to make wrestling’s next home-grown stars.
AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, the current AEW tag team SCU, Bobby Roode and The Young Bucks were just some names that the creative mind planned to push to the summit, with Matt Hardy the last name on that list. However, upon hiring the former Hardy Boy in 2011, it was evident from the beginning that there was going to be a problem.
Now, Eric Bischoff has taken to his 83 Weeks Podcast in order detail what was wrong with the star from the beginning and why he wasn’t a fan of the Matt Hardy that arrived in TNA:
“He had his own issues. He was out of shape when he first got to TNA, he was horribly out of shape, embarrassingly bad. The things that one would see on YouTube or social media would really make you wonder what the hell do [The Hardys] do in their free time. What drugs are those?
There’s no other way to look at it. It was wacky s**t. I wasn’t a fan of Matt when he came into TNA because of that, he was inconsistent. I wasn’t a big fan of inconsistent performances, he was troubled as was Jeff to a different degree. Perhaps [Matt] wasn’t able to make headlines but it didn’t mean he didn’t have similar problems or issues. All I can tell you is that his behaviour, appearance and inconsistency led me to believe that he wasn’t healthy.”
Five months after Matt Hardy was hired by the company, he was released following an arrest for a DUI. His incarceration had occurred following a further suspension.
However, turning his life around, the talent returned to the company – which had been rebranded IMPACT Wrestling – in 2014 where he reformed The Hardy Boys with brother Jeff, captured the promotion’s World Heavyweight Championship and eventually gave birth to the beloved ‘Broken’ gimmick before returning to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2017.
Credit for the interview: 83 Weeks
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.