In recent years Matt Hardy has emerged as the figurehead behind the use of cinematic style matches in modern wrestling.
Following the work done by Hardy and his brother Jeff in TNA, the format has since become a regular sight in WWE as well as following Matt Hardy to AEW.
Back in 2016, Hardy began to descend into his “Broken” character which changed not only his persona but the matches he was in. Over the course of the following months Hardy feuded with his brother Jeff, now named “Brother Nero” before the pair joined forces once more. During this time the duo featured in a series of increasingly outlandish matches in the “Broken Universe.”
The matches earned acclaim and scorn from fans in equal measure, while Matt Hardy carried elements of his “Broken” character with him into his return to WWE and then to AEW.
Speaking to Shakiel Mahjouri of ET Canada, Hardy revealed that the development of cinematic matches was due to him wanting to “conserve his body” after years of abuse in the ring. Reflecting further on his series of cinematic matches, Hardy revealed his favourite creation.
The Final Deletion will always be famous because it was like the first major one. I knew when we did the first contract signing with Broken Matt Hardy and my brother Jeff Hardy, it was so polarizing and people were so split over it. But I knew we had something because so many people were locked in and then the Final Deletion, like it went viral over the course of a couple of days. That’s like a big deal. Looking back structurally, it wasn’t as good as some of the other things I was in. Probably my favourite match that I’ve ever done cinematically was the Apocalypto Tag Team Match from Total Nonstop Deletion.”
Hardy continued, adding that the the favourite cinematic match that he had watched was the Boneyard Match between AJ Styles and The Undertaker. Hardy explained that he knew how much The Undertaker wanted to go out on a high note, and that match allowed him the chance to do that.
“One of my favourite matches, I think that I’ve watched was the Undertaker-AJ Styles thing, because I know Undertaker really wanted to go out on a good note and he’d had a couple of matches where he was in the ring live, and I know it didn’t live up to his expectations and he was let down by them. So I’m so happy you got to go out on that high note with AJ Styles.”
After joining AEW in 2020, Hardy initially returned to his “Broken” character before evolving into Big Money Matt, fronting The Hardy Family Office.
Elsewhere in the wide-ranging interview, Hardy praised his current employers saying that AEW is the future of professional wrestling.