Source: The Barrier Examiner
Matt Hardy has been laying the smackdown on opponents in the WWE for close to 10 years.
He’s been all over the world from Japan to Africa and all over Europe, and suffered through injuries and personal hardships, but it’s a lifestyle he wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
“It’s my passion,” said Hardy in a telephone interview from his home in Cameron, N.C. “Being in the WWE is hard to describe. It’s what I enjoy As long as I’m having a good time, and my body holds up, I’m going to continue to do it.”
Becoming an internationally-known performer hasn’t been without a great deal of sacrifice and personal anguish along the way, though. Hardy has had to deal with injuries inside the ring and a very public breakup with his longtime girlfriend — and fellow WWE superstar — Amy Dumas, also known as Lita.
It’s helped Hardy have a greater appreciation of the little things in life that he has, and helped him to grow into the man he has become.
“It’s been one hell of a ride,” said the 32-year-old. “It’s had its ups and downs, but the way I look at my career, I’ve met a lot of my goals. It’s been an amazing ride. How many people get a chance to do some of the things I’ve done.”
Through it all, though, Hardy has maintained a level of credibility with the sometimes-fickle WWE fans. His character has grown from a seldom speaking, no holds barred daredevil into a trash talking, confident in-ring veteran, and the fans have believed in him every step of the way whether a “bad guy” or “good guy.”
“My fans are really loyal and passionate,” Hardy said. “I try and remember that without them there’s no me. It’s important that I take out time to give back to them, even if it’s just 20 seconds for an autograph, to leave a good impression with them because they’re the driving force that make me who I am.”
Hardy has tasted gold on several occasions in the WWE. He is a former cruiserweight champion, hardcore champion, European champion, and is presently one half of the world tag team champions with his brother, Jeff. Not bad for a guy who was once brought into the business to be used as a punching bag for his opponents.
“I haven’t been given anything,” Hardy said. “I’ve had to work for everything I’ve got, and I think that makes you appreciate it that much more. I don’t have any complaints. It’s my life and my passion. I enjoy it.”
Hardy has taken those experiences, and now, as a veteran, is trying to use them to help up-and-comers develop their characters, connect with the fans and deal with the rigours of being a professional wrestler.
“I love helping people,” he said. “There’s a lot of times I’ll see little things that can help them out with some of their skills. It does a lot for me personally too because it makes me happy to help others.”
Hardy leads a list of WWE Smackdown! Superstars making their way to the Barrie Molson Centre tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a live performance. Performing in front of a live audience still gives Hardy an adrenaline rush that can’t be matched by anything else.
“I always enjoy coming to Canada,” Hardy said. “One of the things that is so cool is you never know what you’re going to get from a Canadian crowd. I love to wrestle in Canada because they are so smart and appreciated the guys who work hard.”
All things willing this won’t be Hardy’s last trip north of the border. He sees himself sticking with the business for another four to five years as long as his body holds out. There are still some things he feels he needs to accomplish.
“My ultimate goal is still to be the world champion,” he said. “If you’re going to get in this business you might a well set your sights on the highest prize.”