Many fans hoping to see Matt and Jeff Hardy in WWE after their exit from Impact Wrestling were disappointed to learn last week that the brothers had signed with Ring of Honor on what appeared to be a long-term contract. But new reports from earlier today suggest that the deal might actually be a short one, which means the Hardys’ WWE return may still be pushing forward if negotiations progress smoothly.
It’s been an interesting week for the two brothers from Cameron, North Carolina, who started their WWE careers in 1994 as teenagers. After news emerged that negotiations between the Hardys and Impact Wrestling broke down and that they wouldn’t be re-signing with the company, reports of a possible WWE return had emerged. Hopes of a return were especially high on Friday when Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that “preliminary talks” had started between WWE and the Hardys.
Those hopes were dashed the very next day, as the Hardys made a surprise appearance at Ring of Honor’s Manhattan Mayhem event, defeating The Young Bucks for the company’s World Tag Team Championships. “Broken” Matt would go on to announce that he and “Brother Nero” had signed the “biggest contract in ROH history.” And it was soon rumored that this deal was long-term, seemingly putting the kibosh on any possible WWE return for the brothers in the short-term.
The original reports that Matt and Jeff Hardy’s ROH contract would be a long-term one cited Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. But with Meltzer and Figure Four Weekly’s Bryan Alvarez teaming up today on the Wrestling Observer Radio show, it would appear that there are varying stories on the length of the Hardys’ recently-signed contract.
According to WrestlingNews.co, Meltzer said on today’s show that he actually wasn’t able to find out how long the Hardys will be signed to Ring of Honor. As of this weekend, it was reported they were inked to a longer contract and that ROH had spent a substantial amount of money to acquire their services. But right now, it isn’t sure after all if that big-money deal would be a long one or not.
Additionally, Wrestling Observer Radio co-host Alvarez noted that he had “heard from two different sources” that the contract is short-term. This may potentially make Matt and Jeff Hardy’s WWE return a plausible one, albeit one that may take place after WrestleMania 33, due to the timing of their next ROH match.
ROH’s card for its April 1 event, Supercard of Honor, still has The Young Bucks listed as World Tag Team Champions and facing the Hardys, but with the belts having changed hands this past weekend, this could mean the World Tag Team titles going back to the Bucks if the Hardys sign with WWE as originally rumored.
Cageside Seats reported on Sunday that while Matt and Jeff Hardy said nothing about a WWE return, they also didn’t talk about any matches beyond next month’s appearance on Supercard of Honor.
“They could just be building up a short-term angle to kill time and make money before things heat up with WWE… Or, they could be following in the Bucks’ footsteps and making ROH their North American base of operations.”
The latter sentence would mean having a place to wrestle while based in North America but also being able to wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling, which has a partnership arrangement with Ring of Honor. Such would be an amenable arrangement for Matt and Jeff, especially since the latter had spent some time in NJPW after his last WWE run ended.
However, the odds of Matt and Jeff Hardy coming back to WWE may not boil down to money, but rather how much creative freedom the company is willing to give the brothers. Many have speculated that Matt, in particular, might not be allowed to use his super-popular “Broken” gimmick, but since WWE appears to be serious in re-acquiring their services, allowing the Hardys to work as “Broken” Matt and “Brother Nero” may be a concession officials would be willing to make.
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling]