Last week I wrote a column on Matt Hardy, some would argue that I attacked Matt Hardy for my own personal satisfaction and nothing else. I would respectfully disagree with that claim but will respect those that viewed it that way. I don’t write columns or partake in anything of the wrestling industry to attack those that are involved with it for my own pleasure. I write these columns because like most fans I have an opinion, unlike some of those fans my opinions are a little more educated than most. I don’t write that to put myself over but simply because it is the truth. I’ve been a fan of this industry my whole life and have spent all of my adult years researching, befriending individuals and becoming as involved as I can be without actually being in the wrestling industry. Anyway I am getting off point; I write these columns because I have an opinion, I love this business and would never do anything to purposely hurt it. Do I try to gain off of this business from time to time? Absolutely, any reasonably intelligent person who has put the time and energy that I have would do the same but I do not, let me repeat that I DO NOT make statements that are damaging to others for profit. That’s just not my style. So when I wrote last week that Matt Hardy was a mark for Matt Hardy that was my opinion, my unbiased opinion. Was I wrong? Maybe I was. Were my words a bit harsh? It’s possible but those were and are my honest feelings on the situation. So I have had a week to watch all of this play out and one of the craziest thoughts I have had on this whole situation is what if the Matt Hardy drama was a big work…you’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
Now I am not going to be like other internet personalities who make crazy statements and if they happen to touch on something jump all over it like they knew it the whole time. I do not in any way, shape or form believe that the Matt Hardy situation as I am writing this is a work. I believe that Matt being Matt did what he did and everything you have read or heard is pretty much spot on as to how the situation is being played out at the moment. However things can always change, say what you want about Matt Hardy and God knows I have said plenty about him over the years but I never said he was a stupid man. The best works in wrestling are the ones that are often rooted in reality or ones that the fans are at least initially convinced are 100% shoot at first.
Think I am wrong? OK why did fans initially get behind the N.W.O angle at first? It was because there was a good portion of the audience who were legitimately convinced that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were sent to WCW as Diesel and Razor Ramon to invade WCW. Sure that feeling only lasted for most of those fans a few short weeks but it was long enough to hook them into the angle. Let’s even use Matt Hardy’s real life situation with Edge and Lita a few years back. It was an angle ready to be played out and the reason many of you were attracted to it initially when he first came back into WWE was because you knew that while the storyline was just a storyline its roots were very, very real. People watch TV shows to suspend reality. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of wrestling, Grey’s Anatomy or House you don’t want to watch a TV show and spend the whole time watching it going “That’s fake”. Wrestling has the challenge of having to deal with that more than any other form of entertainment due to its efforts to present itself as a legitimate sport but when it can get you away from that most angles are highly successful.
Most wrestling fans would tell you that kayfabe is dead and buried and that Vince McMahon drove a stake in its heart in the 80’s when he coined the phrase “Sports Entertainment” and he finally shoveled dirt on its body in the 90’s when wrestlers were openly proclaiming their craft as a performance instead of a contest. I will counter that argument and say that while kayfabe is not what it used to be, it can still be restored in a much evolved form. You see it is the opinion of this columnist that those of us that do go on the internet don’t do it so much for the spoilers, signings and such. We do it because what we see on TV we just can’t believe anymore so we go on the internet because we feel we will attain some level of reality by what we read on the internet. Disagree with that? Then why is it we pay more attention to wrestlers Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Website postings than we do what actually goes on in the ring? It is because we are hoping for some nugget of reality that will enhance what we watch. That’s why fans go crazy when Kevin Nash posts on Twitter at 3 A.M because we feel that what we read there is going to affect the story we watch on TV for legitimate reasons and thus make what we watch a retarded shoot. Most in the industry have resigned themselves to the fact that kayfabe is dead and have used the internet to promote their personalities, keep touch with the fans and first and foremost keep themselves relevant but I am here to tell you that the next form of kayfabe must be the internet work.
Sure, just like any other work after a while fans will catch on and know that what they are seeing on TV is a work but the point is just to hook them in initially. You see if you can get a fan interested initially in an angle they more than likely will stay with you all the way through that angle to see how the story ends. Ever read a book that started off great but then sucked and you finished it anyway? This is why, you were initially emotionally invested in what you read and you need to see that investment paid off. Wrestling fans are no different if you can hook them with something that they feel is real they will see it all the way through nine times out of ten even if most of what they watch is horrible. It attracts their interest. Case in point the current storyline with The Nexus. I think I am with most people where I say that I have not been a fan of what has happened with The Nexus since there initial formation but the impact of that formation has still kept a core group interested because it was so impactful that they have to know where the storyline goes. Now I am not saying you can keep an audience forever with bad T.V I mean WCW couldn’t do the N.W.O forever and the same is true for most angles but there is a short term boost to be gained and if the talents and creative involved play their cards right a long term boost as well.
So that brings me back to Matt Hardy. Matt here is what you should do but probably won’t. Call up Vince McMahon. We all know you have had your issues with John Laurinitis and others in the company in the past so it is best that you have a face to face with Vince and maybe even Michael Hayes since he has also been a long time supporter of yours in WWE and explain to him that whether he agrees with what has transpired the past couple of weeks or not all eyes are on Matt Hardy. Let him know that while they are on MattHardy at the moment they will not be on him long and much depends on Matt Hardy’s next move. Let bygones be bygones and for Heaven’s sake Matt remain humble here because this could be the biggest push of your career here. Tell Vince that you are in fact frustrated, do want to be a bigger star and do feel underappreciated and while it wasn’t the most professional move in broadcasting those frustrations to the world the fact that the world does know about it and is in fact talking about it means that there is a way to make money off of it.
Tell Vince and Michael how they have to keep this idea of you being released out there because people are generally interested in what is going to happen next. Explain to them that as you are talking it is probably general knowledge that this meeting is taking place and you have to do something to keep people hooked and what you are going to do is go home, go back on your video cam and have another video blog. This time you are going to mention you had a meeting with Vince and Michael and you told them how disgusted you are with your present direction in WWE and want out and Vince McMahon being the callous bastard that he is said “No”. He basically told you to rot out the rest of your contract and that he plans to bench you from here on out. Encourage your MF’ers to chant “Free Matt Hardy” at every show they attend whether it is WWE or not. Even make indirect comments towards TNA and Dixie Carter. Anything to convince people that Matt Hardy is being held under contract against his will.
From there Matt you got to tell Vince and Michael that they have to ban anything involving Matt Hardy from the company. Sell your merchandise on clearance even if it helps create the buzz they are looking for. Sure it may mean a merchandise revenue loss now but it’s only temporary and besides if you went to TNA I guarantee you those merchandise checks aren’t going to be enormous anyway. After about a month of you ranting and raving about wanting to be free from your contract on the internet what you have to do is start showing up to random house shows preferably one that is nearby your home to make it look less obvious. Show up with a “Free Matt Hardy” sign and get thrown out of the building by security, get arrested and people will really eat it up. Again no one can know this is a work besides Vince, Michael Hayes and yourself for this to be successful. Do another video blog upon being released from jail and announce that you are not going to be hidden no longer and will hound WWE until you get what you want and that’s your freedom.
This is going to start catching on at this point I would imagine much in the same way the Edge and Lita issue did and just like with the Edge and Lita issue I think it is only fair to tie CM Punk into this somehow since that is the person that many speculate you have issues with. At this point I would have CM Punk take hidden cheap shots at you in promos. He doesn’t even have to know that you are in fact coming back to the company and this is a work. He should treat this as he really would and take cheap shot after cheap shot at you in his promos. Let him think he is spouting the company line than one day you just so happen to be in the audience on a live Monday Night Raw that causes you to again be thrown out of the building and arrested. The cameras will do their best not to catch all of it but will catch some of it because of where you are and the moment you choose to act. At this moment most fans will probably catch on to this being a work but at that point people will want to see where it goes. Where you go from there is entirely up to you. I certainly have ideas and while I don’t ever do anything to hurt anyone for my own personal gain, there is only so many ideas that I will willingly give away for free sorry. There is not just money to be made here Matt but opportunity as well. This is the push you have been waiting for your whole career, a chance to be known as Matt Hardy and not Jeff’s brother. Don’t let it pass you by.
Time to wrap this week’s edition up and before I go I have to give you all something to do. TNA and WWE have shows here in the NYC area this weekend. TNA will have already done their Hammerstein Ballroom show by the time you read this but fear not because TNA will be in Rahway NJ this Saturday for a show. Don’t like TNA well WWE will be in Madison Square Garden on Saturday as well with the 13 year return to MSG of Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Sadly I won’t be able to attend either of these shows due to prior commitments but it will be a busy weekend in NYC indeed. If you can’t attend these shows but still need some sort of wrestling fix that’s where the Wrestleview VIP section comes in handy as this Saturday yours truly will be on “The Teachers Lounge” with Anthony “Mr. V.” Valvo and well what kind of guest would that make me if I came on empty handed? I’m bringing with me the one and only 6 ft. 9 sensation Aloisia for a interview on the show. So go ahead and sign up for Wrestleview VIP and give that a listen and if you’re already signed up, download it and here what a professional interview with a wrestler sounds like instead of men hitting on someone out of there league as Aloisia talks to us.
Of course I am always answering email so keep them coming at firstname.lastname@example.org. As many of the Matt Hardy supporters from last week saw, I am very respectful and answer everyone’s emails whether I agree with them or not. For those interested there was another “Outside Interference” blog put up on the VIP blogs and there may be another one this weekend so check that out as well. That’s it, until next week I will try to do better, and until then, I am out.