No matter how you feel about Matt Hardy using the Net to vent his problems, to use his web space to make Brian F’in Pillman like rants, to use polls to feel out his MFers to where he’d be accepted, to ultimately ending up showing up on RAW to “surprise attack” Edge/Adam for the segment of the night last night in New Jersey – this is the most compelling WWE has been in quite some time.
How much of this was a work all along? Why did he call Edge, Adam but refer to Amy Dumas by her stage name, Lita? That took some of the reality out instantly. There’s no way in “reality” that a superstar who wasn’t supposed to be there would get close to that ring without a beat down, get camera time and not get his mic cut off. Did Matt “spit in the face” of his supporters who urged him to prevail in times of diversity (being “fired” from WWE for being vocal about his heartache) when he ambushed Edge backstage and again near the ring? Wasn’t the goal ultimately that Matt get his revenge against Adam, be it “real life” or scripted? When did he make his decision to return to the company that put him on the shelf? It had to be last week at some point, the crunch time as Vince tested all of us in our reaction to the wedding angle and weighing in all the chants from the ECW PPV and before with all the chants. Matt’s smart, the more posts he makes, gets attention to himself – which equals to headlines on the Net, forcing everyone to pay attention. I don’t post at Matt’s board, I’ve been a casual on and off reader since this whole thing broke, but it felt good to see him on TV last night for the surprise element. That’s what wrestling should be, something you can’t predict every week.
In a lot of ways, Matt’s tragedy, and how he’s used it, may have changed how wrestling uses the Internet forever. It’s been the Mecca of untapped potential. It’s nothing but pure ignorance to say that fans don’t use the Net to further keep up with their pro wrestling viewing. I (and others like me) wouldn’t be able to write you about our thoughts if that wasn’t the case. Used properly, the Net can help advance storylines and make everything feel more Inside (even if it’s not). This seems to be the case with the Matt/Lita/Edge/and sometimes Kane, storyline. Now, Matt’s comments are linked (with a new photo?) on wwe.com and Lita will be on Byte This to respond. Lita’s not wanted to comment on her own personal site when this first broke so there must be pressure on her to respond now that this is a real life scenario turned storyline. Fans want to make a difference, to be the rebels and go against how the company wants them to react. Matt Hardy is what the fans wanted, now we’ve got him. WWE delivered (be it last minute) and are going to be paying attention to the Net reaction with this fan underground/Net driven story. What’s the old saying, the best stories come from those that have some truth to them?
I’m not in the new boat of “oh you jerk, you sold out” – this should teach everyone when it comes to wrestling, everything is about perception, what you do with what you’re given. This is nothing new under the sun, taking a real life situation and working (and making money) off of it. The fans who happen to feel jaded, will either not forgive Matt Hardy and not watch anyway or they will just be more cautious in what they believe. Or, who knows, maybe just enjoy it for what it is – watching wrestling for the hope that “how they really feel” will come out instead of a bunch of scripted thoughts. That’s what made ECW so great, you had stories but it didn’t feel so Hollywood. It’s now up to Matt to give it his all because this once really bad situation, is now a chance for him to be the closest he’s ever been to be top level talent in his entire career. I think he has the opportunity to get higher than Edge has and he was placed in that position by WWE. However, to lessen the blow that those feel that they were betrayed, he needs to stay as accessible as possible to his fans. I just hope with this new contract, he won’t give up his personal control on having his dot com space. Fans have to remember, the entire point of professional wrestling is to get you to react, good or bad, long as you react.
I’m going to enjoy this for what it is, the most interacting storyline fans have going for them right now. Every reaction we have to it, will be considered, watched and noted, like it should be with every storyline. Let’s see what happens, and that’s putting it in perspective. Thanks for reading, take care and feel free to drop me comments anytime at Bam@insidepulse.com.