Trying to explain this character in layman’s terms is damn near impossible. So I had to explore why the prospect of a BROKEN… ahem… WOKEN Matt Hardy is so exciting for me.
Sitting in my friend’s living room in Charlottesville, Virginia, I got on social media and saw that Matt Hardy had gone into his BROKEN character from his time in TNA. I. Marked. Out. I lost it. I started going into my routine that I typically save for the Starbucks drive-thru:
“Sitting here in the BUCKS OF STAR, I shall order the greatest coffee in all of time and space! And if they don’t deliver, I shall DELETE this VESSEL, and render it… OBSOLETE!”
Yes, I truly do variations of that on Snapchat (while the car is parked) and I have friends who can attest to this. That’s how much I appreciate what Matt Hardy did in a later part of his career. BROKEN Matt Hardy should not have worked. It’s over the top. It’s silly. And it’s illogical at points. But as a wrestling fan, it goes against the grain in a business that is still somewhat stuck in a time capsule.
The playlist above details how we got to the BROKEN character in the first place. Jeff Hardy destroyed Matt Hardy as we knew him, leading to a “Broken” man who needed to “delete” the Charismatic Enigma, AKA “Brother Nero.” The idea itself is not new to wrestling. Brothers fight and then come back together. The Hardy Boyz themselves have done this several times. However, Matt and Jeff reinvented themselves in a way that I’ve only seen a few wrestlers do. They did a complete 180 from what worked in the past created MAGIC!
#RAW is now MAGIC.
The #WOKEN Era has arrived.
There is a MYRIAD of VILLAINS & DEMONS to DELETE on this plane identified as WWE. pic.twitter.com/AOTsfXWk7d
— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) December 5, 2017
Matt took the proverbial ball and ran with it. You’ll notice that initially people boo’ed BROKEN Matt Hardy. The crowd is not wildly cheering during the “Complete Transformation” video. They don’t get it. However, Matt and Jeff stuck it through and slowly won the crowd over. The wild gestures. The over-the-top verbiage. The Shakespearean dress. This certainly did not feel like a gimmick a wrestling company would saddle on a competitor to push them to the top.
Once again, Hardy continued to re-invent the wrestling world with the video packages delivering a new way of story-telling. Pre-recorded segments are far from new for wrestling. Hulk Hogan working out during Wrestlemania II as he got ready for King Kong Bundy told the necessary story. Hogan was hurt but continued to workout to show his determination. Got the message Hulkster. Thanks, video package. FINAL DELETION wasn’t there to showcase a wrestling match. It wasn’t there to pump the crowd up for a championship. It didn’t showcase some big debut. The entire segment itself was the pre-match promo, the entrances, the match itself, and the aftermath.
Matt and Jeff did that. And they did it again. And again. And again. They took this gimmick and grew it themselves in true DIY fashion through story-telling not yet seen in wrestling. Sure, TNA at the time gave them the outlet through television and Youtube. However, Matt and Jeff would have gotten this over anywhere. It’s their brain-child. And they got behind it 100% to the point where this became their new mantra in ROH. TNA. OMEGA. The EXPEDITION of GOLD became a phenomenon bigger than the walls of the IMPACT Zone.
And then it was gone. The Hardy Boyz came back at Wrestlemania 33, teasing us with slight acknowledgment to the BROKEN gimmick. However, the legal battle with TNA simply left us wondering if this gift would ever come. This unique and fresh method of delivering stories. A self-created ideology of breaking the mold in an effort of entertainment. Why is this exciting? We’re seeing an idea come back to life in the world of wrestling on the biggest stage of them all, WWE. Think of a time when you had a vision and wanted to see it succeed but never had the means to make it happen. Hell, that’s the Geekiverse folks. It’s an idea that one person had, and we all bought in. To quote Matchbox Twenty, “look how far we’ve come.” Now, maybe the Geekiverse simply needs to be WOKEN to take our brand to the next level so we can DELETE the competition and render them all OBSOLETE. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas.
Brunner 1.0 is the VESSEL that hosts the BROKEN member of the Universe of Geek, Austin Brunner.
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