Without a doubt, the team of Matt and Jeff Hardy was the most exciting and infectious characters on professional wrestling television in 2016, aside from the antics of Chris Jericho. What makes the Hardy Boyz perhaps even more compelling is that Jericho used his creative mind within the WWE product, which is already heavily promoted. For the Hardys, however, the creativity not only generated an immense level of buzz in Impact Wrestling, but it also transcended beyond the company and reached fans from across the pro wrestling community.
Initially, the Matt Hardy character seemed a bit bizarre, and just seemed to be another incarnation of Hardy that will not last long. Continuing to lose to his brother Jeff, Matt fell into a “broken” state and focused solely on rendering his brother obsolete. This led to a Final Deletion match in summer of 2016. The match created so much buzz, WWE United States Champion Chris Jericho and Raw General Manager Mick Foley were not ashamed to praise the match via Twitter. Jericho stated that the match was brilliant and that Broken Matt Hardy is the best character in Impact Wrestling History, and Foley stated that the match would haunt him forever.
Matt would defeat Jeff, and forced him to play a servant role. This angle would become so popular, the fans would eventually cheer both Matt and Jeff, and they would form a tag team. The team would defeat Decay at Bound for Glory, in a match titled “The Great War,” and have been champions since.
Recently, both Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell returned to Impact Wrestling to assume executive roles in an attempt to rebrand the company. While this seems like a step in the right direction, the latest news of both the Hardys and Drew Galloway leaving make it very difficult for fans to have faith in a growing revival of Impact Wrestling.
The reasoning behind the Hardys departure is quite puzzling. According to Wrestling News, both Jarrett and Mantell prefer more of a traditional feel, and Matt and Jeff’s current character do not fit the mold.
“…the feeling is that Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell would favor a traditional booking approach and the feeling is that the ‘Broken’ storyline that the Hardys have been doing over the past year will not be a part of the new direction.”
Although names such as Eli Drake, Bobby Lashley, Eddie Edwards, and Ethan Carter III are great assets to the company, there is no doubt that the interest in Impact Wrestling nowadays is primarily due to the success of the Hardys. However, this apparently is not very important to the executives at Impact.
Sadly, this is yet another big blow for Impact Wrestling. Over the past two years, legal battles with Billy Corgan, departures from Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, Kurt Angle, and Austin Aries, as well as a major change in management, have created hurdles for the company staying afloat.
The departures of the Hardys and Drew Galloway is a crucial setback to Impact Wrestling attempting to advance the company in gaining more viewers or even maintain the ones they have. Moreover, with Galloway succeeding in EVOLVE and ICW, and the Hardys currently feuding with The “Bucks of Youth” in Ring of Honor, all three former Impact Wrestling stars will be fine without being a part of the company.
Hopefully, Impact Wrestling can acquire some notable names to adequately replace the momentum created by Matt and Jeff Hardy. Right now, there is a very small amount of names who can contribute to Impact Wrestling getting out of the situation they are in now, and hopefully they are acquired sooner than later.
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling]