Matt Hardy's on-screen, off-screen feud with Edge during 2005 was one of the most talked about and hottest stories wrestling has seen in the 21st century.
Hardy had been dating Lita for years, and when they split and Lita started dating Edge off screen, the story got out to fans who were furious when Hardy was subsequently released from WWE.
Hardy returned to WWE in the summer of 2005 absolutely on fire, the hottest free agent in wrestling and at the height of his singles run. The pair's on-screen feud revolved around the real life story about what happened with their romantic lives and Lita.
Hardy spoke about the storyline recently during an appearance on the Cheap Heat podcast.
"For me, it's where I first started learning to separate personal life from professional life and now I am extremely comfortable in being able to differentiate the two," Hardy said (via Wrestling Inc.). "I mean, at first, it was a little intense, a little strange, knowing that we were all on the same page; everyone was okay. Everybody had to keep their emotions in check and as long as we did that, we knew that everything was going to be good. As time went on it got a little easier and a little bit better. The most fascinating part about 2005 in my career was that you weren't able to tell the lines between what was real and what wasn't real and where that line lies. It's the most important thing about professional wrestling, especially this day and age in 2019 you need to blur the lines where you are not sure about what is real and what is scripted."
Hardy and Edge went on to work several matches, including a match at SummerSlam to start things off, and the feud went on to include a cage match, ladder match and street fight. In the end, Edge was victorious in the feud, winning that final street fight.
The match at SummerSlam has often been criticized due to the fact that Hardy came into the match on fire, yet he lost the bout very quickly, with Edge busting him open and the referee stopping the bout. Hardy addressed the match during his Cheap Heat interview.
"The first match was just meant for us to carry us on to something else and it was kind of a fluke thing where he dropped me on the post, split my head open," stated Hardy. "The whole appearance of that wasn't meant to be that long, it was supposed to be short, almost like emulating a UFC fight by going all out, beating the hell out of each other and then having a fluke finish. That was the whole mindset behind that."0comments
And how did Hardy feel about how the feud concluded?
"It was okay. There were things I would have probably done differently but it was okay. I think the whole blowoff having the cage match where I did the leg drop on the top of the cage and I beat him to finally have my come up, I thought that was a great blowoff, even though we had another match later which was a ladder match and that was just to put us on two separate brands. That is when they were trying to be serious about holding talents exclusively to two separate brands again," said Hardy.