Matt Hardy Tweets on Choosing AEW over NXT, Sheds Light on His Contract
In a response to a fan Saturday on Twitter, Matt Hardy explained why he chose to join AEW rather than re-signing with WWE and going to NXT.
Hardy cited more creative freedom and the ability to work fewer dates as reasons for signing with AEW even though he was offered more money by WWE:
After officially announcing that his WWE contract was up on March 1, Hardy made his AEW debut last week in surprising fashion when he showed up after the main event and was named Nick Jackson's replacement on The Elite's team in the Blood and Guts match against The Inner Circle.
Hardy was dressed like the "broken" character he portrayed in Impact Wrestling and so badly wanted to bring to life in WWE.
While Hardy was able to bring a version of that gimmick to WWE programming for a period of time, it was put on the back burner after his tag team with Bray Wyatt ended following WrestleMania 34 in 2018.
During an appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast with AEW star Chris Jericho on Friday (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth), Hardy revealed that he grew frustrated when WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wasn't receptive to his ideas:
"I pitched idea after idea after idea to WWE and I never got any feedback. I would hear a little chatter here, a little chatter there, but there was never anything that like stuck or like, you know that anything that ever like sparked any kind of like creative fire in Vince's mind. That just became frustrating, and then later they were just trying to re-sign me just to have me under contract so that I was a WWE employee, and I kept turning down money, which was good money. But like I wanted to be in a prominent role in television and I don't think Vince saw that for me."
Hardy also expressed his belief that things might have been different if Triple H was the one in charge rather than McMahon:
"I told everyone from Vince all the way down what I wanted and what I expected if I was going to stay around. Once we were on the same page, and I said, okay, well, thank you guys very much. I'll just go my own way, and even days after I left, I talked to to Triple H. It's just like he was cool, and I feel like if Triple H would have been the guy that was solely in power, I would have probably had a much better opportunity of kind of getting to do what I wanted creatively, but it is what it is."
While McMahon is the main person in charge of WWE, Triple H seemingly has a great deal of autonomy in running NXT, so Hardy likely would have had plenty of creative input had he stayed with NXT and went to NXT instead of Raw or SmackDown.
Hardy's inability to get through to McMahon seemingly left a bad taste in his mouth, though, and leaving WWE all together was likely the best way to ensure that his ideas would be heard.