Matt Hardy has revealed that Triple H pitched for him to lead an NXT faction before he left WWE in 2020 and went to AEW.
Matt Hardy brought his three-year return to WWE to an end in early 2020 and shortly after became All Elite, debuting on AEW Dynamite as his ‘Broken’ Matt Hardy character.
Speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, the tag team specialist revealed that his future could have been very different. Hardy discussed his conversations with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon prior to his departure and says McMahon wanted him to bring the curtain down on his in-ring career and work as a backstage producer:
“He appreciated my honesty. There’s nothing that I would say on here or say to anyone else that I wouldn’t say to Vince, that’s how much respect I have for him.”
“I said, ‘I know how you see me. You are ready for me to move on to a producer role and I’m not ready to do that quite yet. I’m ready to still finish up in the ring. I know I have a few more years left and I’m going to go until it’s time for me to step out. That’s what I want to do. That’s my passion, that’s what I love, and it’s where I can make the most money. At the end of the day, pro wrestling is a business and it’s all about where you can make the most money.’”
“He said, ‘Well, thank you for being honest.’ Because so many people just bullsh*t him all the time. I’m sure, whenever I left, they knew where I was going to end up. It is what it is.”
With one foot out of the WWE door, Triple H made a last-ditch play to keep Matt Hardy with the company and pitched for Hardy to lead a faction on NXT so he could keep his in-ring career ticking over while working in the role McMahon saw him in:
“Triple H, he called me afterward. He tried to work out deals with me doing stuff in NXT and it’s so funny because this shows how much Vince wanted me as a producer. He said, ‘Well, we can pay you X amount of money if you do this NXT thing. But we can like double this almost if you do NXT, and I’ll put you with a group of guys.”
“So you don’t have to do all the work, being an older guy, you’re like the leader of the group, and then you can also still go to TVs, you know, Raw and SmackDown, and then you can still do those and start being a coach because that’s really what Vince wants to see you as, is a producer.’”
“Someone who helps teach other talents and helps construct matches and whatnot. So Vince really wanted to see me in that when it was all said and done. I have a lot of appreciation, Triple H still tried to do what he could just to keep me in the WWE system.”
Matt Hardy previously led the Hardy Family Office faction in AEW before reuniting with brother Jeff when he made the switch to AEW in the spring of 2022.