If you think Broken Matt Hardy, the Compound, and all this very strange world was a new creation from WWE, you are wrong. These surreal pieces of avant-garde art were developed at first on Impact Wrestling and had been such a huge success, WWE fought to be able to develop the concept in the company.
Before the Ultimate Deletion match you witnessed yesterday night on RAW, which Amanda reviewed for you here, Impact let Broken Matt and Brother Nero Hardy develop their own world of Deletions, Vanguard-1 and Expeditions of Gold. An entire episode of Impact was taped from the Hardy compound, Total Non-Stop Deletion was aired in December 2016 and this episode was really like no other.
SteelChair Mag writers are huge fans of wrestling, as you may have noticed, and this switch of universe from Impact to WWE could not but catch their attention. Did they love it? Did they hate it? Here are their opinions:
“On the 5th of July 2016, we were witness to the dawning of the then ‘broken’ Matt Hardy, facing his brother for ownership of the Hardy name in ‘The Final Deletion’ and what a WONDERFUL match that was. Skip forward two years, and Matt’s broken brilliance has become ‘woken’. An eternal war, a great one even, has existed for aeons between the leader of the woken universe and the eater of worlds. For the main part, the Ultimate Deletion was truly SCINTILLATING. From Vanguard 1 initiating a welcomed return of its Boomstick protocol to a re-surfacing of Brother Nero, WWE has gone to lengths to hold onto to its original allure. The question we’re all left with now, however… is Bray Wyatt truly DELETED?”
“From start to finish, I genuinely could not keep my eyes off the screen and that’s what I want, week in and week out. I did feel as though this was a tad more intense than what we saw in the Impact version and what really grabbed my attention is just how much of an intense and brilliant all-around performer Bray Wyatt is. So many have complimented and commended Matt on his performance this week but let’s not take anything from Wyatt who brought so much character, so much story, and so much intensity from start to finish. Matt, of course, was on another level. He was extremely convincing, massively entertaining and took control of this entire thing. What made this so phenomenal was simply how well of an introduction this was to the Hardy compound and that includes Reby, Señor Benjamin, and of course Brother Nero as well as adding more depth and understanding to Matt’s Woken gimmick. Ultimate Deletion left us all wanting more, questioning whats to come next and more importantly entertained. Different, exciting, and simply bonkers the introduction to the Wyatt compound has got everyone talking and the weeks and months to come look to be very very exciting!”
“Sometimes more isn’t necessary. Last night, the WWE took full advantage of “Woken” Matt Hardy’s grandest character trademark by heading to the Hardy Compound and engaging in the Ultimate Deletion! Unfortunately, the sheer gonzo-absurdity that made the Final Deletion such a hit in TNA makes the WWE’s attempt simply pale in comparison. The bright spots of this bizarro segment came down to character quirks and general weirdness – Senor Benjamin, Brother Nero, and OG drone Vanguard 1 being chief among them. But did anything memorable take place? Not really. Hardy and Wyatt fought in a ring, Vanguard dispatched the most pyro we’ve seen on WWE television in a year, they fought to a cabin that resembled Bray Wyatt’s home base, the fight moves on to a field, and ends at the Lake of Reincarnation – with Wyatt disappearing into nothingness. The Ultimate Deletion is more of a stop-gap than an actual conclusion, but if this feud does continue, I hope this is the stepping stone to more bizarre and strange encounters with Hardy and Wyatt. Been there, done that. What else ya got, WWE?”
I loved Ultimate Deletion, but I couldn’t help wondering what casual fans who aren’t familiar with Broken Matt in TNA made of it. For those of us who saw the TNA segments there were call-backs and references galore, none of which would have made any sense to anyone who didn’t watch Final Deletion. I’m not sure the limited promos were enough to acclimatize them to this particular world, so a lot of people probably ended up as bewildered as Michael Cole. Ultimate Deletion lacked some of the intensity of TNA’s Final Deletion, but I think that was inevitable. For a start, it’s likely that WWE’s rules restricted the content far more than TNA’s did. But, perhaps, more importantly, the feud between Wyatt and Hardy was never going to match up to Hardy versus Hardy. No-one fights like brothers, and the Wyatt and Hardy feud has struggled to get beyond a battle for who can be the weirdest. It was fun, but the most interesting thing came at the end. What is next for Bray Wyatt? He vanished completely in the Lake of Reincarnation. Has Wyatt gone for good? Will he emerge in a different form? Or will he turn up in a couple of weeks with a rambling monologue, like nothing ever happened?
“The Hardy vs. Wyatt story has seemingly culminated in the same way any post-broken Hardy feud knows how with an epic battle at the Hardy compound. While this was another spectacular showcase of madness, which featured all the favourites such as senior Benjamin, Skarsgard the dilapidated boat, Vanguard 1 and Reby, it still felt somewhat underwhelming. Of course, WWE has different rules in terms of what they want audiences to see, but in comparison to the original “final deletion” that featured on TNA Impact, this one fell short of the mark (in every sense of the word). What made the original so refreshing was that it was something completely new and original for fans to enjoy in a watered-down modern era of wrestling personalities. This iteration of deletion at the Hardy compound seemed more like a “Now That’s What I Call Broken Matt Hardy” CD, in that it merely just repeated all the hits we’ve seen and heard before and offered us nothing new. Going forward, I imagine there will be a rematch, this time at the Wyatt residence that will see Bray win on home soil. This should all culminate with either the pair squaring off for a final time at the WrestleMania pre-show or they become a weird and twisted tag team that we could grow to love.“
“Ultimate Deletion had a lot to live up too; Matt Hardy’s Broken character single handily saved Impact Wrestling for me. There was a lot of hype building up to the WWE version and boy did it live up to it. What more could you have wanted? Fireworks, the Dome of Deletion, Senor Benjamin and Brother Nero were all there. It was absolutely wonderful and could be the perfect set up for a repackage of Bray Wyatt that is long overdue. Giving Matt the freedom to truly do this character is one of the smartest things WWE has ever done. Watch Ultimate Deletion for the fun of it, let your mind wander; its perfect.”
“I’m going to be honest, I haven’t watched the Ultimate Deletion match yet. But I watched everything Broken Matt and Brother Nero did on Impact. Even if the whole concept was brought to WWE, with its creator Jeremy Borash, I’m a firm believer the original always remains better than the copy. On Impact, The Hardy did absolutely everything they wanted to do, with this incredible range of characters and ideas that were absolutely ground-breaking and surreally awesome. The matches were apocalyptic, hardcore, insane. But here we are, in the PG- family friendly land of WWE, and most importantly, we’re one year later. People watched the Total Non-Stop Deletion show on the internet, they knew what the Hardy Boyz were doing on Impact but the fact is what they saw in Impact, they will never it see in WWE. At least not with the same intensity and freedom.”
All pics courtesy of WWE.com