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WWE legend offered to let Vince McMahon shorten his name to one word

Vince McMahon occasionally changes superstars' names.
Vince McMahon occasionally changes superstars' names.

Matt Hardy recently recalled how he offered to change his WWE name to Matthew during a conversation with Vince McMahon about The Hardy Boyz’s roles.

In 2002, Jeff Hardy found success on RAW after the WWE Chairman pushed him as a babyface singles competitor. At the same time, Matt Hardy’s appearances became limited as McMahon thought fans may get confused if the company simultaneously pushed two singles stars called Hardy.

Speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, Matt disclosed details of his conversation with McMahon:

“He told me, he said, ‘We’ll do something.’ I said, ‘Dude, I’ll do whatever. If you want me to turn on Jeff so I’ll become heel, or we can call me maybe Matthew. We can drop the Hardy name where we have something different so it’s not confusing, like two Hardyz.’” [39:37-39:54]
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While McMahon did not agree to Matt Hardy’s name change, he has been known to alter several superstars’ names in recent years. WWE talent reportedly received a memo recently saying the 76-year-old does not want anyone using real names or names they used on the independent scene.


How Vince McMahon booked Matt Hardy after their meeting

Matt Hardy also suggested that he could move to SmackDown, which meant he would no longer appear on the same weekly show as his brother.

Vince McMahon liked the idea and agreed to give the former United States Champion a push of his own on the blue brand:

“I said, ‘Or if you wanna end up sending me to SmackDown, I’m ready to rock and roll. Give me the opportunity. I promise you I’ll make the most of it.’ As we all know, he ended up keeping his word and I eventually did get that opportunity down the road.” [39:54-40:08]

The 47-year-old became known as Matt Hardy Version 1.0 on SmackDown, where he quickly made an impression with two wins over The Undertaker. He also competed in matches involving Brock Lesnar and John Cena during that time.


Please credit The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

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Edited by Kartik Arry
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