By Jim MacDonald
To answer the first question no this isn’t a column advocating the return of Rikishi Fatu to his infamous “Make a difference” gimmick of the early nineties. What this column will be is a forum for me to voice my opinions on wrestlers, story lines and angles that need to change to improve the WWE.
In my cross hairs in this inaugural column is Matt Hardy. Matt is once again being featured on Smackdown in a feud with his brother Jeff. The problem is there is nothing new here. Matt hasn’t changed his gimmick in so long he is staler then month old bread. If Matt Hardy ever hopes to rise above mid card status and escape the shadow of his extreme-ly popular brother he needs to change things up in a big way.
First of all let’s start with the Matt’s waning hair line. Matt I feel your pain buddy it’s hard to let the locks go but you have to. You’re thinning in the front and no amount of gel is going to hide it. It’s time to let it go and trim it down. A tight buzz cut would look better and give you a more mature and serious look. Matt has had the same hair style for years and it never looked that good to begin with so it’s time to let it go. Along with the top it’s time to do something about the facial hair. Matt has had the same lame chin strap for years. Either grow in a full well groomed beard or a goatee or forgo the facial hair for a clean shaven approach.
Next let’s talk ring attire, time to ditch the odd colored pants for a more classic look I would like to see Matt working in a more traditional set of tights and boots. Perhaps a singlet ala Mr. Perfect would do the trick. The whole idea behind this change is to draw a line between Matt and Jeff and fully realize a more mature more serious competitor. Out of the ring Matt needs to start dressing in nice dress clothes, no Suits but something that shows style and maturity. Little subtle changes make a big difference in the way a wrestler is perceived and a complete in and out of ring change needs to occur.
Next Matt’s in ring style needs a few key changes. First off all any high flying antics need to be ditched. The flying leg drop and anything else that harkens back to his Hardy boyz days needs to be ditched in place of a more technical approach. The Twist of fate too needs to be dropped. Matt should look at adopting a submission maneuver such as the Texas clover leaf or maybe the Tazzmission. He can still use the side effect as a set up maneuver but other then that his attack should be centered on a couple of suplexes. A snap suplex and perhaps a belly to back should do nicely. On top of that Matt should work an appendage that ties into what ever submission he chooses to use and make sure that everything ties in and makes sense. Jeff is so all over the place Matt can really set himself apart by smart wrestling.
Last but not least let’s talk stick work. Neither Matt nor Jeff cut particularly good promos but Matt tends to stammer and stutter a lot. I feel he needs to go with a strong silent approach and would benefit immensely from a strong manager/valet. The problem of course is the severe lack of managers/valets in the WWE. I think back to what someone like Bobby Heenan could do for Matt Hardy and wish there was someone like that today. Perhaps Matt Striker could get out of the broadcast booth and work in this capacity. Matt needs to choose his words carefully on his own and deliver them in a cool confident manner.
I’d like to see Matt do something new as I have always felt he was the better of the two Hardy Brothers. Matt will never get over as a face like Jeff has but as a heel he could excel. Someday perhaps Matt vs Jeff could be a Wrestlemania Title match. For that to happen Matt needs to make a change.