AEW’s Matt Hardy talks creative frustrations working with Vince McMahon in WWE

AEW’s Matt Hardy has revealed what it was like to plan his “Woken” character with Vince McMahon.

Big Money Matt returned to WWE with his brother Jeff at WrestleMania 33, winning the RAW tag title on their first night back in the promotion. A year later, the brothers were separated and Matt’s hugely popular “Broken” gimmick was back, albeit under the WWE tag of “Woken”.

As part of their feud, Hardy engages a quirky colleague Bray Wyatt in a “Ultimate Erase” cinematic match. However, Matt explains that the end product and what he himself envisioned is day and night, as he said in Matt Hardy’s Hard Life.

Big Money Matt talks about the lack of understanding from Vince McMahon, and the resulting creative limitations he feels:

“It’s like I want these cinematic matches to have moments of fun in them. I think you can have serious moments but like if you’re too serious about those things, I just think people will continue. This is pro wrestling, this is like an outlet that I want to have fun, and I feel like he just didn’t get it.” (1:22:30)

Two years after the “Woken” gimmick went live in WWE, brother Hardy left the commercials and signed with AEW.

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The character “Broken” reappears in AEW for a short time

When he first joined the Jacksonville promotion, Hardy donned a maroon tunic and became “Broken” again while joining Elite against Inner Circle.

He competed in the inaugural game at Stampede Stadium for nearly two years to this day, winning alongside Hangman Page, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. The popular gimmick will reappear when Big Money Matt sets up HFO.

The former ECW champion talked about the possibility of the character returning, now that his brother Jeff Hardy can reprise his role as Brother Nero in AEW. Interestingly, the character Brother Nero has never been seen in WWE, only appearing in a brief segment between him, Matt and Bray in 2018.


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Roman Reigns vs. Is The Rock likely? We asked Paul Heyman himself here.

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Emma Bowman

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