AEW star Matt Hardy has recalled the backstage reaction back in 2001 when WCW and ECW both closed their doors.
In 2022, there are many options for a pro wrestler with a thriving independent scene, and options in Japan and elsewhere overseas as well as WWE, AEW, Ring Of Honor, and IMPACT Wrestling all part of the landscape as major promotions in the US.
Back in 2001, however, the landscape looked very different. After years of WWE, WCW, and ECW trading talent and barbs over the years, WCW and ECW were forced to close their doors, leaving WWE as the biggest – and for many only – game in town.
Speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the current AEW star discussed his thoughts on that time and how everyone in WWE hated the proliferation of a very clear monopoly:
“Man, everybody in the WWE hated it. I mean, we know it wasn’t good for the industry, we knew it wasn’t good for the talent. We knew it was gonna take away a lot of our leverage as far as trying to get better deals or trying to get more money. So we hated to see the competition go under. And obviously, we bought WCW and then ECW went under. So it was what it was, but we were not fond of it, none of the WWE talent was.”