A Wrestling Column: A Response To Matt Hardy


The latest Matt Hardy commentary is up, and he has followed in the shoes of Chris Jericho and Ric Flair and Bradshaw by targeting the Internet fan. Hey Matt, on behalf of everyone on the Internet I have two words for you, Mr. “My biggest gripe is the negativity the Internet is breeding due to people being desensitized and one-dimensional when it comes to our product.” Two words on behalf of every single Internet writer, every single fan who reads our commentaries and every fan that reads yours.

Thank you.

And we hear you. For those of you that haven’t read Matt’s column, read it now. Matt has a gripe with us, but it’s a legitimate one. He never once says that we don’t have a right to our opinions. He doesn’t call us names. He explains his gripe, explains why he thinks we’re wrong, and then calls on us to work with the business instead of constantly being negative.

I’m going to respond to him and he’s not going to like everything I have to say, but before I do I just want to make it clear to him and everyone in the WWE that reads this how much we appreciate this dialogue. What Matt Hardy gets and Bradshaw doesn’t and I get but some internet writers don’t is that wrestlers and fans aren’t workers and marks and smarts. At the core, we’re just people. Matt treats us like people. In this day and age, that’s really saying something.

Matt, whatever I have to say about the angle you defended in the next part of the column, don’t mistake some negativity for hatred. Kurt Angle might be my favorite wrestler, but the Hardy Boyz are my favorite tag team of all time and Version 1 is one of the best gimmicks I’m ever seen. I don’t know if I speak for the entire Internet when I say this, but there is nothing but respect and admiration for you here.

Unfortunately, I can’t write about what jerks the other writers are being for crapping all over your current storyline. I don’t think they are. The angle might be drawing high ratings but I don’t think it’s very good. I’m not going to critique it segment by segment, instead I’m just going to list some problems and then suggestions as to how I think you can improve it. I don’t think I’m some super genius who is always right, but I am a playwright and a screenwriter and a short story writer. I’m pretty good at punch up. Do with these what you will.

1. The biggest problem you have is a lack of acting ability amongst all parties. Kane is pretty good as the evil monster, but Lita can’t act. I bought it when she first kissed you during the Dean Malenko angle. That was great. That was touching. I can’t buy her trying to look like she’s crying when she can’t get the tears to come. Put Lita on a steady diet of soap operas, maybe buy her a book or two on acting and she should be fine. You’ve seemed to be as good an actor as the person you’re playing off of, so you improve her and you’ll probably improve too. Maybe hire an acting coach. The performances are definitely my number one problem with the angle. Solve that and I’m on board.

2. Kane might be having a baby. THAT’S A COMEDY! This isn’t melodramatic shlock, this is comic gold! Why haven’t you asked Lita if a flame shoots out of her vagina when she lowers her arms? Let the baby be Kane’s, and let’s see Kane and Lita arguing over how to raise it. (Lita: This baby is going to be raised Protestant! Kane: Fine, but evil Protestant! Lita:Deal!) Let the evil baby control Lita for a period of time, making her do awful things to her friends. “It wasn’t me who hit you with the chair Victoria, it was the evil baby inside of me!” There is no resolution that can come where Lita doesn’t have the baby that won’t be controversial unless this thing is played for huge laughs. The further over the top you go, the more we’ll like it. At least the more I’ll like it. Unfortunately, with you involved this is the story of a love triangle, which isn’t very funny. You need to be removed. This is why suggestion three is the most important one for you.

3. Beat Kane. You’ve been the bitch of this love triangle so far. You don’t belong in the bitch position. You belong with the Jerichos and Triple Hs and Chris Benoits. Do not let them make you the bitch again. This is your opportunity. The biggest problem with angles like these is that the possibility exists for no one to be elevated. However, if you win the match but Kane gets Lita, you both come away from this angle with something. Kane and Lita having a baby, slowly changing one another and eventually falling in love is just a treasure chest of comedic and dramatic possibilities. Meanwhile, you come away having shown that you can now compete with and beat the best in the WWE, and leave the angle to compete in Intercontinental feuds or a feud with the Trish/Christian/Tomko trifecta. Everyone wins.

Matt, I understand what you’re saying when you tell the Internet writers who insult Lita that she is an asset to the company. I absolutely agree with you. She wowed us with Rios and with the Hardy Boyz. Of course her merchandise still sells well. That does not mean that there is not room for improvement. I have seen you constantly trying to improve yourself as you’ve been shuffled further and further down the card. It was incredible, the louder the audience reacted to you the less the WWE gave you to do. Lita came back from her injuries to huge pops and big angles, but she isn’t giving us the in-ring performances that she once did. I have no idea how to correct that, I’m not a wrestler, but you are. I find that when I’m having trouble with a project the most useful thing I can do is ask for help and advice. Lita is surrounded by the best professional wrestlers in the world, including yourself. Asking for advice shouldn’t be a problem.

Many wrestlers have chastised the Internet fans for not looking at the bigger picture, but none have done so as elegantly as you have. This is a business. We want to see five star matches, but Yokozuna was a scary ass champion. No matter how much we bitched about Hulk Hogan, he always filled the house. We understand and respect that. What you need to understand is that most of us don’t profit one penny from the success of the WWE. In fact, we spend money on the WWE hoping to enjoy our purchase. When we don’t enjoy what we see, regardless of whether it is for the good of the company or professional wrestling as a whole, we have every right to complain as paying customers.

Matt, I believe that you care not only about the Internet fan, but every fan in general. I believe that you truly do want to work together with us to make the WWE more successful and professional wrestling a more enjoyable experience. How are supposed to work with you when you company has declared us the enemy? How are we supposed to come together on this when the WWE has decided that no wrestling site will be granted press passes and no wrestling site is allowed to interview superstars? Are we supposed to try to be anything but negative when the boss of your company refers to us as parasites? We are not all Meltzers and Ryders and Kellers with newsletters making money off of your company, we are middle class wrestling fans with regular jobs who don’t enjoy being slapped in the face. We don’t want to start up our own wrestling companies to stick it to the WWE as you’ve suggested. We want to simply discuss WWE, a company we care about, a company we grew up with. How can we do that without bias when the WWE is so biased against us?

The cycle has been that a website will print a negative opinion, a wrestler will respond by calling us all nerds, and we’ll respond with more negativity. I hope that you just broke that cycle. I just did what you asked, I critiqued in all of the ways you suggested. Do you need to take a single one of my suggestions? Absolutely not. What you need to do if you want more writers to respond like I did is get the rest of the WWE on board with your attitude. You guys embrace us, we’ll embrace you right back. You shove us, we’ll shove back.

Matt Hardy, I mean this from the bottom of my heart, thank you offering your opinion in such a polite way and for offering us your hand in friendship. I’ll extend my hand to you when you company stops trying to cut it off.

Yours Truly,

Joshua Grutman
MFer #4187