Matt Hardy has recalled being pranked by Owen Hart during Hardy’s days working as an enhancement talent prior to becoming a fully-fledged WWE Superstar.
Before they became universally known, The Hardy Boyz worked a plethora of enhancement matches for the then-World Wrestling Federation, with Matt Hardy facing the likes of Nikolai Volkoff, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Tatanka.
In his fourth WWF outing, the former United States Champion worked Owen Hart on the 24 July 1994 edition of Wrestling Challenge. Although he was excited at the prospect of facing such a technically gifted athlete, as Hardy discussed on the latest Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, he ended up being ribbed by Hart.
The hilarious incident occurred when Matt Hardy was going over the plan for the match with the former Intercontinental Champion (h/t Fightful):
“We go backstage and he has a canvas like a canvas you would cover up stuff with if it’s gonna rain. He has this canvas laid out and it’s probably 16 by 16. It’s a square, right? He said, ‘Let’s pretend like this is the ring. I want to practice this idea. Say this is the ring and I grabbed you in a waist lock. Just get down on all fours…’ It’s concrete underneath this little canvas. So to get down on all fours.
He said, ‘I want you to scramble real hard this way, and then when I stop you turn and go 90 degrees to your left, scramble real hard there, and then when I stop you, scramble hard 90 degrees again.’ I said, ‘Okay, we’ll do it.’ That’s cool. he wants to go over this and highlight me and give me a good spot.”
It took Matt Hardy a number of attempts before finally realising what Owen was doing to him:
“He says, ‘That was really good. That was really good. He said, ‘Let’s try it again.’ I was like, ‘Damn, this is hurting my knees, man.’ He said, ‘Let’s try one more time. I think you’ve almost got it.’ Then, we go again. Boom, boom, boom. It’s like, oh, man, I got it. It was hurting my knees and hands, we were on the concrete. Then, he said, ‘Ah, let’s just go over a couple more times. I really want to make sure it’s good.’ We did it five times!
On that fifth time, I said, like, ‘Are you f*cking with me?’ He said, ‘Yes, thank you for saying it! Oh my God,’ and then he just died laughing. He just had like this sweetheart, little laugh, like a child. He literally just had me doing that over and over where he was just standing up above me and having me crawl like a maniac on the concrete. Until I acknowledged that he was ribbing me. So that was one of my first very personal interactions with Owen.”
Matt Hardy and Owen Hart would share the ring two more times after this, with Owen defeating Matt on a November 1995 edition of Superstars, before he and Jeff Jarrett retained the World Tag Team Championships over Matt and his brother Jeff in March 1999. Owen would tragically pass away just two months later.
Owen Hart is currently being honoured by All Elite Wrestling, who are promoting both a men’s and women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, with the finals for both scheduled for Double or Nothing on 29 May. In the men’s bracket, Matt’s brother Jeff Hardy is currently set to face Darby Allin in the quarterfinals.