On He And Brother Jeff Hardy’s Issues With Substance Abuse:
With Jeff, I know earlier on when he first left WWE that’s when he was still having issues. I was straight and narrow for the longest time. When we first started in WWE, we didn’t drink, didn’t do anything. We were both on the straight and narrow and a lot of the old-timers and the veterans made fun of is because of it. In ’07-08, that time when I had about ten years there, we had done so many matches and even on top of doing those matches like the ladder matches, table matches, cage matches – even being on the road and that grueling schedule day in and day out and not sleeping correctly and taking bumps every night, night in and night out, it’s not healthy. It’s not what the human body is meant to do. It kind of came to a point where I was having issues. I was at a point where I really couldn’t take off because I was in a spot or a slot that was good and gonna continue to get better. That’s where it starts, just so you can kind of get through the match. There’s a muscle relaxer and there’s a pain pill, so you can kind of get through and then you can heal up over the weekend and try it again next week, or whatever it might be. That’s where it initially starts and then you get to a point where if you get frustrated in life, once you kind of get into a cloud of pharmaceuticals or whatever it is, you almost kind of don’t want to feel bad anymore. I want to feel good. That’s where it becomes a real issue. The whole thing with pain pills and pain medication and managing pain in that manner, if you’re someone who is in constant pain is a very slippery slope.
On Being Terrified Of Jeff’s Substance Issues:
It was terrifying. I remember then, even back then, I think some of his recreational stuff expanded a little past pain medication. It was almost like pain medication was a standard and you would see it a lot. You would see it very often in the industry back then and for Jeff to be out of that norm, I think it was even more frightening. I was like, ‘I’ll do whatever I can to help, but I am worried about him.’ I remember we had those talks many many nights.
On Hitting Rock Bottom:
Just to the point where you just totally let down everybody in your life and you know that you have to change something because if you don’t change something, you’re going to lose everybody in your life and eventually you’re gonna die. That would be it in a nutshell.
On What Saved Him:
Knowing that I had to change and my wife staying on my ass. That was it. You are just forced to because you’re gonna start losing things. Having somebody that was looking over my shoulder and on my ass, I credit her with that more than anything else. She was just on my ass non-stop. If you are in that state of just trying to get things together and you don’t have someone overseeing you with an eagle eye, it’s very easy to slip and slide right back into what you’re doing, so that’s what I credit her with more than anything else.
On The Bray Wyatt Pairing:
I enjoyed my time with Bray and I wish we could have done a little bit more. I felt like we didn’t need to be in the ring having matches every week. I felt like we needed Woken Matt and you needed Bray Wyatt out doing vignettes in remote locations, in extreme locations, on The Hardy Compound. Our whole idea for that was to have Bray Wyatt not have a home. Randy Orton had burnt down his establishment where I wanted to invite him to the Hardy Compound and live here and kind of base it and have vignettes here and have the matches be a little more limited on television, but the way things were they needed us wrestling on TV week in and week out, so we kind of did that. It’s tough because it kind of marginalizes two characters that are so unique and strange like Woken Matt and Bray, as well. I loved teaming with him and I do think we did some really cool stuff. We had great chemistry. We became great friends while we worked together and who knows? Maybe sometime down the road we can do something else together, but I love his creative process. I love the dedication to his persona. I think he’s amazing with that. I think it’s very cool that we did get to work together and team together, considering when I was doing stuff in TNA and he was in WWE, we had little teases on social media back and forth, kinda jabbing at one another. Then eventually that’s a match that came to be in reality.
On Whether He Is Retired:
People throw around the word retirement where typically, I guess, if someone teases that, it’s retirement, but retirement is not a word I ever said. I never said retirement. I said, ‘I need to go home,’ and I really did. After being there for a year and a half and I worked on a full time schedule the whole time I was there and obviously I’m not a spring chicken anymore, but doing this 26 years in October, so I needed to go home. I needed to address some issues I was having with my lower back and my hips. If I can bounce back from those issues and get back in the ring and be physical, that’s great and if I can’t, we’ll do whatever we need to do on-air to figure out something entertaining for Matt Hardy.
On Contentment With His Career:
Personally, when I step out of my life of being a professional wrestler or as an entertainer, I feel like I’m super happy with everything we did and everything I’ve done on my own. My goal was to one day be the tag team champions of the WWE one time and we did that many times over. If I walk away tomorrow and never wrestle another match again, I’m good with everything I’ve done and achieved. When it’s all said and done, in wrestling, it’s not necessarily about all the titles you win. It’s about how good of a performer you are and how relevant you can stay and how much you can change and evolve and how well you can do from a popularity standpoint and a financial standpoint and I’ve done really well on all those levels, I feel.
Matt Hardy also announced a future WWE Network Christmas special and touched on his highly entertaining House Hardy Halloween special (starring The Boogeyman) which can be seen exclusively on the WWE Network.
Readers interested in hearing Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia in its entirety may do so below:
Matt Hardy Talks Retirement, Addiction, & Being Marginalized