On this week’s edition of “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy,” Hardy took a look back at the Royal Rumble 2000 and what things were like behind the scenes.
Matt was asked if the upping of weapons and violence in the matches in WWE at this time had started to get out of control:
“There’s a lot of truth in that. A lot of wrestling fans were starting to get desensitized, but I mean times were changing,” he began.
“During the ‘90s was The Attitude Era. It was kind of like when the cat came out of the bag as far as the whole kayfabe thing, and we started being a lot more honest about the inner workings of our industry. Once fans got the internet as we were going into the 2000’s and there’s a lot of information that’s accessible, and newsletters are much more common in this juncture, people want to see different things. They wanted to see innovation and creation. That’s what we were doing.”
“There were many times, I will tell you, where Vince McMahon himself would have meetings with the talent and he would want to scale things back and get back to telling stories as opposed to crazy physicality, bumps, and taking risks, and also to start building better characters. There is something to that because human beings aren’t meant to be thrown down on wood and steel night after night after night. Now there’s just so many risks and so many interesting, cool things that are done in wrestling, but at the end of the day, you can’t keep upping the ante because we are human beings. We’re flesh and blood. At the end of the day, there has to be a story and an entertainment aspect that is what hooks people as opposed to the physicality and even to risk and taking chances.”
Matt’s thoughts on working Madison Square Garden:
“Working in the Garden is a huge honor. Obviously, it’s something you check off your bucket list. That was a very huge honor and a dream fulfilled to wrestle in Madison Square Garden, but then as time goes on, it’s cool wrestling there because it’s usually a pretty good payday, but if you’re just getting in and out of the city, it’s the biggest hassle that there is. That was one of the more aggravating points about working MSG. You have to park across the street. You have to cross the street. There’s typically hundreds of fans outside at this time.”
“The locker rooms were tiny. They were very small. It wasn’t a comfortable locker room or environment. It’s MSG, but getting into it was difficult. The hotels were expensive. It was hard to find hotels. Traffic, you never knew what that was going to be. That was a guessing game because it might take you 15 minutes to get there or it might take you an hour and 15 minutes to get there. You never know in New York City. That is one of the trickier parts about working the Garden whenever we would see it come up in our schedule. Once you’re there and you’re done, and you walk through the curtain and you’re performing in front of the Garden, it’s the coolest thing ever, but the process of getting there and actually working it was a bit of a challenge and sometimes very frustrating.”
Matt giving the description of the match between the Hardyz and the Dudley Boyz having been cut down from 17 minutes to 13 minutes an hour before showtime:
“I remember if I’m not mistaken, and I feel pretty good about this after talking with everybody, a week before, we initially had 17 or 18 minutes for this match. We heard, maybe 30 minutes before the show started, that we were going to have our time cut. We were going to lose either 4 or 5 minutes.”
“I think we had 13 minutes for everything. 13 minutes compared to 17 or 18 minutes is a huge difference, especially when you are constructing these different apparatuses with tables, stairs, fighting into the crowd, and getting up on balconies and what not, so we knew we would have to do something different. What we had was definitely set up for 17 or 18 minutes worth of content, but now we had 13 minutes.”
“I remember having a group meeting. I remember throwing this idea out. I may have been the one that said it, if not me, then probably Bubba. I said, ‘I think we should keep everything we have. We should hustle. Maybe you can come to the isle and meet us. Do your promo as fast as you can Bubba, and let’s burn through everything we have, and if we don’t sell as much as we should, f*ck it. Let’s get our sh*t in. This is the night for us to make ourselves. We’ve worked very hard on this, and we’ve earned this, and f*ck it. We’re going to burn through this sh*t and still do everything that we’ve done, and we’re going to fuc*ing become superstars tonight.’ That was our mentality, and we all agreed.”