SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Fri, October 15, 2010



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

Raw in Miami


Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame inductions


WWE Battleground


ROH in Detroit


Smackdown & Main Event in Ottawa


Raw in Montreal


WWE in Kingston







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT





Matt Hardy released by WWE
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Matt Hardy at Fan Axxess at WrestleMania 26 in Phoenix. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

For weeks, Matt Hardy had set out on a viral campaign, telling the world his WWE career was finished. Today, World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed that, indeed, the multi-time champ was released.

As has become standard by WWE practices, the Fed announced the release on its website, in a posting that stated, "WWE has come to terms on the release of Matt Hardy, effective as of October 15, 2010. WWE wishes Matt Hardy the best in his future endeavors."

Over the last number of weeks, Hardy had taken to YouTube and Twitter discussing his future in wrestling. Not surprisingly, as soon as WWE made the official announcement, Hardy made his reaction public.

"Thank God! :) I swear.. It was harder for me to get released then it was to get hired! This is ABSOLUTELY what I want, now I can be me!" Hardy posted on his Twitter account.

Further, Hardy stated, "I wanna thank WWE for giving me an opportunity, & I thank all the people & friends that helped me there. But I HAD to move on to be happy."

While Hardy did not yet speak to his immediate plans, he did say, "I want to change the business in many area, the way workers are treated & think, & how to live happily outside of the machine. I'm excited!"

Though Matt, along with brother Jeff Hardy began to gain prominence in the late 1990s, Matt's WWE career began a few years earlier as an enhancement talent on shows such as WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Soon, however, the brothers began working together and slowly built themselves up into a name tag team, first under the tutelage of Michael P.S. Hayes and later as members of the New Brood, guided by Gangrel.

Eventually, the Hardyz would split off and begin amassing Tag Team gold and be accompanied by Lita. As Team Extreme, the trio would hold numerous WWE titles, including Matt getting his first taste of singles gold by becoming European Champion in 2001. Soon after, Team Extreme split for a short time, with Matt and Jeff eventually facing off against one another. The team would re-form, but their reunion was short-lived as Hardy was moved to Smackdown in the Brand Extention.

During his time on SD!, Hardy developed his "Version 1" persona and would gain followers (or MF'ers) in Shannon Moore and Crash Holly. Hardy would go on to win the Cruiserweight title during this run. He would later move to Raw before being released for the first time by WWE in 2005.

While Hardy was released, word began to surface that Matt's real-life girlfriend, Lita, had been seeing fellow WWE competitor Edge. The storyline would lead to the pair being married on TV, while behind the scenes, Hardy was re-signed. After a couple matches in Ring of Honor, Hardy returned to Raw and embarked in what is perhaps his best-known feud from his WWE career. For months, Edge and Hardy battled on Monday nights, with the blowoff coming in a "Loser Leaves Raw" ladder match. As a result of losing the bout, Hardy was moved to Smackdown.

Back on Friday nights, Hardy began working in feuds with a number of wrestlers, including Animal and Gregory Helms. In 2006, however, Matt and Jeff Hardy reunited and began competing as a team in special attraction matches while maintaining their solo careers. Eventually, the two claimed World Tag Team gold. The title reign, however, didn't last long and the two separated again soon thereafter.

Back on Smackdown, Hardy began working a program with MVP. The two faced off numerous times while simultaneously holding the WWE Tag Team belts. After the team split and having to take time off to recover from an appendectomy, Hardy defeated MVP for the United States title. While holding the belt, Hardy was moved to ECW in 2008, where he would eventually gain the brand's Heavyweight championship.

Hardy would hold the ECW title into 2009, and then shift into a feud, as a heel, with his brother, Jeff. The feud climaxed at WrestleMania, with Matt defeating his brother. Following the feud, Hardy would find his way back to Smackdown until he had to go under the knife once again in June. Hardy would eventually return to WWE, where he remained for the rest of his WWE career. He would also become a mentor on the first season of NXT, with Justin Gabriel under his guidance.

RELATED LINKS

  • May 14, 2010: Matt Hardy Maritime-bound
  • Matt Hardy bio and story archive

    Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.