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Tar Heel Tandem
FRESNO, Calif. -- As a child growing up in Cameron, North Carolina, Matt Hardy dreamed of one day becoming a WWE Superstar and taking the sports-entertainment world by storm. Years later, having cemented himself as one of WWE's toughest competitors and most popular Superstars, Matt can certainly say he has achieved his dream. Tonight on SmackDown, Matt Hardy will fulfill another lifelong dream, when he teams with childhood idol and fellow Carolinian, Ric Flair.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Matt, beaming with excitement. "More than anything, it is an honor for me, because Ric Flair is probably the greatest wrestler of all time."
While teaming with Flair is something any wrestler would consider a privilege, Matt considers his Tar Heel State bond with Flair and Matt as particularly special, and it has led him to reflect on where his career is now. "Growing up in North Carolina, watching and idolizing Ric, it's exciting to know that I'm now at a level in my career that I can step in the ring to compete with him."
Though the team they will face tonight on SmackDown doesn't have any geographical ties or much else in common, they too share a single goal as a unit: To destroy the legacies of both Carolinians in hopes of making their stars shine even brighter. "We're taking on MVP and Chris Masters, two top-of-the-line guys," Matt acknowledged, though he's confident about his chances. "If it isn't my brother Jeff next to me in the ring, I couldn't ask for a better partner than Ric Flair."
As Matt prepares to enter the ring alongside Flair, he will once more go face-to-face with the United States Champion who bested him at The Great American Bash. Though Hardy was unable to attain his first serious singles championship last Sunday, perhaps teaming with one of the greatest champions in sports-entertainment history will help catapult him right back into his hunt for gold. At least, that's what Matt hopes.
"I think the biggest impact will be if I go out there and defeat MVP in this match," he said. "It will put me right back into contention for the U.S. Title. Like the old expression says, ‘come hell or high water,' I will be the new United States Champion. That is my ultimate goal."
Matt Hardy has never let a dream slip through his fingers. Now, with the 16-time World Champion and five-time United States Champion in his corner, it might just be a matter of time before he turns his latest dream into golden reality: Winning the United States Championship.