In a recent interview with the MCW Cast, AEW’s Matt Hardy took some time to discuss the ever-changing roster of AEW stars. Although top WWE talents like Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson have joined the roster, Matt mentioned another potential signee that AEW just barely missed.
“That was one of those things, too. I think if [WWE] hadn’t have cleared Edge and let him wrestle, he was going to end up at AEW,” Matt noted (h/t POST Wrestling). “So they kind of had to go, ‘Oh. If we don’t want him to go, we got to let him have his way.’”
Matt also praised his current employer for the way they’ve incorporated the term “wrestling” back into their shows. As noted before, WWE and Vince McMahon have shifted towards referring to their product as “sports entertainment” instead of “pro wrestling”.
“It’s great to hear [wrestling] used because that is what it is. That is what it will always be, and you know, there was just — for so long, Vince [McMahon] just kind of saw that as a dirty word. ‘That word is beneath us. Let’s do something else’, and I get that and I can respect that he has a vision and he has this mold of this project he wants to create,” Matt said. “And it’s sports-entertainment, it’s larger than life. And you can’t hate him for doing that because he has contributed so much to the pro wrestling industry. And when it’s all said and done, at its core, it’s going to be pro wrestling because you can change the name, you can change the way it’s done a little bit, but at the end of the day, it is pro wrestling. A very unique form of athletics and showbiz combined.”
Hardy mentioned how Khan also encourages the performers to use the word “belt” as often as possible. He believes this kind of terminology is comforting to the fans who have watched throughout their lives.
“And for AEW to go all in, ‘Yes, this is pro wrestling’ and it’s something I heard just a while back,” he continued. “Tony [Khan] was back at the Go Position and they were going, ‘Yes, this is for so and so and the TNT Championship Title.’ He’s like, ‘Call it a belt! We’re saying championships too much! Call it a belt,’ and that’s another word Vince hates. But, I mean, he grew up as a fan and he likes and digs all that terminology, and I love that it’s implemented in there because I feel like the fans, especially our fan base. They feel like they’re more at home and they feel like, ‘Yeah, this is cool. These people are listening to us. They’re catering to us.’”