By Todd Matthy
An entire episode of IMPACT WRESTLING originating from the The Hardy Compound that will culminate in a final battle known as APOCALYPTO.
If past journeys to the Compound are any indication, there is no way for me to explain what you should expect. So I turned to “Brother Nero” himself, JEFF HARDY, to explain TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION!
First and foremost, what is TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION? How would you describe this event to a non-wrestling fan or a lapsed wrestling fan? What are they going to see?
You can’t describe it. It’s so extraordinary. It’s intense. You are going to see everything; it’s TND, Total Nonstop DELETION! It’s going to be everything from hydraulic lifts to a miniature volcano.
Yes. Bobby Lashley, this badass dude who’s killing it in the MMA world, is fighting on a volcano that blows up. Fights take place on a truck, motorcycles, everything is involved, it’s not just a wrestling match, it’s a movie.
Take me through the creation of FINAL DELETION. How did this come to be? Who pitched it? How was it pitched?
Four people created it. That’s what made it so magical. When you have four people shooting a wrestling match and it turns out that good, you’re doing something right. It’s evolved since then. I don’t think DELETE OR DECAY was better but it was just as good because it was different. It was something new, instead of old.
We’ll do this for as long as we can. It depends on how many people tune in and how many people are not possessed by the WWE dominance of the world because so many people are. I go to drive-thru’s everyday and people ask me, “Jeff, when are you going to go back to wrestling?” I’ve been in TNA for seven years and they don’t know that?
Anyway, we’re breaking new barriers. We’re doing what we do, have the creative liberty to do so, and we’re going to continue to do it for as long as we can.
Of the four people involved it was you, Matt, Jeremy Borash, and who else?
Jimmy, I don’t remember his last name, but he is an awesome cameraman. The four of us created FINAL DELETION. DELETE OR DECAY was pretty much the same team except Abyss, Rosemary, and Crazy Steve were there.
Is the staff bigger for TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION?
It’s huge. It’s going to blow your mind. The Rock N Roll Express show up, which was awesome. Our preliminary match is with them because I grew up loving the Rock N Roll Express. So many other people pop up but I’m not giving it away. It’s so good, it’s insane.
Was there resistance when the concept of these matches was brought to Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan?
No, not after FINAL DELETION. It was very successful for POP TV and that’s not the biggest channel you can be on, which sucks for us, but it is what it is. When DELETE OR DECAY came about, Billy Corgan was out here the whole time. He was there from 4-5 in the morning. It sucks that he’s gone, but we’re going to make the best of what we can.
The Hardy Compound isn’t just a field where matches take place. There are missile-firing drones, a “Lake of Reincarnation” where old gimmicks come back to life. It’s a fantasy world with it’s own rules. What did the idea of bringing “magic” come about? Was it there in the beginning?
It’s going back to Old-School WWF with Ultimate Warrior and Papa Shango or Jake “the Snake” and Rick Martel, when he sprayed the “Arrogance” in his eye and it became white. It’s that kind of vibe. That’s missing now because people want to make it “real” but come on its pro wrestling. It’s theatre, it’s far from fake but still predetermined. In the end people want to have fun watching what they watch. That’s what we’re doing here, especially with TND. TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION is going to be a breakthrough in the wrestling industry. When people see it they are going to go, “Wow!”
Pro Wrestling is not real yet it’s not fake. It’s pre-determined, sure but people get hurt all the time. I’m always hurt. That’s a barrier we need to break.
Don’t call it fake; make it fun for people to watch. The funnest thing about pro wrestling now, in my opinion, is guessing what’s going to happen next with the characters and feuds. With TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION, you don’t where it’s going to go.
If you and me are fighting in the middle of the ring and you sent me into the ropes, do you think I’d come back? I probably wouldn’t make it to the ropes. The beauty of it is the illusion of shooting someone into the ropes, he springs back, and you give him a backdrop. In a way it’s ridiculous, but it’s so fun when you accept it, especially with the storylines. That’s the main criticism I have about people that say wrestling’s fake.
If it was fake we’d have stuntmen coming in to do our spots. That’s what’s so special about it because we do our own stunts, we commit to ideas we have in our head and follow through with them, and then we create something very powerful. It’s way more then believing “could this be real?”
What would you say to the people who’d read this and say “that guy pretends to fight?”
I’d say yes we pretend to fight but we go at it as hard as we can. We really hurt each other, as sad as that is to say. The beauty of pro wrestling, to me, is protecting each other. We are a team. Instead of the NFL, where you’re competing to win, it’s our job to protect each other. But sometimes things happen. Sometimes you get hit real hard with a chair; sometimes you get a tooth knocked out. It’s happened to me before. Things happen because we entertain the fans.
The bottom line is the funnest thing for me in pro wrestling is the storylines and wondering, “What are they going to do with Jeff Hardy? What are they going to do with ‘Brother Nero’ and the ‘Broken Brilliance’ of Matt Hardy? Where does it go from here? How can they top THE FINAL DELETION? How can they top DELETE OR DECAY? How can they top THE GREAT WAR?”
Tune into TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION and you’ll see how we top it.
Why do a whole episode of IMPACT from the Hardy Compound? Will the entire roster be appearing? Including the Knockouts?
Not all of them. A few people are injured like EC3. ODB makes an appearance. My nephew Maxel has his in ring debut against Rockstar Spud. Tune in to see what happens because he’s one-year old.
FINAL DELETION, DELETE OR DECAY, and THE GREAT WAR have all been about 15 minutes long. What are the challenges of turning this combination of a match/short film into a full two-hour episode of a TV show?
We plan it out like a movie. We start from the beginning and we create everything until the big payoff at the end. It was very challenging because two-hours is a long time to fill, especially over a four-day shoot.
My alter ego, Itchweeed makes his debut. It felt so weird to wrestle as Itchweed because he’s complete comedy. He’s a crazy weedwacker who makes awesome artwork in yards, which I really do.
If you saw the Halloween episode I wrote “Happy Halloween” in my yard. It was amazing because I did it on my own and I didn’t know what it looked like until I saw the drone shot. When I saw the drone shot I went, “Holy S#%&T, I am really talented.”
You used drones in the filming?
Oh yeah, we used a lot. Vanguard-One, he’s a big superstar. There’s more then one. They get messed up a lot.
Is TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION going to be a tournament of “Deletion” style matches that build to a final blow off?
It starts off with matches in a big warehouse. It ends with APOCALYPTO, which is the invitation for every tag team in the world to challenge myself and the “Broken Brilliance” of Matt Hardy for our World Titles. Naturally, the Rock N Roll Express and some other teams show up and ultimately, somebody wins. I’m not going to say it’s us but somebody wins.
Bobby Lashley and Eddie Edwards fought all over the place for the World Title. They were in the woods, jumping off Matt’s porch, it’s insane.
We’re getting a World Title match?
Of course. You have to have a World Title match. Once APOCALYPTO starts everything is going on at once. You see Bobby vs. Eddie in God-Knows-Where then you see the Hardy Boyz against the Rock N Roll Express in God-Knows-Where with hydraulic lifts and volcanoes. People shouldn’t miss it.
Are there any plans to expand the Hardy Empire: merchandise such as maps of the Compound or books/comics detailing the history of the Lake of Reincarnation, the history of the Seven Deities, etc.?
I still don’t understand what the Seven Deities are. I just say “God, bless me today and let me have a good day.”
My main thing is my music videos because I have a new album coming out in mid-2017. I have an EP with Dale, the composer for TNA Wrestling; it’s available on jeffhardybrand.com. It’s called “Spawn of Me.” It’s the best S#%& I’ve ever done.
I can’t wrestle forever. I’m pretty beat up. I’ve got to get onstage and start singing.
There’s been talk about TNA changing its name to IMPACT Wrestling. Will TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION the night the TNA name is “deleted?”
I hope so. It’s the perfect time to do it. IMPACT WRESTLING is way cooler then TNA because you know what people think of when they hear “TNA.” That’s all I’m going to say. It’s not up to me; the higher ups make that decision.
TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION airs on December 15th at 8pm/7c on POP TV. It’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Thank you to Jeff Hardy for taking the time to speak with me.
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