Veteran WWE wrestler Matt Hardy says he's retiring from in-ring competition, but is his declaration sincere, or just another storyline? Unlike most scripted TV shows, the line between where a WWE wrestler's onscreen character ends and his real life persona begins is often very blurry. This goes back to the roots of professional wrestling as a genre of entertainment, which once mandated its performers to maintain character at all times when interacting with fans, in order to keep up the illusion that the results of the matches in the ring weren't predetermined.
Nowadays, wrestlers often drop character on social media or at fan conventions, but it's not always easy to tell if what a wrestler is saying is their sincere sentiment or being said in character, as social media is also often used to further onscreen feuds and stories. With the above in mind, fans of Matt Hardy - one of the most decorated WWE superstars in recent memory, boasting 15 different championship reigns over the course of his career - are currently finding themselves trying to decipher his latest posting.
Late last night, after wrestling at a WWE live event in Texas, Hardy posted a video to his official Youtube channel announcing that he had just fulfilled the last of his contractual obligations for WWE, and that fans would likely not see "Woken" Matt Hardy compete in the ring again. This follows recent online rumors that Hardy would soon need to retire due to the various injuries he's racked up over the course of his 26-year career. The video can be seen below.
Hardy certainly seems sincere when addressing his fans in the video above, acknowledging the rumors about his coming retirement, and not speaking or moving in any of the exaggerated ways associated with his "Woken" character. While he does echo the oft-repeated phrase in wrestling of "never say never," it sure sounds like he's preparing to call it a career and go home to his family. The problem is, false retirement announcements have played into WWE storylines before, so it's hard to be entirely certain that Hardy won't just end up returning to WWE with a revamped character. After all, he specifically says fans won't see "Woken Matt Hardy" in the ring again, possibly leaving the door open for a different Matt Hardy to resurface.
That said, it wouldn't be surprising if Matt Hardy was legitimately retiring. He's 43-years-old, started at a very young age, and spent much of his career destroying his body via the high-risk, daredevil style he employed alongside brother Jeff as part of the legendary Hardy Boyz tag team. It's not at all hard to imagine that his body just can't take anymore punishment, and that he wants to get out while he can still walk. Meanwhile, Jeff is set to take part in a Hell in a Cell match tonight on WWE pay-per-view against Randy Orton. One wonders how long it'll be before both Hardy Boyz have to call it quits.
Source: Matt Hardy