5 possible opponents for Matt Hardy upon his return to WWE
The “Broken Matt Hardy” gimmick in TNA is one of the better themes the struggling promotion has out together this year. The 42-year-old was recently asked whether he and his brother, Jeff, would return to WWE if TNA is sold to Vince McMahon. In keeping with his character, Hardy, who has been doing some of his best work this year, did not miss a beat in talking about “what if” with his career in this business.
According to a story on SI.com, the Hardy’s have revitalized Impact Wrestling over the past calendar year, beginning with Matt’s world title victory – with Jeff serving as special guest referee – at the 2015 Bound for Glory. Jeff was recuperating from a broken leg suffered in a gruesome dirt bike accident, which forced the Hardy’s to forfeit the tag team titles. Matt, in the meanwhile, cemented himself as a bona-fide world title contender.
Hardy spoke candidly about how he and his brother Jeff (who he refers to as Brother Nero) have been impacted this year by the events in TNA and the future of the company.
“When Brother Nero was injured, I found that very selfish,” said Matt. “As time went on, I began my quest for the title of the world – and eventually I won that title. After I got a taste of the title of the world, I got obsessed with its aroma. I had a great battle with EC3, but during that time, there were some things that Brother Nero did not approve of in terms of the way I conducted my business.”
While Jeff Hardy may be the more sought after commodity of the Hardy brand, there are plenty of opportunities for Matt to make his own “impact” in the McMahon kingdom.
Hardy is a nine-time world tag team champion, having held six World Tag Team Championships, one WWE Tag Team Championship, one WCW Tag Team Championship, and one TNA World Tag Team Championship. He has also enjoyed success as a singles star. He is a three-time World heavyweight champion, having held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice and the ECW Championship once. He has also won the WWE's United States, European, Hardcore, and Cruiserweight Championships once each. All totaled, Hardy has won 16 total championships between WWE and TNA.
Hardy should present an interesting storyline or two if he does return to WWE. Here are five booking options for Matt once he sets foot once again in a WWE ring.
1. AJ Styles
The two former TNA standouts could meet with the WWE World Championship on the line, clashing in a match to lead Smackdown Live. This match could also be a statement that WWE needed superstars from TNA to help bring the masses back to the arenas.
The flip side to this confrontation is the dilemma of WWE building a returning Hardy as a title contender, when it has been working hard to promote new challengers through NXT instead. Could the locker room accept Hardy as an immediate contender for the company strap – much like Batista upon his return at the Royal Rumble?