Matt Hardy Looks Back On The Impact Of TLC Matches, Helping Younger Stars, Longevity In Wrestling

25 years into the worldwide wrestling scene, Matt Hardy is still at it.

His first televised match happening way back in 1994, just five years later would start a strech of ladder matches where the ingredients involved would change wrestling forever. While Edge & Christian were forced out of the ring and D-Von Dudley retired, both Hardy Boyz and Bubba Ray Dudley are all active wrestlers far past when naysayers thought they'd last because of the style performed.

As science, technology and wrestling have evolved, so have the minds involved. Hardy spoke on the match and the lasting impact that it had on wrestling.

"It says at some point I got a little more wise. I smartened up. No, I mean it’s like when first coming in we were young, hungry kids and especially healthy. We got to go out and they trusted and gave us an opportunity to go out on the SummerSlam stage in 2000. And allowed us to be trailblazers and break this new ground and do this incredible match with tables, ladders and chairs and do these ungodly stunts and what not. And it was really for us we had no idea how much we were cementing our legacy at that point. Looking back that TLC became a staple in WWE history, in the industry. Every other company copied that much in some way, shape or form. And there’s a pay-per-view event called TLC and it was all stemming from that match and our accomplishments in it. I’m very honored to have that, but then as time goes on and your body changes you have to change as well with your thought process and the way you apply your skills to the ring," Hardy told Fightful in an exclusive interview.

Long known as one of the more creative forces in pro wrestling, Matt Hardy has evolved his own character and persona. The variety he's seen on WWE programming is something he takes note of, and is happy to contribute.

In asking Hardy, he also said that he's open to helping out younger stars find their way, as well.

"Yeah, a little. That’s not really my job or capacity now, but there’s times I’m definitely open to giving my insight or my opinion if someone is interested in having it. And I have a good grasp on that. I understand what professional wrestling is at its core. It’s a competition and you really need to get this bad guy that you want to have some sort of one up on the good guy, and see the good guy overcome the odds. And that’s wrestling at its core. And when you have great athletes you make amazing matches. But then there’s also stuff that is attractions and there’s stuff that’s variety. And there can be a cruiserweight division. The 24/7 thing is super entertaining. I think that’s great variety for the show as well. It’s all entertainment when it’s all said and done. And I think if you have variety, that’s what it takes to keep viewers invested now for a long amount of time," said Hardy.

Hardy isn't the only OMEGA veteran hanging around WWE these days. Fightful alumni Shane Helms has served as a road agent for WWE this year, though Hardy says that he doesn't actually get to see his old friend as often as he'd like.

"He has been around, but he is actually on the RAW side of things now. So I don’t see him typically. But, no, he’s got a great mind and I really can’t compliment him enough. We’ve obviously been friends for 25 years. But he is definitely a great contribution to the professional wrestling industry," Hardy closed.

You can see our full conversation with Matt Hardy above. Subscribe to Fightful Select to get early access to content and interviews, and exclusive podcasts.

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