It’s been almost a year since The Hardy Boyz made their triumphant, and utterly shocking, return at WrestleMania 33. With zero warning, the legendary team returned moments before the match and entered a contest they weren’t even scheduled to be a part of. By the time the bell rung, The Hardy Boyz were Raw Tag Team Champions and had officially returned to the WWE.
In the weeks and months that followed, what started as a nostalgia act began to grow cold. The Hardy Boyz were as good as ever, but they weren’t exactly something new in an already deep tag team division. As their successes slowed down, the news broke in September of last year that Jeff Hardy had suffered a shoulder injury and would be out of action for up to six months. While the team was already on the descent, it was a sad moment for fans of the group.
Of course, the wrestling world never stops. The machine never grinds to a halt, and this eventually gave Matt Hardy the perfect opportunity to unleash a character fans had been clamoring for since his return. During his tenure in Impact Wrestling, Matt reinvented himself as “Broken” Matt Hardy. It’s hard to describe without witnessing the character itself, but there’s no denying it was a complete departure from what he’d been before.
After a loss to Bray Wyatt in November of 2017, Matt began to have what appeared to be a mental breakdown. He seemed to be less stable than ever, and his old ticks from the days of “Broken” Matt Hardy were pushing their way to the forefront. However, this wasn’t “Broken” Matt. No, this was something new. “Woken” Matt Hardy burst onto the scene, and things have escalated ever since. Below, you can see just one example of “Woken” Matt’s condition.
As Matt began to evolve and fully transform into "Woken" Matt Hardy, his rivalry with Bray Wyatt continued. After months of tension between the two, including a confrontation during the Royal Rumble and a clash at Elimination Chamber. While Hardy was victorious, Wyatt's focus on him didn't waiver. Instead, things have escalated into a monumental event this Monday night on Raw. Bray Wyatt is headed for The Hardy Compound to participate in what "Woken" Matt is calling The Ultimate Deletion. Below, you can see Matt welcoming the WWE Universe for the first time to The Hardy Compound.
Matt welcomes the WWE Universe to The Hardy Compound
While likely an unusual sight for some fans, it's a familiar one for others. While this may be the first appearance of The Hardy Compound in WWE, it's far from the first that we've ever seen. Before we get into what to expect on Monday, let's go over the history of how Hardy was "Broken" before returning to WWE and being "Woken."
What caused "Broken" Matt Hardy?
All the way back in April of 2016, when Matt was with Impact Wrestling, he took on his brother Jeff in an "I Quit" match. It ended in a no contest and both superstars were injured by the end of the match, with Matt being escorted out of the arena on a stretcher. The injury that Matt suffered during this match kept him out of action for a few weeks, and eventually became the catalyst for his changes and laid the seeds of the "Broken" persona. Upon returning, Matt impersonated one of Jeff's alter egos, Willow, in order to attack him.
In the following weeks, the character began to evolve. Matt introduced an unfamiliar accent, added the blonde streak to his hair, and accentuated his pronunciation and mannerism in a wholly unique way. All of this led to "The Final Deletion," an epic 18-minute showdown between the two brothers that went viral between wrestling fans. Even those who rarely watched or even acknowledged Impact Wrestling were enthralled. In an industry that has innovated so many times, it's hard to do something completely original. The Final Deletion was just that, and it's that chaotic originality that helped it spread between fans.
Hardy vs Hardy: The Final Deletion
After "The Final Deletion" was concluded, Matt's victory subsequently led to Jeff transforming into "Brother Nero" and adopting a character similar to Matt's. Together, The Broken Hardys became one of the most popular teams Impact Wrestling has seen in recent memory. Their group drew fans in that normally wouldn't have watched Impact, with many tuning in just to see what "Broken" Matt and Brother Nero would do next.
Soon after The Final Deletion, The Broken Hardys began a rivalry with the TNA World Tag Team Champions Abyss and Crazzy Steve, collectively known as Decay.
After The Final Deletion, The Broken Hardys set their sights on gold and defeated The BroMans (Robbie E & Jessie Godderz), The Tribunal (Baron Dax & Basile Baraka) and The Helms Dynasty (Trevor Lee & Andrew Everett) in a fatal-four-way Ascension to Hell match to become the number one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
The new challengers then set their focus the current champions Abyss and Crazzy Steve, collectively known as Decay. They challenged Decay for the tag titles during a special episode of Impact dubbed "Delete or Decay" in a match held at The Hardy Compound. Similar to "The Final Deletion," this confrontation also bucked the norms and presented itself differently than wrestling normally does.
DELETE or DECAY
By the time the dust settled, Brother Nero had sacrificed himself to save Matt from Abyss. Thanks to that sacrifice, Hardy was also able to confront Rosemary (another member of Decay) and prevent his son Maxel from being abducted. While the match wasn't able to match the viral success of The Final Deletion, The Broken Hardys were clearing reaching their peak as a team in Impact Wrestling. In one last effort to dethrone Decay as champions, they faced them in "The Great War" at Bound for Glory 2016.
The Great War
For the first time, The Broken Hardys managed to take the chaotic out-of-arena style of The Final Deletion and intermingle it with a live match. The clash received mixed reviews, but it continued to exemplify how Matt's "Broken" persona was revolutionizing wrestling in its own way.
Unfortunately, that remained the height of The Broken Hardys in Impact Wrestling. The team ventured to other promotions and sought as many tag team championships as they could procure, but were at the same time going through a messy departure from Impact Wrestling. They continued to wrestle on the independent scene, including a return to Ring of Honor in which they briefly captured the ROH World Tag Team Championship, a crowning achievement of Matt's "Expedition of Gold."
On April 1, 2017, The Hardys were in the main event of ROH's Supercard of Honor XI defending their tag titles against The Young Bucks in a ladder match. Less than 24 hours later, they shocked the world by arriving at WrestleMania 33 and returning to WWE as The Hardy Boyz. While there was still bad blood and legal battles going on about the ownership of the "Broken" gimmick (Impact Wrestling claimed they owned the rights to it), The Hardy Boyz were back.
The Ultimate Deletion is coming!
After months of negotiation, news started to leak out that WWE had reached an agreement with Impact Wrestling about the use of the gimmick. It was only after that agreement was reached that we saw Matt begin to transform into "Woken" Matt Hardy. Now, with this persona in full swing, Matt is bringing the WWE Universe to The Hardy Compound this Monday for the first time. The vision that spawned The Final Deletion is now hand in hand with WWE's media machine, and the wordsmith that is "The Eater of Worlds" Bray Wyatt is headed into uncharted waters for WWE. It's nearly impossible to predict what kind of surprises might be in store for The Ultimate Deletion, but you can be sure that it's an epic clash you won't want to miss.
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