After spending the months following last October’s WWE Superstar Draft on Monday Night Raw, it looks like Matt Hardy will be back on the blue brand as part of the Friday Night SmackDown roster.
As reported by WrestlingNews.co, Hardy was recently moved to the SmackDown roster page without any fanfare, as his switch in brands was not announced through the usual news release on the WWE website. There was no reason given for the move, though as the publication stressed, the veteran grappler might not be with the company for much longer due to his current contract situation and the rumors regarding his future plans.
Hardy’s switch from Raw to SmackDown comes weeks after he returned from injury late last year and wrestled a few matches on the red brand’s flagship show. During these Monday Night Raw appearances, the former multiple-time tag team champion was mainly used as enhancement talent for younger superstars, including the likes of Drew McIntyre and Buddy Murphy, who beat him cleanly in separate matches.
With Hardy’s WWE contract reportedly due to expire on March 1, WrestlingNews.co noted that there’s a “good chance” the 45-year-old wrestler will take his talents to another company. There’s still a possibility he may choose to sign a new deal with WWE, though the publication pointed out that Hardy’s “main issue” with the promotion is his desire to be “used better,” as his next contract will likely be the last one he signs before he retires.
According to recent rumors from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer (via Ringside News), it’s possible that Hardy may choose to sign with All Elite Wrestling in order to ensure he maintains a “high profile” while wrapping up his career.
Now that Hardy is back on Friday Night SmackDown, it remains to be seen whether he will play a similar jobber-to-the-stars role or whether he will become a focal point of the blue brand’s storylines. Notably, it was on SmackDown where he won his last championship, as he and his younger brother, Jeff Hardy, briefly reigned as the brand’s Tag Team Champions early last year. The Hardy Boyz’s run with the titles, however, was unceremoniously cut short when Jeff suffered a knee injury that required him to miss several months of action. Due to this injury, it’s possible that Jeff will remain with the company even if Matt chooses to leave, as WWE added some time to his contract to make up for the time he missed.