As quoted by WrestlingNews.co on Tuesday, Hardy told Van Vliet that AEW “made the most sense” as his next destination, as at the time of his departure from WWE, chairman Vince McMahon and other officials had made up their mind about his future. This, he explained, would have involved working as a backstage producer and mentoring younger talents.
Although Hardy acknowledged that he has no problem with working behind the scenes, he stressed that he didn’t feel he was ready for a full-time move to a backstage role — hence his decision to not renew his contract with WWE and join AEW shortly thereafter.
“The whole reason I got into pro wrestling in the first place was because I love the idea of performing and being a pro wrestler. I don’t want to give that up right now. Even though they offered to do other things after I expressed my concern, I know in my head they already made up their mind how they see me. I knew I needed to go somewhere else.”
Hardy went on to elaborate further on why he feels the move to AEW was the “best case scenario” for him, explaining that he has much more creative freedom with his new employer and is allowed to provide input on what’s next for him as a wrestler and character. He also emphasized that aside from being allowed to wrestle full-time in what might be the final years of his in-ring career, he still gets to help the company’s younger wrestlers develop their skills.
As separately quoted by Ringside News, Hardy also commented on his status as a longtime competitor who has gone through his share of injuries in a career that has spanned well over two decades. The 45-year-old said that he “obviously” has a few years remaining before he hangs up his boots, but at this point, he just wants to get as many things done as he could before he decides to retire.
Interestingly, Hardy’s interview with Van Vliet came just ahead of AEW’s All Out pay-per-view, which will air on Saturday, September 5, and will feature a Broken Rules Match pitting the former WWE superstar against erstwhile rival Sammy Guevara. According to a tweet from AEW’s official account, which can be viewed here, Hardy will have to leave the company “forever” if he loses to Guevara.