Why did Matt Hardy leave WWE? And why did Chris Jericho also join AEW?

Matt Hardy arrives on the ring during WWE show at Zenith Arena on May 10, 2017 in Lille, northern France.

Former WWE superstars Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy are set to face off at this week's AEW Dynamite.

It has been confirmed that Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy will meet face to face in ‘a colossal confrontation’ on the Wednesday March 25th episode of AEW Dynamite.

 

Matt Hardy made his AEW debut last Wednesday. Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks announced that the Broken One was All In with All Elite Wrestling after Vanguard 1 interrupted Chris Jericho and his Inner Circle stable.

Hardy was then announced as The Elite’s surprise member to replace the injured Nick Jackson to take on Jericho’s Inner Circle at Blood and Guts.

Unfortunately, the special episode of Dynamite has had to be cancelled due to the global health crisis.

Chris Jericho looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling 'Wrestle Kingdom 14' at the Tokyo Dome on January 05, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.Chris Jericho looks on during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling 'Wrestle Kingdom 14' at the Tokyo Dome on January 05, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy to face off at AEW Dynamite?

Despite that, it seems that Hardy and Jericho could be set to feud, starting with their interaction this week.

Of course, the duo would have faced off plenty of times before in WWE. Both Hardy and Jericho have a long and rich history in North America’s other major wrestling company

So why did they leave WWE and find their respective paths to AEW?

Why did Matt Hardy leave WWE for AEW?

Earlier this week, Hardy appeared on the ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcast with Chris Jericho and explained (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Jason Ounpraseuth) that WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon appeared to have no creative plans for him going forward.

"I pitched idea after idea after idea to WWE, and I never got any feedback. I would hear a little chatter here, a little chatter there, but there was never anything that like stuck or like, you know, anything that ever like sparked any kind of like creative fire in Vince's mind.

"That just became frustrating, and then later they were just trying to re-sign me just to have me under contract so that I was a WWE employee, and I kept turning down money, which was good money. But like I wanted to be in a prominent role in television, and I don't think Vince saw that for me."

Hardy is one of the most creative minds in professional wrestling and sports entertainment, as seen with his excellent Broken Universe.

Why did Chris Jericho leave WWE?

Jericho’s reasons were slightly different. As he explained to talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy in May last year, the Canadian made it clear he did not want to be just another number on the WWE card. His Wrestlemania 33 match against Kevin Owens being bumped from main event status seemed to be the catalyst for his exit.

“I want to make a difference, I don’t want to be just another number on a board somewhere and I think if I went back to WWE that’s kind of the role that was there for me, which is fine.

“My biggest thing is when I had the best angle in 2016, the best story with Kevin Owens and we ended up second on WrestleMania, that’s when I knew ‘I got to get out of here’.”

He then became one of AEW’s marquee new recruits and was crowned the company’s first AEW World Champion, a belt he recently lost to another disgruntled ex-WWE star Jon Moxley (aka Dean Ambrose).

So it seems that Jericho and Hardy simply both felt they still had plenty left in the tank, which McMahon and WWE struggled to appreciate. At AEW, with a reduced workload and more creative control, the pair look set to start a hopefully memorable rivalry.

No doubt wrestling fans will be excited to see both Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy go face to face once again now they are in AEW.

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