Matt Hardy: More Creative Freedom on WWE Smackdown under Vince McMahon

Matt Hardy More Creative Freedom on WWE Smackdown under Vince McMahon

Former WWE wrestler Matt Hardy recently discussed the differences in creative freedom between WWE’s flagship shows, “Raw” and “SmackDown,” under the leadership of Executive Chairman Vince McMahon. In an episode of his podcast, “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy,” Hardy revealed that McMahon’s hands-on approach to “Raw” often made it challenging for wrestlers to implement their own ideas, while “SmackDown” offered more room for individual creativity.

According to Hardy, many people in the wrestling industry viewed “SmackDown” as the “sentimental favorite” due to McMahon’s lesser involvement in the show compared to “Raw.” Hardy acknowledged that “Raw” was McMahon’s baby” and the company’s flagship program, making it difficult for wrestlers to deviate from McMahon’s vision.

However, Hardy’s experiences with creative control varied throughout his career. In 2009, he was drafted to “Raw” just after a personal feud with his brother Jeff, which culminated in an “I Quit” match at Backlash that Jeff won. Despite the loss, it was part of the plan for the Hardy Boyz to pursue respective singles runs.

On “Raw,” Hardy found that McMahon had a clear vision for the show and was less open to wrestlers introducing their own ideas and creativity. This made it challenging for Hardy to have creative input and pursue his own ideas.

In contrast, Hardy found that “SmackDown” provided more wiggle room for wrestlers to explore their own ideas while still being subject to McMahon’s direction. This flexibility allowed wrestlers to showcase their unique styles and personalities, which Hardy believed was essential in building a connection with the audience.

Although Hardy was later traded back to “SmackDown,” he acknowledged that McMahon’s influence was still present. Nevertheless, he felt that there was more opportunity to push his own ideas and have creative input on “SmackDown.”

In summary, Hardy’s comments offer insight into the differences in creative freedom between WWE’s two major shows and the impact of McMahon’s hands-on approach to creative control. While “Raw” proved challenging for wrestlers who wanted to deviate from McMahon’s vision, “SmackDown” offered more room for creativity and individuality. Hardy’s experiences demonstrate the importance of creative freedom for wrestlers to showcase their unique personalities and connect with the audience.

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