The Hardy Boyz are back in the WWE. Matt and Jeff Hardy returned to the sports entertainment giant on Sunday during WrestleMania 33 and have set the internet buzzing ever since. During a show that many are arguing could have been much more memorable had it been two hours shorter, WrestleMania provided several noteworthy moments, including the return of the Hardy Boyz, a marriage proposal, and the retirement of the Undertaker.
The WWE’s belief is that years from now, fans will remember the Hardys coming back, John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella, and the Undertaker’s final farewell, not the duration of the event. All three moments were rumored to happen at some point during the build to WrestleMania, but it didn’t seem to take away from the spectacle either.
The RAW Tag Team Championship match was supposed to be conducted under triple threat rules in a ladder match. But after the teams of Enzo and Cass, Cesaro and Sheamus, and Gallows and Anderson were introduced, The New Day appeared on stage to announce that it had become a fatal four-way match. The Citrus Bowl crowd went berserk when the Hardy Boyz’ music hit, and out came Matt and Jeff Hardy to a rousing ovation and repeated “Delete” chants.
The Hardys went on to win the tag team titles in what was their first ladder match victory at a WrestleMania in their careers. It also happened to be their second ladder match of the weekend. On Saturday, Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero dropped the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championships to The Young Bucks at the ROH Supercard of Honor XI show. That event was in Lakeland, Florida, just about an hour away from Orlando. The proximity of those two events had fans speculating for months that the Hardy Boyz would be at WrestleMania.
After leaving TNA earlier this year, Matt and Jeff Hardy signed a short-term deal with Ring of Honor, but varying lengths of the agreement were leaked in their attempt to swerve the fans and keep Sunday night as much of a secret as possible. Even last week, Jeff Hardy told CBS that he and his brother had committed to ROH through the summer and that there was no truth to the rumors that a WWE-Hardy Boy reunion was imminent.
That all, of course, was part of the illusion designed to keep Sunday night magical. The Hardy Boyz winning the tag team championships was just sugar on top.
Matt and Jeff Hardy hosted a sponsored tailgate party earlier on Sunday afternoon in downtown Orlando. There was a WWE service vehicle parked outside the venue, but nothing more materialized after that. Monday, fans found out that the Hardy Boyz didn’t even arrive to Camping World Stadium until well after WrestleMania had gone on the air. The RAW tag team match was the fourth match on the main card and seventh overall including the kickoff show.
The Hardys’ match did not start until after 8 p.m. eastern, but Matt and Jeff didn’t get to the stadium until shortly before that. In fact, when the Hardys were spotted at their Orlando hotel earlier in the day, they told people in the lobby that they were headed upstairs to their room to get some sleep. Turns out, they went to the Citrus Bowl and won tag team belts instead.
It should be noted that Jeff Hardy was legitimately beat up heading into WrestleMania, coming off the ladder match with The Young Bucks the day before. Their main event match at Supercard Of Honor XI went more than 25 minutes and was said to feature many more high-risk spots than the bout at WrestleMania. Last night’s match went just over 11 minutes but was built around the return pop and the finish, rather than much more lengthy psychology.
The Hardy Boyz are expected to return to RAW Monday night and work with the WWE moving forward, their first run with the company in more than six years.
[Featured Image by WWE]