Sean Ross Sapp passed along this recap.
Former WWE, TNA and WCW Tag Team Champion Matt Hardy spoke to Sean Ross Sapp of WrestlingInc.com recently about his TNA run, his WWE departure, his interactions with the Kliq in 1995, and much more. You can check out some highlights below, and the full, two-part interview at this link.
You worked with Evander Holyfield during that program. What was that like?
“It was amazing. What a shock when they brought him in. It was also intimidating. I’d talked with Evander Holyfield, and everything was cool and ready to go. Evander’s manager was his wife, and apparently, JBL had said something backhanded about Evander being there, and Holyfield heard it because the locker room was wired into one of the earlier shows. He heard it and got upset. I went back to speak to him and he was mad. People were like, ‘what are you going to do? Evander Holyfield’s mad at you, he’s not going to want to do any business.’ I remember we went out and fought, and everyone was happy with it, and Vince told JBL ‘You have to be careful about what you say, because we almost lost Evander Holyfield,’ and JBL said to him ‘Hell, we almost lost Matt!’ One of the greatest boxers of all-time, and he’s legitimately mad. If he wants to beat me up there’s nothing I can do. It was intimidating, but it was an honor to be in the ring with him.”
There are always people who want to see you back in the WWE. Did you leave them on good terms?
“I’ll be honest, when I left I was mad, angry, bitter. I’m sure I pissed people off. I talk to a lot of people there now and I have a good relationship with those people. It’s real easy to be in the WWE and let your passion, or your pain, or the schedule put you in a bad place. Guys like Alberto El Patron and CM Punk were so frustrated, they just wanted out of there by the end. There were so many guys. Even though that happens, it’s almost a natural occurrence in some ways. People always ask if Jeff and I will go back, or go into the Hall of Fame, and I don’t know man. One thing I try to live by is to not have an end game. Just kind of live for the moment. Anything I do in wrestling now is extra credit. I live day to day. Where I end up, I don’t know. Right now I’m happy in TNA, happy with the schedule, happy with my place, and I want to become TNA Champion. The wrestling business and young wrestlers need TNA to get exposure. We do great business internationally, and now we just need to do that domestically. I wave the TNA flag proudly.”
I’ll never forget seeing you against Steve Austin in his first WWE match. You were in your High Voltage gear weren’t you?
“I worked Steve Austin in my old High Voltage tights that said ‘HV’ and Kevin Nash joked with me and said ‘Hey kid, the person who made your tights left the ‘I’ out of the middle.’ and I was all nervous and just said ‘Oh, okay, thanks man!’ (laughs). Razor always liked Jeff because he’d bump around a lot, and they called him ‘Ice’ because he had the Vanilla Ice haircut. One night, one of them said they heard Jeff Hardy’s theme out there, bump-bump-bump-bump-bump-bump-bump (to the beat of ‘Ice Ice Baby’), because Scott just beat the sh-t out of him and Jeff took a bunch of bumps.”
Matt Hardy goes on to talk about training himself, WCW stealing his ring name, working Stone Cold Steve Austin’s first WWE match and much more. You can read the full interview at this link.