We’ve known for a while that Matt Hardy seemed to be about done with WWE. Even as his brother Jeff returns from injury, Matt has made it pretty clear he’s on the way out. WWE reportedly made a last minute pitch to let him do whatever he wants in NXT, but it’s now clear that wasn’t enough to keep him.
In a new YouTube video that went up Monday at midnight, Hardy declares himself a free agent, and explains it all in depth. He confirms the rumors that his departure from WWE is all about Creative, and he also makes it very clear that he’s not angry at WWE and doesn’t rule out working with them in the future. Of course if he debuts at AEW like a lot of people are expecting, WWE will no doubt hold a grudge at least for a while.
As of this current time, I have decided to let my contract with WWE expire. I am going to become a free agent, and that’s not saying I’m not going to return to WWE, I did not want to leave WWE, I love WWE – WWE is my home. WWE has treated me great as an employee for the last three years, they’ve been good to me, they’ve been good to my family, they’ve been great to my kids – I have nothing but great things to say about WWE and all the people who work there. And going back to twenty-plus years ago, if it wasn’t for Vince McMahon I would not have been able to obtain the quality of life I currently have. So I will always be grateful for that and I will always be appreciative of that.
I also have to say Triple H, Stephanie – they were always great to me. Michael Hayes, a good friend of mine, I’m gonna miss him if I’m not there – everybody in WWE, really really good and very much like a family. So many talents there that I’m close friends with. It’s just time for me to take a break and become a free agent.
I didn’t want to leave WWE, because it is my home. The reason I needed to leave WWE is because when it comes to my creative stance and my creative outlook on myself and my career, and how I want it to go for these last three or four years that I have to spend as an active in-ring competitor, I just think myself and WWE are on different pages. And it’s very important to me, because I love this business, man. If you know me, you know how crazy passionate I am about this and how much I love it. And the last three or four years that I have as an in-ring competitor is really important to me to cement my legacy. And I want to enter a creative renaissance.
I am not, obviously, 25 or 35 years old. I am 45 years old and I have to be utilized in a certain way. But I still know in my heart – I know I have so much to offer this business. I have so much entertainment left inside this [broken voice] vessel and I have so much I want to give to each and every one of you. I want to enter a creative renaissance and I want to have non-stop input on my creative process, and I think that’s where WWE and I are on different pages. So that is the reason that I’m going to take a break and step away from WWE.
Now that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to return to WWE! I am positive at some point I will definitely be home with WWE once again. I mean, I think there’s definitely a WWE Hall of Fame ring waiting on myself and my brother. But I think right now, I need to weigh all my options, I need to see what all’s out there, and I need to see what is going to be the perfect environment for Matt Hardy to maximize these next few years in his career. And really give me a creative canvas to paint my masterpiece, because that is what I want to do right now. That is what I want to do. And I don’t have a lot of time. I feel like time is ticking. I’m too old to waste time.
This also corresponds with the upcoming final episode of Matt’s “Free the Delete” video series, which is leading up to the debut of a new Matt Hardy persona. Perhaps something dark and… Exalted?