WWE: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are Perfectly Ridiculous


Woken Matt vs. Broken Bray on WWE Raw perfectly encapsulates the more outlandish aspects of professional wrestling

Let’s be honest with ourselves; Bray Wyatt’s entire gimmick is silly. A character that began as a backwoods cult leader has morphed into a paranoid solo act with a literal god complex whose incessant ramblings about eating worlds and burning the earth would feel right at home on the pages of a comic book but come off as just plain odd in a wrestling ring. Now we have Broken..er…Woken Matt Hardy and the silliness level has been turned up to 11.

On this week’s episode of Raw, Hardy interjected clips of himself inside Wyatt’s standard macabre promo and talked about how he had “battled alongside Genghis Khan” and “meditated atop the great pyramid of Giza”. The crowd ate it up and the part where Wyatt’s attempt at sinister laughter was countered by Hardy’s Elmer Fudd style mockery were the icing on a deliciously weird cake.

The best part about this scenario is that both characters were in dire need of a life preserver. Wyatt went from sitting atop Mount Olympus as WWE Champion to forgettable midcard competitor stuck in limbo with no forseeable way out. Hardy was a victim of circumstance since his brother’s shoulder injury that will keep him out of action for several more months. The duo had been riding a wave of nostalgic success since their return to the WWE at WrestleMania 33 but Jeff’s injury washed them both ashore.

The debate about whether WWE would (or legally could) allow Matt to use a version of his “Broken” gimmick now seems to have been answered. During his time with TNA, Hardy’s Final Deletion was the most-viewed broadcast of Impact in PopTV history. The segment also spawned two sequels, each one pushing the envelope a little further into a deliberate parody of WWE’s Wyatt character who was attempting a serious take on the supernatural. Fans across the wrestling spectrum gravitated more towards Hardy because his segments were as much fun as they were outrageous and they reminded us all that professional wrestling isn’t something we should take too seriously.

A feud between Hardy and Wyatt will work because Matt has proven fans will accept the most absurd elements of a professional wrestling performance if it is packaged correctly. For all its memorable quotes and moments, Final Deletion also contained solid wrestling matches that took place in unusual environments. When WWE attempted the same with Wyatt and his “House of Horrors” match – with a more serious tone – it was a miserable failure that was soundly rejected and criticized by fans as campy.

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We are in for a fun ride as both men are more than capable or trading one-liners back and forth and I look forward to seeing Matt counter Bray’s serious attempts at villainy with some hilarious nonsense about vacationing in Elysium or owning real estate in ancient Egypt. I normally take a pragmatic approach to wrestling angles but the moment I see Vanguard 1, Brother Nero and Senor Benjamin on my screen at the same time causing all types of chaotic weirdness I’m going to mark out like there’s no tomorrow. And it looks as if that day will soon be upon us. Delightful!