The Woken Universe has a new vessel. Bray Wyatt, the long term nemesis of Matt Hardy, returned to stand by his side at WrestleMania. The following night on Monday Night Raw, Wyatt and Hardy teamed together for the first time and picked up an impressive victory. The Lake of Reincarnation has clearly worked it’s magic once more.
But why stop there?
There is always room for new brothers and sisters in the Hardy compound. The WWE roster is rife with talented individuals ready for a dip in the lake and a shot at career redemption. Some candidates are more suited than others to the over the top world Matt has created. Here are our picks of the vessels most likely to thrive under his guidance.
Never one to shy away from the outlandish elements of professional wrestling, Goldust is the perfect fit for Matt Hardy’s playground. Just to see him revert back through the previous versions of his gimmick would be wonderful (so long as nobody mentions Black Reign.) His illustrious career may be reaching its inevitable final chapter, but what better way for Goldust to go out than in this bizarre battlefield?
It would allow Dustin Runnels the chance to let loose and show off more of his obvious acting chops. We’ve seen it in fits and starts over the years, but to most modern fans, he’s just a weirdo in face paint. A visit to Hardytown could give us one last, glorious dose of Goldust lunacy.
2. Aiden English
Let’s be honest, Aiden’s run with Rusev was never the most natural fit. It’s a strange alliance that works to a degree but doesn’t really feel like it’s for the long term. Aiden English was at his best in a tag team that existed outside the realms of reality, The Vaudevillains, so he’d feel right at home in the Woken world.
English has a great grasp of the language he’s named after. He’ll take to the the twisted dialogue of the Hardy compound like a duck to water. It’s easy to imagine him adapting his current Rusev Day introductions to better suit Matt and provide the pomp and circumstance that’s needed.
3. Eric Young
Whether you prefer his current run as the unhinged leader of Insanity or the lovable loser of the TNA years, Eric Young is a prime candidate for a Woken makeover. He can play sycophantic follower as well as psychotic leader. A yappy, scrappy, Eric Young being let off his leash by Matt Hardy when the time calls for it would be an amazing addition to the family.
Eric has proven throughout his career that he has the range and ability to make things work and is never afraid to make himself look stupid. It’s this embracing of the bizarre that has given Young the career longevity that he has enjoyed thus far so why stop now?
Alternatively, imagine Young and his Insanity brethren as Hardy’s opponents. In a similar role as played by The Decay in Impact Wrestling, the slightly cartoonish monsters of Insanity would be the perfect foil for Hardy’s antics. There’s definite parallels to be drawn between Nikki Cross and Rosemary and Alexander Wolfe could easily fill the role played by Abyss. Hardy and Wyatt vs Sanity would certainly be a fun ride.
Fandango has a very weird kind of sleazy charisma. His laconic drawl and thrusting hips might not seem like a fit for the weird and wonderful Woken world but that’s precisely the point. He’d bring a new energy to proceedings, a certain camp charm that would add a different element.
Fandango’s dry wit was evident in his staring role in WWE’s amazing Southpaw Regional Wrestling, a parody of territory era southern grappling. If he can bring even half of that Chett Chetterfield tragicomedy to The Woken Universe, it’d be a sight to see. Or, how about Fandango and Tyler Breeze working through the unsolved mysteries of the Woken fashion files?
5. Jack Gallagher
Gentleman Jack has struggled to find his feet in WWE, partly because he’s spent most of his time upside down in the turnbuckles. He’s had various degrees of success with his World of Wrestling ring style but feels like he’s never truly been utilised to his fullest. A trip to the Hardy compound could be just what the doctor ordered.
Gallagher as Matt’s English sidekick makes a lot of sense. He could bring a grounded sensibility to proceedings, a sideways glance to the audience that what they are watching is, indeed, bonkers. Think along the lines of the world weary Alfred to Matt Hardy’s Batman and you’re halfway there. Failing that, there’d be plenty of mileage in Gallagher reverting to his previous side show attraction character, umbrella and all, running wild all over The Land of Obsolete Men.
So those are my picks but, in all honesty, most WWE characters could be tweaked and added. That’s what makes Matt Hardy’s creation so brilliant. As much fun as it would be to see someone like Goldust really buy into it, there’s as much fun seeing a fish out of water like John Cena get involved. Whatever direction things take, the development of Hardy’s Woken universe is certainly going to be an adventure to behold.