There’s no other way to say this: Woken Matt Hardy did not start well. The legal battle between Matt Hardy and Anthem gave us this weird nostalgia of the original Hardy Boyz combined with a need for the Broken Matt Hardy those who at least heard about The Final Deletion to be in WWE. Every delightful hint gave us hope that this character and the family that came with it would be on our screens but it didn’t happen. The battle ended, Matt Hardy became Woken, and he laughed.
Him and Bray Wyatt laughed and laughed. At first, the sight of the two most out their minds just crazy laughing at each other was amusing. No one had matched Bray’s level of unstable until now except maybe his fans who thought he would ever win a pay-per-view match, but I digress. Then it became tired. Ironically, it became the sleepiest part of the show. A feud over laughing and that is no feud at all.
Things pivoted. Bray stopped laughing. Matt stopped laughing. It truly became about light vs darkness. Matt became the only person who wasn’t facing Bray Wyatt the man, but battling his guiding force in Sister Abigail. Bray’s guidance by Abigail had been stated from the beginning of the Bray Wyatt character. Thankfully, we never met Abigail in the incarnation they teased so her supernatural effect on Bray remained.
House Hardy appeared in all of their splendor. Queen Rebecca played piano. Senor Benjamin prepared the battlefield for annihilation. King Maxel and Lord Wolfgang performed royal duties too high for us to understand. The Ultimate Deletion was upon us. And it was MAGNIFICENT.
Although I could have done without the Benny Hill-ish scene in the graveyard.
Bray Wyatt is in the Lake of Reincarnation. Woken Matt is moving to the next stage of destiny. We, the audience, were apologized to by Michael Cole (a real shame for the segment) and are wondering what is next.
Now that I’ve summarized the last roughly year of Matt Hardy in WWE, let’s get to the point here: Woken Matt Hardy could be the vessel WWE needs for all kinds of reasons.
First, he’s a character. In a world of AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, there is a decided lack of larger than life, surreal characters like Undertaker and Goldust. Bray Wyatt is the closest thing we’ve had as a “new” character for a long time by having the supernatural element to it. The Velveteen Dream is up-and-coming but on the main roster, we’ve had Bray and Demon Finn Balor when they played up that part of his character.
Professional wrestling is built on characters. While things are becoming more and more reality based, we still need some characters that are just out there. Woken Matt Hardy is that character.
Second, he’s a great vessel to reboot other personas. He has a thing called “the lake of reincarnation” and he wants to “delete” the darkness in the people that he wrestles. Not that Finn Balor needs a reboot, but I would love to see Woken Matt throw Demon Finn into the lake and see what character comes out. We haven’t seen Bray Wyatt on TV since the Ultimate Deletion which gives him an opportunity to get a much needed refresh. Any other characters who are broken, Woken Matt Hardy can be the vessel they use to give those characters a reason to be gone for a time and come back as new in some way.
Third, this character can last a while. Woken Matt is not a high flyer. He takes minimal bumps and builds his matches via the wacky, but actually logical promos if you follow the gist of what he’s saying through the historical references and multi-syllabic words. Theoretically, the physical toll will be lower which keeps Matt healthier and means this character can last a while longer even though Woken Matt is not a young man any more.
All this is coming from someone who heard about how great the Broken Matt Hardy character was through podcasts. I watched the Final Deletion because it became the things I kept hearing about and I was curious. I have no connection to the history of this character outside of those two things.
Woken Matt is a brilliant character. The WWE Universe needs Woken Wisdom to see that professional wrestling can be wonderfully silly as well as super real and that’s ok.
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