The Hardyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) got arguably the biggest ovation of the night at WrestleMania 33 when they were introduced by the New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) as the mystery team in the Raw Tag Team Title match.
After leaving WWE (Matt in 2010, Jeff in 2009), the Hardyz found new popularity in TNA/IMPACT, highlighted by the Broken Universe. Their IMPACT contracts came up in February 2017, which led to WWE immediately reaching out.
"Michael called me and said, 'I never thought I'd be making this call. Vince really wants you guys to come home, especially with everything you guys have done, he's been keeping up with you. He wonders why they keep chanting Delete at WWE events.' 'Why do they keep saying Delete? What the fuck?' 'It's the thing the Hardys are doing.' 'Yeah, we're totally down.' He said, 'I'm going to have Paul [Triple H] call you.' 'Please do.' I caught up with Michael, personal stuff, then Triple H reached out, spoke to him, we talked about terms and how long we wanted to go. We said we didn't want to do this for five years, obviously, we don't know how much longer we have left, we're obviously getting a little older and we came to a comfortable arrangement and they gave us an incredible offer. We went back to WWE making the most money we ever made there for a guarantee," Matt recalled on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy.
Before the Hardyz returned to WWE, they were set to wrestle at ROH Supercard the night before WrestleMania 33.
Asked if WWE signed off on the idea, Matt said, "100%, I talked to Vince, I talked to Hunter, and they were totally cool with it. Hunter was my main point of contact throughout this negotiating. This might be hard to believe, but I am the business guy of the Hardy Boys. I did all the talking, Jeff trusts me with that, and it's best that way. I spoke with Hunter. I remember speaking with Michael Hayes. That was my first contact."
Speaking about the plan to work for ROH, Matt said, "I told Hunter, 'I spoke with the Young Bucks, we had a thing worked out where we would do an inter-promotional angle between TNA and Ring of Honor, it's still on the table, we can go to ROH, win the tag team titles, hold them throughout, and drop them the night before WrestleMania,' which is where they had in mind we would make our debut. A month out, that's when they knew they wanted us to start. We could fill that time and portray the image that we would be working with Ring of Honor as a red herring to keep people guessing. Hunter was down for it. He said, 'Keep me clued in for every bit of it, keep me up to speed, stay in contact.' I did, I stayed in close contact with Triple H."
The feud between the Hardyz and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) culminated at ROH Supercard with a ladder match between the two teams.
WWE was adamant that Jeff didn't get hurt.
"Early in the day, right when we get in the venue, Michael hayes calls me and is like, 'Don't let Brother Nero go out there and kill himself tonight. I know this is a ladder match, but fuck it, it's not important. Tomorrow is WrestleMania. That's the real ladder match. make sure he doesn't kill himself tonight.' 'Okay, I will do as much as I can to make it controlled chaos. I will take care of him. He is unpredictable. he might go into business for himself out there.' 'Look, I'm telling you, Vince is worried one of you guys are going to get hurt and it's going to be fucked up. Make sure it doesn't happen, okay?' 'Alright, thanks wrestling daddy.' About an hour later, we're talking about the match, I'm looking at my phone, the man with three Hs [Triple H], 'Hey man, I just want to make sure, you're going over Jeff's spots, right? You're making sure he's not doing anything stupid. Tomorrow is WrestleMania and we have big plans. You guys are having a smart, easy ladder match, right? Let the Young Bucks do all that, they're young and healthy.' 'Of course, it's going to be good, we're going to take care of them. We'll see you tomorrow.'
Matt continued by saying, "We start going over more stuff, we're just going over the spot with Nick [Nick jumps off one ladder to another, jumps off that ladder onto the ropes, does a swanton onto Jeff] and Jeff is like, 'May I can go off the top, through the table.' 'Ah well, maybe you just get backdropped out instead. It'll be easier.' I see my phone again, [Triple H], 'Hey, we're finishing up (putting together) the match, we have a long line and are gonna start an autograph session.' 'Hey, Vince just wanted to buzz you. (Vince speaking); Look, fuck, make sure Jeff doesn't do anything fucking stupid and cripple himself tonight. I know how he is. Reel him in. Tomorrow is WrestleMania damnit!' 'Yes sir, I got it.' 'Alright, see you tomorrow, be smart, fuck.' They were adamantly trying to send a message to me, 'Don't let this motherfucker kill himself.'"
Matt said that he told Jeff after the match about the phone calls he had with WWE management over his safety as he didn't want to mess with his head going into the match.
Fortunately, no major injuries occurred in the ROH Supercard ladder match and the Hardyz were able to return, and win, at WrestleMania 33.
Matt & Jeff are now together again in AEW where they competed in a tables match on Wednesday's AEW Dynamite. If you missed anything from AEW Dynamite, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.
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