Will Not Die-aries:
With a career surrounded by controversy and struggle, Matt Hardy has risen to become one of the most charismatic, resilient and popular competitors on the SmackDown roster. In his biweekly feature, this fan-favorite lets WWE.com readers get one step closer to his experience as a WWE Superstar.
Matt Hardy will not die... and he will not disappoint in this WWE.com exclusive column.
Hello guys and gals! I hope everyone is doing well. It's been a very strange time here within World Wrestling Entertainment after the Mr. McMahon tragedy. Since everyone's mood recently has been somber and sad, I thought I'd go in a different direction. I want to tell everyone a very heartwarming, happy story.
Last Sunday, June 17, was Father's Day. As fate would have it, WWE just happened to have a live event in Raleigh, N.C. Coincidentally, Jeff and I were on the show in a rematch against Cade & Murdoch for the World Tag Team Titles. After some discussion between myself and Jeff, we came up with a great idea. We figured out an awesome Father's Day present for our Dad — give him the first-class treatment to, from, and at the WWE show.
Jeff and I arranged for a limousine to pick up our dad and a couple of his friends that afternoon and drive them to Raleigh. When the limo arrived, my dad and two of his close friends jumped in. They were smiling from ear to ear. As far as I know, my dad is 74-years-old, and this is the first time he's ever been in a limo. I told my dad that the limo driver was at his beck and call, and to feel free to make stops along the way if he needed to. The only stop that my dad and his friends made was to get 12 cold beers.
My dad and his crew arrived at the RBC Center in Raleigh around 5:45 p.m. My dad immediately headed toward the dressing rooms to say hello to some of the other Superstars and Divas (mainly the Divas, HA!) he'd met in the past. Pops was nonstop telling jokes and shooting the breeze with all the boys like he's known them all his life. He is certainly a character. At about 6:15, security escorted Claude G. and his buddies to their front row seats.
Myself and Jeff went on that night in the semi-main event around 9:10 p.m. We both came over and gave our dad high-fives and hugs on the way into the ring. He seemed so proud and happy as his two sons stood in the ring in front of him with thousands of people chanting "HARDY!" Cade & Murdoch were so bothered by the deafening chants that they went after members of the audience, including our father. It was quite hilarious to see my Dad threatening to slap Trevor Murdoch if he took a step closer to him.
The match finally got underway and our pops was chanting "HARDY" with all the rest of the Matt and Jeff fans. About 20 minutes into a fantastic match, Cade & Murdoch got themselves intentionally disqualified, fearing we were on the verge of regaining the tag gold. Jeff and I turned the momentum back into our favor, and left the cowboys laying after a Twist of Fate/Swanton combo. The crowd exploded as we executed our signature moves on Trevor Murdoch.
Once the ring was clear, I grabbed the microphone and thanked all of our fellow North Carolinians for their amazing support. I stated that I was disappointed that we didn't win the World Tag Team Titles back in our hometown, but tonight was still gonna be special. I reminded everyone it was Father's Day. I mentioned that Jeff and I lost our mother at an early age, and all we had was our dad. Our father was more important to Jeff and I than he'll ever know.
I then asked security to help our dad over the barricade so he could stand in the ring with his two sons and feel what we feel every night. Instantaneously, a "Legend" chant broke out in a small pocket of the building (Legend is the nickname one of the wrestlers gave him years ago, and most of our fans know that is our dad's nickname).
Our dad stepped into the WWE ring and was met with a very kind and respectful reception from all in attendance. I asked my dad if he had anything he'd like to say to all the great WWE and Hardy fans in Raleigh as I placed the mic in front of him. He was motionless and silent for five seconds or so; I could feel the nervousness within his body. I second-guessed myself and thought maybe it wasn't a good idea to put my Dad on the spot with a live mic in front of him. Suddenly, my dad broke into his most recent joke. "I've been drunk for three days — yesterday, today, and tomorrow!"
The crowd roared in approval with laughter and applause. The "Legend" even went as far as to throw up the V-1 and gunz handsigns!
When the show was over, our dad returned to the back, and was just beaming with happiness and excitement. There's no price tag you could put on seeing your father like that. Hell, Claude G. even picked up two young ladies that night at the show and told them he'd give them a lift home in his limo. I told pops to go eat, hang out, or do whatever because the car was his for the evening. I was hoping he'd live it up and enjoy himself.
The next day, I asked my dad what he did after he left the WWE show. Our father, his dates and his friends went out to a hot spot in Raleigh, where they had dinner and drinks. My dad said he rolled into his house around 4:30 a.m. (later than me!). I told him he's becoming a party animal and needs to slow down, LOL!
Later, my dad looked me dead in the eye and said something to me he's never said before. "Matthew," he said, "that was the best Father's Day I've ever had. You and Jeff are the best sons a dad could ever wish for. I'm so lucky you and your brother turned out to be so good. Your mother would be so proud of her boys."
That was possibly the nicest thing my dad has ever said to me. It was one of those moments that make life so great. The whole experience was a great reminder about how good life can be. And I know it's an experience that my dad will never forget and always cherish!