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[2016-07-05-TNA-Impact] Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy (The Final Deletion)

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Did Matt Hardy read the post-wrestling thread? For all my talk about how Lucha Underground is flirting with post-wrestling this looks way more revolutionary than anything they've ever done. The sheer absurdity of it is brilliant, but my favourite moments were probably Jeff not dropping selling even when he's shooting fireworks and the finish where Matt took advantage of Jeff's stupidity and predictability. Rating it feels impossible but it was definitely one of the most entertaining experiences watching wrestling I've had.

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The sheer absurdity of it is brilliant, but my favourite moments were probably Jeff not dropping selling even when he's shooting fireworks and the finish where Matt took advantage of Jeff's stupidity and predictability.

 

Not to mention : they planted the seeds earlier on when Matt asked to put some gasoline around the place. The finish made sense !!!

 

*****

 

MOTY

 

Fuck that : MOTD

 

it was definitely one of the most entertaining experiences watching wrestling I've had.

 

Yes !

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i feel dumber having watched this. that being said, the most enjoyable things about this match/angle:

 

- senor benjamin's birthday present

- matt hardy mowing the tribal lawn

- the dilapidated boat

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The outdoor setting for this match reminded me of the Inoki island death match, except that was long and boring, and this was short and insane. I did like seeing Willow show up all of a sudden out of the water, only to have Matt accidentally pinning the old guy because he didn't know who was behind the mask. This was fun but didn't make much sense.

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Is there anything I need to watch get some context before I watch The Final Deletion?

I would start a thread for that promo if I could find what Impact it aired on.

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Is there anything I need to watch get some context before I watch The Final Deletion?

 

Any film by David Lynch.

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Maxel Hardy is my new favorite wrestler. Rent Sky is a total hottie with a body. I really liked Senor Benjamin. I like camp a lot and this was very campy. It feels like the Hardys are the last carnies in the business. The birthday party was awesome! The Matt Hardy making Jeff's lawn #Broken was up there for one of the greatest vignettes in history.

 

I did not like the match until Jeff's big bump off the tree. I was not not feeling the hatred until then. The fireworks were great and loved the use of the DILAPIDATED BOAT as a shield. Matt pinning Senor Benjamin was really great. Working the birthday candle unto the finish was great but it did feel flat.

 

I would like to see more vignettes and backstory like that. But I'm a traditionalist let's keep the wrestling the way it is. Big thumbs up for character work and and angle development!

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Reposting my write up here since I'm usually terrible at commenting in the actual match threads:

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The pre-match antics stressed Matt's heel advantage, having picked the time and prepared the place and gotten into Jeff's head by destroying his precious lawn. Even though this is, for the sake of comparison, an empty arena match, they played to the crowd at home the whole time, starting with Matt intimidating the referee and then with his heat-garnering violin rendition of "Cool, Cocky, Bad" for an audience that can't even boo him. Despite that, Jeff arrived, albeit sans theme music, to cut it off. Matt refused to show ass, though, keeping his back to Jeff until he made it into the ring.
Here, a brief note about the early camera work. Matt's stable at this point consists of a 90s-esque WWF gardener gimmick elderly Virgil of sorts, his wife as an annoyingly supportive valet in multi-colored garb, his baby as a mascot, and a legion of nameless drones. In order to suspend disbelief on why the drones (bruised from an earlier pre-match assault on Jeff which he fought off with his own symbolic instrument) aren't interfering, I think we're supposed to imagine that they're the ones flitting around the ring managing the camera work. What we got out of that, at least in the early going, were a lot of Dunn-ian quick cuts. Instead of the usual WWE style that whips about right at the point of impact so that the moment of it is dulled and lost, this switched right before, so that we almost fell into the impact of the blows.
On to the match itself. Matt ambushed Jeff first with a quick punch, winning the first few seconds of exchange until he was shrugged off of a bulldog. Jeff was too quick to rush in (obviously thrown off his game by Matt), and ran into a foot, but since we're in the shine, he recovered quickly and hit a far too early superplex, which, in the context of this match, was basically an overglorified armdrag. Due to the TV format, and presumably the production costs for a company that may or may not be funded by racist corporate biker twins and/or over the hill (also) bald, moody artiste types, they only have around ten minutes of actual in-ring work that they can show. By symbolically using the superplex in this function during the feeling out process/shine, they define the initial scope of the match immediately at a higher point, which will allow for the later explosive escalation. Jeff followed the superplex by bouncing off the ropes and hitting a bit splash for a nearfall. While a strange move for him, it's also a heightened version of a normal pinfall which hits the higher tone that they were in the process of defining.
Immediately thereafter, Jeff pulled out the trellis, a table stand-in given the setting. While yes, this wasn't just Matt's homefield advantage, but also the strange redneck distopia that Jeff was used to, the fact that he didn't even sell, as a character, the strangeness of finding the trellis under the ring, took me out of the match a bit. Matt was going out of his way to react to everything and, at times, it felt like Jeff was just moving on to the next spot. He could make it work as a flustered stoicism at times, but here I was half expecting for the spot to fail, and for him to simply continue to pull out multiple trellises until he hit it correctly as Matt just had to lay there, like a modern-day Sabu at his very worst. Regardless, the spot did work correctly and led to another nearfall.
Much like the superplex functioned as an armdrag, however, Matt's twist of fate out of nowhere, his full on finisher, were this not a gimmick match, served as a TRANSITION. Once again, it's a precarious balance. If at any point of the match, they lost the beat, lost the tenor and tone, failed to symbolically level out the point where they were at, the entire structure would collapse and the match could never build to the later points it was trying to reach. The ladder would be missing a number of rungs. Instead, due to the lack of time alotted, and the dramatic end point, they started higher up the rungs and as such, Matt's finisher served as a transition and a transition only onto his well-scouted (inoculated?) brother who was not nearly worn down enough to be put away by it.
This allowed Matt to get back into the match, the escalation continuing now with the kendo stick shots and the introduction of the actual ladder, the images of violence climbing further up those proverbial rungs, with the choking in the corner and the outright biting. It's only when Matt stumbled back towards reality and went for an actual move, in this case, the side effect, that Jeff was able to elbow out and, in a stroke of synergy, used the phony Twist of Fate and his own Swanton finisher as yet another transition, though really one that would be an extended hope spot, not cut off by any quality of Matt's, but due to Jeff's own reckless abandon, which has been costing him matches and momentum within matches for well over a decade. He climbed the tree (ladder-assisted) and went for the Swanton onto Matt who was prone on a ladder; Matt moved, though this wasn't as definitive as it should have been. Jeff still went for the pin after this and Matt had to scramble to regain some distance and the advantage. They could have punctuated that moment better, especially considering what was to come.
Now, as the third act began, and the hope spot was cut off due to Jeff's own recklessness, Matt, having seen his brother's resolve again first hand and knowing he couldn't defeat him through sportsmanlike means (especially after the two defeats that led up to this match), brought the world's most destructive chain out from his tights. For a match that used a superplex as an arm drag and finishers as act break transitions and hope spots, the only place to go was to high explosives. Matt launched the fireworks across the ring as Jeff desperately defended himself with a trash can lid. It seemed all for naught as the smoke cascaded around them. Matt, limping, selling, calling out, with another weapon in hand stalked around the ring to finish the job only to find that Jeff, hulked up and in the midst of his babyface comeback had gotten the "chain." As fireworks flew back the other way, Matt ran from the comeback, only to get chased down by his brother, at the height of his righteous fury and power. Here, however, Jeff slipped on a banana peel (or a splotchy bit of mud) and Matt was able to put on the late match sleeper, assisted not by the ropes, but by a lake instead.
Companies have house styles. You know when watching a WWE TV Tag Team match when they're going to go to commercial. A TNA main event style match will, at this point of near-finish, almost always have some bullshit Jarrettesque run-in. Here it came in the form of a fake Sting, the Mountie's Stun Stick, and a false finish the valet. The confusion allowed for Jeff to recover from the sleeper and lock in one of his own. Once again, his hubris, always his failing, now mixed with that righteous babyface fury took over, and unsatisfied with a simple choke out victory, Jeff climbed up the Hardy Boyz symbol, meaning to leap off of it onto Matt one more time. The viewers were well prepped with this due to its call back nature. The first time he went up, it backfired, so wrestling conditioning told us this should work. Moreover. We'd already gotten the false finish on the Fake Willow, so Matt was thoroughly protected at this stage. There was every reason to see this as the blow off and for Jeff to win. They utilized the callback of Matt setting the scene earlier on however, and Chekhov's Gun went off, with Reby slipping him the hair spray (or well, something inflamed instead of flammable) allowing Jeff to get shoved off the top so that Matt could heelishly steal the win.
Good match that fit the feud so long as you could accept the shifted scale where they started higher on the rungs, allowing for a consistent climb towards a higher peak. Jeff dropped the selling of the situation a couple of times early on in a way that came off as more than pissed off stoicism, unfortunately. This, more than any match in history, perhaps, needed total commitment, but it's likely a problem we would have had with Jeff in almost any match. Matt on the other hand played his role perfectly. In general though, it followed the traditional structure for this sort of a grudge match that went around 10 minutes in a hardcore/falls count anywhere setting, just further along the spectrum with different tools used in the same old places.

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Wholeheartedly agree with any sincere recommendations for this match. Obviously it was rife with comedy moments meant to pop the crowd and/or put over Matt's evolving bizarro character, but in terms of basic structure, internally consistent storytelling, and pure entertainment this was a huge win for me, one of the most fun things to come out of 2016.

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I think I am going to watch the Final Deletion again and do a more comprehensive review. I am going to crosspost this analysis of Broken Matt here:

The original Broken Matt gimmick is sheer brilliance. Normally, I am all for evolving a character & adding layers, but in this case it only turned it into a self-parody of what was originally a genius gimmick. You see prior Matt had turned heel after winning the World Championship, something that always eluded him. He started slicking his hair down with a side-part and dressing in suits. Why? The first was insecurity as the older brother who failed to reached the singles heights of his younger brother who had won multiple World Championships in TNA & WWE. He was a giver instead of a taker but was not receiving as much as he was giving out. So he felt the world was unfair and jealous of his younger brother. Then enters his ambitious, ruthless wife, who wants the house on the hill, the fortune and fame, maybe most importantly she wants to be married to a winner, champion and the better Hardy. She drips the poison in his ear that now is the time to take, take, take. Well before the Broken Matt gimmick, he was experiencing a personality and descending into madness. Then he loses the championship and his brother starts to slag. The rift grows into a chasm and then Jeff Hardy hits a massive Swanton Bomb that broke Matt in half complete with stretcher job and not appearing on TV. They took this physical break and made it into a mental break with reality. One could say in addition to the jealousy, stress of his wife pushing, his lust for fame & fortune, he also probably loves his brother and hates that it has come to this. All this stress on him leads to psychotic break. He becomes obsessed with deleting Jeff Hardy. That's the motivation. A heel can be logical and you can understand their perspective; it is the fact they take things too far that makes them a heel! The funny emphasis on words like "Delete", "Obsolete" and "OVAH" had an entertainment factor to the character. Choosing to visually depict his obsession as a classical, Baroque pianist is an interesting take on it that again add entertainment value and plays in line with American stereotype that those men were MAD geniuses like Broken Matt. I wonder if the word "Baroque" was an inspiration to take the character in that direction. Anyways, dressing of the gimmick, the diction and speech emphasis add to the entertainment value to make the gimmick stand out, but it is the OBSESSION and STRESS on Matt underpinning the gimmick that make it work. That's why I believe it flopped in WWE and AEW is because Broken Matt was not being built on the fundamentals of human emotion it was leaning into the shallow, superficial aspects of the gimmick. Terrific gimmick originally and we will always have 2016, brutha. 

I enjoyed the pre-match antics more than the actual match itself. The first birthday party for King Maxel was just so perfect to set the tone for this. Reby Hardy is so hot and a perfect hard ass for the gimmick. Senor Benjamin was a genius addition to the drama. Preparing The Battlefield is great. The backdrop of their shoot child's first birthday for the Proclamation of The Final Deletion of Brother Nero is terrific. 

This match is scored wonderfully, the music is sick and badass. When Jeff's charging with the firework in hand and Matt is using the Dilapidated Boat as a shield, that guitar riff is sick. Mad Max Fury Road came out the prior summer and had a big influence on this. I think the sound effects where picked up really well. I think the Sound was the best part of this. 

The shit at Jeff Hardy's home was also awesome. How the hell does Jeff Hardy get is fucking lawn to look like that? That's insane! That's dedication by somebody. Wow! The Vanguard1 nonsense to herald the beginning of the Final Deletion was a fantastic way to invite Brother Nero to War. Matt destroying the Lawn was the best part of the entire thing. It was so deliciously perfect. 

The match itself like I said earlier the best part was the scoring, great music and the sound effects came across well. We got see one great punch from Matt. Then the weapons came out. Jeff's big highspot off the tree onto ladder was sick. The fireworks definitely stand out when either one of them used them. The Dilapidated Boat popped me again. I forgot how this ended. Matt tries to drown Jeff, but Jeff comes back as Willow. Senor Benjamin shocks Willow. Matt comes upon a fallen Willow and pins him only to find out much to his dismay that is is Senor Benjamin. 

The Final Deletion ends in the Battlefield that Senor Benjamin had prepared. Matt had told Senor Benjamin to douse the field with gasoline that was leftover from the savage, ruthless mowing of Brother Nero's lawn. Furthermore, Matt had claimed the Birthday Candle would only be extinguished once Brother Nero was Deleted. Jeff climbs a HUGE statue of his Symbol, you know that abstract cross-like, J-like Jeff Hardy symbol. Reby hands Matt the Birthday Candle and he lights the Battlefield on fire and that travels up the symbol and Jeff is sent flying off the symbol to his demise. Brother Nero has been deleted. 

I prefer the Boneyard Match, BUT I think this is a huge feather in the Hardys' cap as that was truly innovative special. Bravo!

 

 

 

 

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