AEW star Matt Hardy has questioned the wisdom of WWE’s decades-long ban on their stars routinely using the piledriver in matches.
For fans of a certain generation, the piledriver is most associated with WWE Hall Of Famer Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. A variation on the standard piledriver was long used as by The Undertaker to finish off his opponents with the move he called the Tombstone.
Others have used the move throughout the years, and the most famous incident of the move going wrong is when Owen Hart dropped Steve Austin directly on his head at SummerSlam 1997, leading to severe neck problems for the Texas Rattlesnake.
Speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the current AEW star has discussed the ban on the move and says if wrestlers know what they’re doing then it can be perfectly fine:
“Being banned isn’t gonna change a ton of injuries. Obviously you’re not gonna get anybody being hurt from a piledriver because you can’t do the piledrivers, but do I think it’s a good thing it’s banned? Not necessarily. I think if you have someone who knows what they’re doing and they’re strong, I think it’s a fine move.”
Matt Hardy then discussed being on the receiving end of the move at No Way Out in 2000 when he teamed with his brother Jeff to take on Edge and Christian. Hardy says there was no issue with the move at the time as it hadn’t yet been prohibited:
“We were all at that point where we wouldn’t have pushed the rules if we were told not to do something. I don’t think any of us were that kind of rebel at that point. But I was surprised even when I saw the piledriver [rewatching No Way Out 2000] because I know later on a couple of years later, after that, it ends up being banned permanently.”