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Years ago I recall a couple of guys appearing on WWE television that looked as if they were the Barry Horowitz’s of tag-teams. They had brightly colored plaid pants on with matching headbands. They didn’t get an introduction until they were already in the ring. Oddly enough, they were rather impressive and started showing up a lot more on the weekly shows. Their look started to change a bit, and then they were affiliated with Michael P.S. Hayes and looking quite awesome. Eventually those two guys in the funny looking outfits moved on to very successful tag-team and singles careers. Who would have thought some dudes with the same name as a fictional crime-solving duo could make it big in professional wrestling?
Matt Hardy is the older of the two brothers and was the one who got himself and Jeff really moving in the wrestling world. Their infatuation though began with wrestling after seeing Randy “Macho Man” Savage win the vacant WWE title at WrestleMania IV. From that moment on they knew they wanted nothing more then to become professional wrestlers and they also realized how much work it would entail. Having to start somewhere though, the boys begged their father for a trampoline so they could practice and actually start to learn the sport from the ground up. Even though their mother was now gone and their father was a hard ass, they convinced him enough and thus the Trampoline Wrestling Federation was born.
Along with some of their friends, the boys would put on wrestling shows on the trampoline for their own entertainment. Little did they realize that Matt would end up working the area and finding sponsors, places for them to wrestle in front of live crowds, and ways to get them paid for the shows they were putting on. Matt became a wrestling promoter in his own right and eventually started up the OMEGA organization with Jeff, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Joey Mercury, Rhyno, and others who would all go on to become big stars some day. They knew they were making it, but wanted to make it into the big time.
Breaking into the WWE was not an easy task and at the time, the boys were required to “earn their spot.” They were fed to the big dogs of the WWE and lost plenty of matches all the while being humiliated in the ring. But they stuck it out and continued on which showed a lot for their character which got their in-ring talent noticed even more. Eventually they went on to be paired with Michael Hayes and became what they had always dreamed of becoming: tag-team champions. That would be just the beginning though for their success as a tag-team seeing as it lead to ladder matches, feuds with Edge and Christian, the Dudleyz, TLC matches, and finally Team xTreme with Lita.
All good things must come to an end, though, seeing as only so many things can be accomplished once you’ve presumably done them all. Therefore, the Hardy Boyz split up and went in their own directions for their singles careers. Matt came out with the “Era Of Mattitude” and ventured out on his own so he could get out of his high-flying brother’s shadow and show the world what he was all about. Matt Hardy Version 1.0 with the Matt Facts and all that was honestly what got me noticing Matt much more. It showed him with an attitude you’d never seen before. I mean he had MFers (Matt Followers) for the love of God. How awesome is that?
Matt’s life would take many turns from this point on as his real-life girlfriend Lita was at home with a broken neck and his brother Jeff had left the WWE. Matt was on SmackDown when Lita returned and got moved to Raw for personal reasons. This started a feud with Kane, and after a while a real life and scripted feud with Edge (Adam Copeland). This Love Triangle became a huge feud and the cause for a gigantic return for Matt Hardy to wrestling, but a horrible time in his personal life after losing Lita. A lot more is revealed here about the entire love triangle and what really happened. It’s interesting seeing so many different sides now and hearing much more of what actually happened. As if things weren’t bad enough, Matt had even been released from the WWE making that ton of bricks falling on him so much heavier. But like so many times before, Matt would come back and be better then ever.
~ Vengeance, July 11, 2004: NO DQ; No Count Match: Matt Hardy Vs. Kane – This is quite a brutal match considering that one of the men is a giant (Kane) while the other is more agile then anything (Hardy). It is back and forth the entire time with both men taking full advantage of the stipulations as chairs, tables, steel steps, and even the entranceway was used at their disposal.
~ Unforgiven, September 18, 2005: Steel Cage Match: Matt Hardy Vs. Edge – Right in the middle of the “Love Triangle Feud” was this great match between two former tag-team legends now turned into singles wrestlers. This was their follow-up match to a SummerSlam brawl that was ended way prematurely by the referee thanks to Hardy’s excessive bleeding. Some really nice spots from these two and a hot finish make this a must see.
~ SmackDown, March 2, 2007: Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Matt Hardy Vs. Joey Mercury – Matt already had put in enough time against MNM as a tag-team with his brother Jeff, but now it was time for one-on-one against Joey Mercury. Mercury is actually wearing the face protector here thanks to a broken nose from Matt in a tag-team match months before. A decent enough back and forth match, but nothing too special. King Booker on commentary does help keep it from turning boring though.
~ SmackDown, May 4, 2007: Matt Hardy Vs. Mr. Kennedy – It may start out slow, but this match gets hot in a hurry. There are lots of near falls and reversals that keep it exciting and tense-filled the whole time. Kennedy had just won the briefcase in the Money In The Bank match so a victory here would be absolutely huge for Matt.
~ Omega, January 29, 1999: Tag Team Title Match: The Hardy Boyz Vs. The Serial Thrillerz – This match is introduced by Matt and Jeff Hardy along with Shane Helms and Shannon Moore. This is one of the last matches for the Hardyz in Omega and it is against Shane Helms and Mike Maverick. All four guys that introduced it also give commentary the entire time. The Hardyz actually are playing the heels here which is just strange. Jeff is strangely very quiet and at one point someone (I think Matt) says, “There’s some of that Ring Of Honor bullsh*t!” They actually throw a couple cracks at ROH throughout honestly. Not a bad match, but it is very early on in all of these guys’ careers so it isn’t up to their standards today.
~ High Voltage Amateur WCW Challenge Video – Matt shows the TWF ring back home in North Carolina and also talks about how High Voltage (his character in TWF) sent in a tape to WCW for a contest they were having. It’s simply a promo and kind of good but funny as well. And a funny note is that Matt found out a tag-team in WCW actually got their name from his amateur tape, High Voltage. HA!
~ Matt Starts A Fire – Matt tells a funny story about how he started a huge brush fire during his TWF days.
~ Matt Hardy’s Crib – Matt gives a twelve minute tour of his home and it is a nice look inside his personal life.
Jeff Hardy, along with his brother Matt, lost his mother at a very early age. It was then that he knew he had to raise a part of his life on his own even though his father was still around and raised them well. Even to this day, she is a big part of their lives and will always be with them. Jeff always had determination to prove to his deceased mother that her boys could really do something special in their lives. She inspires them everyday to continue on and be something big.
Jeff originally had dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, but it was strictly wrestling after WrestleMania IV. All of their training came from just teaching themselves and watching wrestling every week on television. Jeff continues talking about how Matt was the mastermind behind their early success as he promoted them all over the place and got them to perform at fairs and schools. Eventually they moved onto the WWE and Jeff knew it was the big time when he faced Razor Ramon on Raw. Little did the WWE know that Jeff was only sixteen at the time, but he kept that a secret. Jeff got some interesting experience early on against King Kong Bundy, Hakushi, and Jim Neidhart. They even got to carry King Mabel to the ring on his throne and open the doors for the King Of The Ring.
Jeff is a very spiritual and artistic person and even has a place called the “Imag-I-Nation.” It is the world inside of Jeff Hardy. It has some of his artwork and sculptures along with some dirtbike jumps (Leaps Of Faith) and just everything that is him. So much of his work is extremely original and just so unique that it is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Even every single one of Jeff’s tattoos has meaning behind them and all of them are special to him. Jeff even created the “HB” design for the tag-team and did all the indiglo painting on himself when he’d come out to the ring. Along with his love for life and art, it goes into his work inside the ring. He has determination and wants to succeed at all things, and that is why he is never afraid to go wild while wrestling.
He is someone that has guts oozing out of every ounce of his body and he always defies reality and gravity so he can entertain and take it to the extreme. As strange as it may seem, Matt and Jeff are both very different but that is what made them so successful as a team and when on their own. Matt brought the strength and leadership while Jeff brought about the agility and daredevil moves to make people stand on their feet. But when all was said and done, they adapted all of those qualities into themselves and were two times as strong.
~ Royal Rumble, January 23, 2000: Tag Team Titles Match: The Hardy Boyz Vs. The Dudleys – The Hardyz got to star in yet another first for the WWE as this was the first ever tag-team title tables match. There is almost no way that these four guys couldn’t put on an entertaining match when all were involved together. It is amazing that they were able to walk after some of the shots they took during this match and that especially holds true for Jeff. Never wanting to disappoint, Jeff brought out another gem if a move and performed a swanton bomb off of a balcony onto D-Von through a table which is just insane.
~ SmackDown, April 12, 2001: Intercontinental Title Match: Jeff Hardy Vs. Triple H – Jeff was brand new to the singles’ world here and was going up against one of the best ever in Triple H for the Intercontinental title. Earlier in the night, Jeff came out and took out Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Stephanie McMahon for an attack on Lita that happened earlier in the week. This is a very hot match with lots of offense from both sides. And just when you think the predictable is going to happen, your eyes presumably deceive you!
~ New Year’s Revolution, January 7, 2007: Steel Cage Match For The Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Hardy Vs. Johnny Nitro – The steel cage was necessary here because Jeff had come so close to winning the title off of Nitro numerous times, but never quite got there thanks to Melina’s interference. Eventually Jeff did win it, but then Nitro got it back, and then Jeff. They went through no DQ matches, a ladder match, and just about anything else you could think of. It’s just a shame that Melina was always there to stick her nose into things so the cage was needed.
Melina still managed to interfere in this match too, but it didn’t matter much because Nitro and Jeff simply stole the show. Tons of big moves off the top of the cage and with the use of the steel will make you cringe over and over again. And an ending like no other makes this one of the few highlights the short-lived New Year’s Revolution PPV ever saw.
~ Raw, February 26, 2007: Money In The Bank Qualifying Match: Jeff Hardy Vs. Shelton Benjamin – Shelton Benjamin has become one of the silent extremists in the WWE and deserves to be in every single Money In The Bank match ever until he wins one. If anyone can hold their own with the Hardyz; it’d have to be Benjamin.
~ Judgment Day, May 20, 2007: World Tag Team Title Match: The Hardys Vs. Cade & Murdoch – Not a bad match, but one I’m kind of confused to see included here. This was of course after the Hardyz had reunited as a tag-team and were in the middle of a very interesting feud with the Rednecks. Cade and Murdoch were playing the tweener (not a babyface and not quite a heel) role very well making you never quite sure when they may show their true colors. The match itself is entertaining, but not anything too earth-shaking.
~ Armageddon, December 16, 2007: Winner Gets WWE Championship Title Match At Royal Rumble: Jeff Hardy Vs. Triple H – Jeff and Trips had a very interesting feud/relationship leading up to this match. In the weeks leading up to Armageddon, they had come to each other’s aide on a few occasions forming a strange kind of friendship. Even though friends, Triple H made sure that Jeff knew he would hold no punches since a title shot was on the line. Jeff already had the Intercontinental title but wanted more so he was going all out too. A very enjoyable match between two that have had some memorable battles before (see above).
~ Raw, January 7, 2008: Steel Cage Match: Jeff Hardy Vs. Umaga – Leading up to their match at the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton sat outside the cage hoping Umaga would destroy his future opponent. In one of the best matches on Raw in a long time, Umaga and Jeff truly delivered like no others have in a while. Just an awesome match with a Whisper In The Wind from Jeff like you’ve never seen before.
~ Hardy Dogs – Both Jeff and Matt show off all their dogs with their favorites being Jack and Lucas who are also the best of friends.
~ Old Grow – This is a song by Jeff Hardy played over some highlights from both DVDs. Interesting to say the least.
The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format for the matches and most of the highlights while the feature is shown in Widescreen at times. It all looks good of course, but the Omega and home video stuff is rather choppy but that is to be expected.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it all sounds great. The entrance themes, background music, pyro, and everything comes from all around the room while the commentary and narration centers through the main speaker.
Matches – All of the matches and vignettes reviewed above are what are considered to be the special features on this DVD set.
Ok, I’m not sure what the WWE is thinking but obviously there are different departments in their home video offices. Such wonderful DVD sets are released with the stories of Ric Flair, the Legion Of Doom, and Bret Hart. Then the format is changed for the Triple H DVD set and as awesome as it was, it just didn’t have the same feel about it as the others. Now they go back to format that worked with Twist Of Fate and it is fantastic. There is a story part where we learn the history of both Matt and then Jeff Hardy. After that are the matches which can be viewed totally separately and don’t interfere with the feature portion. Well done WWE. This also jumps up the score for the special features because they aren’t part of the main attraction. Not to mention the Hardyz both usually put on some damn fine matches anyway. A lot of the footage is shown twice in both features at times, but it still gives a lot of original footage and background information. This set is absolutely awesome and well worth picking up to see the journey of two brothers down very similar yet very different paths to the top.
WWE Home Video presents WWE – Twist Of Fate: The Matt & Jeff Hardy Story. Featuring: Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, many more. Running time: 360 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: April 29, 2008. Available at Amazon.com