Matt Hardy is one of the greatest chameleons in all of professional wrestling. Hardy has transformed himself from the young, high-flying tag team specialist to Matt Hardy V1, “Broken” Matt Hardy, and more. When he first signed with AEW, Hardy was offered a very different role that would have changed the course of the promotion’s history.

Hardy spoke about his early days with the company on the latest episode of “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy.” Matt said that he was offered a couple of roles by Tony Khan when he first started. The first of which was eventually taken by another iconic character.

Matt said that he was offered to be ‘The Exalted One’ for The Dark Order by The Young Bucks. That position ultimately went to Brodie Lee. Sadly, Lee passed away in December of the year he debuted.

“I actually had a couple options in the beginning. I know they had offered me ‘The Exalted One’ with The Dark Order. That had been offered to me by The Bucks actually, and I guess Tony was cool with that too and they were thinking that’d be a cool deal.


They were definitely wanting to take those guys in a heel direction, but I felt like after that thing with Randy [in WWE], I should debut as a babyface … I had suggested Broken Matt and that’s what I wanted to do. The Bucks were cool with it and then Tony Khan was very open to working with it, and we were going to do whatever we could do to make Broken Matt work. Unfortunately, COVID came in and the world changed … and obviously, Broken Matt, which I feel like is a character that really depends on audience participation, debuts in the first-ever AEW empty arena pandemic era show. So, that was Broken Matt’s bad luck.”

Matt Hardy said he thought ‘The Exalted One’ was a perfect role for Brodie Lee, so he passed on it. Hardy went on to become “Big Money Matt” before eventually reuniting with his brother and tag partner Jeff Hardy. Matt’s story is another one of the great ‘What if?’ moments in professional wrestling.

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H/T Wrestling Inc.

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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