Matt Hardy officially arrived in All Elite Wrestling on Wednesday night during the closing moments of AEW Dynamite. The tag team wrestling legend's WWE contract expired back on March 2, and he tipped his hand that he would be making the jump when The Young Bucks appeared in episodes of his "Free The Delete" YouTube series. But thanks to a boatload of red herrings about him possibly being the Exalted One in The Dark Order and a well-timed final episode of his video series, Hardy managed to introduce the world to his new persona (Damascus) and still take the wrestlign world by surprise when he showed up on TV.
On Thursday Hardy thanked AEW for bringing him in and praising the company for listening to its fans, which could be taken as somewhat of a shot at WWE.
Thank you. I am very honored & proud to join @AEWrestling, a company that takes great pride in listening & respecting their loyal audience.
Excited to CHANGE THE WORLD with you.— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 19, 2020
Shortly after his release, Hardy gave several interviews where he talked about how he and the WWE creative team couldn't see eye-to-eye on his Broken/Woken persona.
"When it comes to Vince and the WWE in some feels, I've kind of aged out. And I think my brand of entertainment and the way I feel like I have to be utilized isn't one of their priorities. And that's fine and I get that. I understand that, and that's no issue," he told Busted Open Radio. "Nothing against them, it was just time for me to go somewhere else where I want to maximize and optimize my creativity."
"Vince initiated it because people wouldn't stop chanting 'Delete.' He'd ask about it, we talked about it, and I wanted to do it," Hardy said elsewhere in the same interview. "But it's also a different concept. I don't think he fully understood it. He gave us an opportunity, but also giving us an opportunity, it allows him to say, 'I gave him an opportunity, but it didn't work huge' It had to be done different.
Hardy will team up with Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page to take on The Inner Circle in the company's first WarGames match, titled Blood & Guts.