Hardy states that he dealt with the fallout for several months.
At WWE’s 2005 Survivor Series event, The Undertaker returned at the conclusion of the show to confront Randy Orton who had just won the traditional five-on-five elimination match for Team SmackDown.
There were an abundance of talents celebrating Orton’s win and Undertaker cleared the ring. One of the talents in the ring was Matt Hardy. On the newest episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, Matt dove into the situation he found himself in as a result of that segment.
He started off by saying there were plans for him to be in the five-on-five match and plans for a singles match at the pay-per-view with Eddie Guerrero, but things were shuffled after Guerrero’s passing. Vince McMahon told Matt that he needed someone in the ring at the end of the show who people actually care about which is why Hardy was out there. Matt was told to just roll out after being hit and to not take a big move, but Matt also opted to not react in a big way when Undertaker returned and described it as a temper tantrum.
I’ve actually always wanted to speak out on this so, this is a great opportunity (Hardy said of the ‘heat’ he had in WWE in late 2005). So basically, what had happened there, so I had just finished up my program with Edge and the reason I ended up doing the ‘Loser Leaves Raw’ match that we had to blow it off is just that they wanted to have us on separate brands just at that point so we don’t have to continuously run into each other or wrestle each other, whatever, because we had this Jurassic blood feud. So Vince (McMahon) saw that as the best solution to just kind of separate us at that time. So I go onto SmackDown, I’m still very hot, I’m doing some really cool stuff, have a lot of momentum behind me, whatever, and then there was a couple different plans for me at Survivor Series. At one point, I was going to be on the main Survivor Series team as a babyface and then there was a time where it’d also got changed and I was going to wrestle Eddie Guerrero in a one-on-one match which both of those would have been great matches for me… But it ended up, as we all know, very tragically, Eddie passed away before that and then his death just threw a lot of stuff up in the air for that card so things changed and I ended up not even being on the card at all and I remember showing frustrations. I was flying in for that pay-per-view and I sat beside Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco and we’re getting off the plane and we’re talking, they said, ‘Ah! It’s okay kid. These things happen. It is what it is. Just keep doing your thing and make sure you protect yourself. You’ve got a lot of equity, you’ve got a lot of build, you gotta protect yourself and look good.’ So then, we got there that day and I wasn’t on the card, just thought I was gonna be there hanging out, watching the show and then I’d work the next night following the pay-per-view. But it ends up, there was a list of names, people who were going to be in the ring at the end, like celebrating and then Taker comes to the ring and then he was going to clear some of those guys and my name was in it. I remember I was going to Vince at that time because I had facetime with him and I went to say, ‘Was my name meant to be on this list?’ He said, ‘Well, yeah, I think it’s fine because I need someone that people give a sh*t about out there. It’s very good to have some equity out in the ring whenever Taker comes to the ring so it isn’t just a bunch of extras who are just gonna get beat up, take chokeslams’ and I said, ‘Well what do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘Don’t take a chokeslam, don’t get beat up. Just powder out. You guys figure out how you want to do it but just powder out.’ He said, ‘I don’t want you to bump.’ I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ So, once again, we went out there, we did that and I was planning on powdering out but there was a part of me that was just so frustrated and once again, it was my fault, I will be accountable for it and just when Taker came out, I was laying on the ropes and I didn’t react to him like I should have and looking back in hindsight, I was like, what a dumb move that was and I was just mad because I didn’t get my spot once again which was very dumb and it was a great lesson for me to learn. If you’re gonna do anything, go all in on it and that was a great lesson that I learned at that time. I was upset because I wasn’t getting a match or a great spot on a pay-per-view that I was gonna be getting. So that was a little bit of a temper tantrum. So once again, I’m accountable for it.
Matt went on to state that it was John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) who brought up Matt’s reaction. He got everyone ‘fired up’ about it at TV the following day but Hardy apologized on the spot.
Per Matt, Undertaker seemed upset by it and for the next several months, Matt did jobs. After that time period elapsed, Undertaker told Matt thank you for apologizing and everything that had been happening to him stopped. Matt believes Undertaker went to Vince McMahon and ran everything by him as far as teaching him a lesson. Hardy closed by saying he does not want to play the victim card.
And I remember nobody even really noticed it at first when I jumped out, but I guess JBL went back and saw the tape and he got people fired up the next day at TV and he said, ‘We’ve gotta talk to this guy’ and it was like, Taker was so mad about it. It wasn’t even a wrestlers’ court thing and fun. I remember he came into catering, people were around and they played the footage back like, ‘What were you thinking? What were you thinking?’ I just sat right there. I remember he was so mad. I felt like he was shaking and I was just like, eh, you know, and I was at this point where I’d just been fired. I came back, I’d done this feud. I was almost untouchable emotionally at that point. It’s hard to f*ck with me after everything I’d been through and I was like, ‘I’m sorry.’ I said, ‘I do apologize for it and I wish I hadn’t done it. I did it, so I’ll do whatever it’ll take to make it right’ and I remember he’s like, at the very end, ‘Okay, that’s fine’ and then, for the next two or three months, there were points where I was pretty much doing jobs. I was putting people over the majority of the time and that was my punishment and I’m pretty sure that’s what pushed Viscera to do the deal. People talk about that Royal Rumble clip where he jumped on me and he was giving me his gimmick. Once again, it was just like I was having to pay my penance and I did it for like three months and I just rolled with it and then at the very end, there was a point where I talked with Taker and he said, ‘Thank you for apologizing. We’re good’ and then just everything stopped.
100 percent, yeah (I think Undertaker went to Vince McMahon and asked for the punishment to happen). He said, we’ve got to teach him a lesson. I’m certain of that and I mean, they’re not wrong. Once again, it happened to me and I’m not gonna play a victim card in that. It was dumb what I did and I went through and paid my penance, much like I did in my story in AEW last year that I was trying to do.
Earlier this month on AEW Rampage, Matt teamed with Ethan Page and Isiah Kassidy to challenge The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt & Nick Jackson) for the World Trios Championships.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.