Matt Hardy has had several successful stints with WWE but his last one didn't end on a great note. He was used to get other talent over during the last few months of his deal before leaving once his contract expired on March 1.
Hardy talked more about the issues he had at the end of his WWE run when he joined The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast.
"With WWE, the last nine months of my contract, there were talented people there offering me deals for good money. I was interested but I was also very adamant that I wanted to speak to Vince. I wanted assurance that I was gonna have creative freedom because I only have a few more years of doing this as an active performer and I want to enjoy them. I wanna be creatively fulfilled and have a say in what I'm doing," stated Hardy.
"I don't wanna be the champion as I wanna help other guys. I wanna help young guys move up and grow. I wanna be a key player and really contribute to the product. But it is very important that I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I don't wanna be there to just get a paycheck and be told what to do."
Hardy said WWE kept offering him more money but he turned the offers down because the creative freedom is what's most important to him. He gets that in AEW, and he talked about the differences between Vince McMahon and Tony Khan.
"Vince has really worked hard over the years to become like The Wizard of Oz. He's in his office and it's very hard to get access to him. If you wanna meet with him, you can wait in line," said Hardy. "He's willing to talk to whoever, but he's tough to get to. Vince is also very set-in-his-ways as if he sees something in a certain light, that's how it's gonna be period."
Hardy added that, like Jericho, McMahon saw him as someone he could use to put over younger guys but those two saw themselves as more than just that.
"With Tony, he is open and will listen. Tony is super accessible; it's crazy how accessible he is. It's so refreshing to ring him up or shoot him a text and you're gonna get an answer right back. After television, you can sit and talk to him about creative ideas. He's very easy-going and very easy to work with," stated Hardy. "He is of the belief that collaboration gives us the best product and I think that's the way to go. I love working with him and everything's been great so far."
Hardy is now working for The Young Bucks who are AEW VP's are working alongside them in ROH. He talked about staying in touch with The Bucks and the idea that they and The Hardys had.
"I stayed in contact with The Bucks the whole time since Ring of Honor. We actually had something set up in TNA/Impact with them where we were gonna do an inter-promotional angle. We were gonna go to the Hardy Compound and do The Hardys vs. The Young Bucks. We had a whole angle planned out but the thing that brought that crashing down was Jeff Jarrett," revealed Hardy.
"He was coming back into power under Anthem and Jeff was in a bad place in his life at the time. Fortunately, he's turned things around and is doing great but then he was in a bad place and things fell apart."
Hardy commended The Bucks for their branding and how they market themselves to both casual fans and diehard fans. He also mentioned that the ball got rolling with AEW when The Bucks appeared in Hardy's YouTube series.
In regards to Jeff Jarrett's issues, Hardy expanded on what he was going through at the time.
"He had his issues which ended up being resolved and he took care of them and cleaned himself up. But he was in a bad place where he was, 'No, you're gonna take this money and you're gonna do this.' He was in the midst of alcoholism at that point so that's why that deal fell apart due to a power trip."
Matt Hardy can be seen every Wednesday night, 8/7c, as part of AEW Dynamite on TNT. Hardy's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.