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*~!Matt Hardy and The Latest Version, October 14, 2003!~*

Welcome to the newest installment of The Latest Version, the chronicles of Matt Hardy, better known as V-One-Uuhhhhhhh. Just for your info, I have been writing this commentary while overseas in Europe, during the SmackDown! Passport to Pain tour. Its been a good and successful tour, and the European crowds were lively, as they always are. Its been a cool tour for V1, as I picked up pinfall wins over both the Big Show and A-Train, and the fans have treated me well.

One thing I have to mention from the overseas trip was a fan I met in Cologne, Germany after the show. He was wearing a Sensei of Mattitude shirt, and I always go out of my way to speak to representing MFers. I took a picture with him and his friend, and he proceeded to tell me that he thought I was the Savior of WWE. He said he started a Save Us Matt chant with his friends at the show that night. I thought it was a really flattering statement and a cool chant. Save Us Matt has a nice ring to it.

I got a chance to see The Rundown a couple of weeks ago, and really enjoyed it. I thought Rocky did a super job and has big things ahead of him in Hollywood. Congratulations to The Rock for all his success; hes always been a good guy in my book.

On the music front, I just recently got A Perfect Circles new album, Thirteenth Step. It follows the same trend as their first album, as well as being very Toolish. The songs give you a lot to think about and can be translated differently be different people. I personally enjoy music that is more gray and means various things to everyone. Bottom line is, I like the album.

Heres a little story for everyone who wonders just how glamorous the life of a WWE Superstar really is. On Sept. 18, I kept waking up throughout the night and the next day with a fever, chills, and an extremely sore throat. I figured some NyQuil and cough drops would fix me right up. I guessed I was probably sick from being so physically rundown due to the little sleep Id gotten the last few weeks. That day, my appetite went to nothing, and I gained an upset stomach. When I woke up on the morning of Sept. 19, my throat was so swollen, I couldnt eat and it hurt to drink water. I loathe going to the doctor, but I knew I had to go because I was suppose to start back on the road the next day.

The doctor diagnosed me with a severe case of strep throat, and loaded me up with antibiotics and throat medicine. The doc also recommended that I didnt do anything but rest for 48 hours and to not wrestle for another four days. I thought to myself, Dude, your talkin to Matt Hardy sorry.

About 24 hours later, I was in New York, getting ready to wrestle in Madison Square Garden. Thank God that night was a tag team match, as Shannon and I wrestled Spanky and Paul London. It was a struggle to breathe in the ring with my throat so swollen, much less run and take bumps. I made it through the match, went into the back and started to dry heave because there was no food in my stomach to throw up. Fortunately, I had Shannon to drive me to the next town, which was Binghamton, N.Y.

The Binghamton show was on the 21st of September and bell time was at 2 p.m. I actually wasnt aware it was an afternoon show until the night before. The reason the show was early was due to the fact the RAW-brand pay-per-view was being broadcast that night from Hershey, Pa. About 5 p.m., after wrestling and attempting to eat in Binghamton, I looked at the map to plan our route to Bethlehem, Pa., site of the following days SmackDown! show. I noticed that Hershey was less than two hours from Bethlehem, and if I kicked it, I could get to Hershey in time for Amys (Lita) return match.

Shannon was cool and didnt mind rolling with me. I knew Amy was third on the show, and I figured if I was there by 8:30 p.m., I would be able to see live her first match back from her grueling 15-month rehab. I thought it would be an awesome surprise and I knew it would mean a lot to her for me to be there.

As I started driving, still sick as hell, traffic was terrible due to construction. At one point, Shannon and I went about two miles in forty minutes. Shortly thereafter, I think my road rage kicked in and I started passing cars on the shoulder of the road and driving 100 mph when traffic broke open. Its been a Matt Fact before, but I truly hate, despise, and loathe traffic. We hit a couple of other slow spots on the way, which was killing our time. After driving like a maniac for two hours, I pulled up at the arena in Hershey at 8:58 p.m. Besides being physically sick, I was also now mentally sick because I had went through all this trouble only to miss Amys return match. Shannon, on the other hand, was terrified after my maniacal driving and probably wanted to punch me. I walked into the building, looked at the first monitor I found, and right then Amys music started and I saw her walk out of the curtain. It was truly amazing. The first couple of matches had been longer than I expected. I watched her match, and was waiting for her when she came through the curtain into Gorilla position. Amy was shocked and ecstatic to see me, even though she was in pain due to getting injured. That instance typifies how special our relationship is and I like to refer to it as the moment of clarity. It made struggling to get there while being miserable worth every second.

Amy and I stayed in Harrisburg that night, although the next day we both had to go to different cities. That night, we both ate ice cream from McDonalds -- its all my stomach could handle, and all Amy could eat because all of her bottom teeth were loose. That night was very special for both of us, even though we were both unwell.

I finally finished up this excruciating loop in Philadelphia on Sept. 23, my birthday. That night after SmackDown!, myself, Shannon, Joey Matthews and his girlfriend Alexis Laree ate at a diner. I was able to eat my first meal in nearly a week. It was an egg white omelet with turkey, mushrooms, and a little feta cheese -- an old Edge favorite. Joey bought my meal for my birthday, and then I crashed in preparation for my 7 a.m. flight. I was finally starting to feel better, and Ill take health as a birthday present anytime.

Speaking of my birthday, I want to thank everyone who gave me cards, gifts, pictures and birthday wishes. There are a lot of great people out there who have supported and rooted for Matt Hardy for a long time -- I cant tell you how much I appreciated it. Thanks for all the time you spend on making and upkeeping Web sites, bringing signs to show, making pictures and videos, and giving me souvenirs. You guys are awesome.

I just read Amys book while overseas, and I loved it. Although I knew most everything in the book, it really reminds you of how amazing Amy is. After reading A Less Traveled R.O.A.D.--The Reality of Amy Dumas, I guarantee you will have a newfound respect for her journey to the present.

I felt like closing out today with a little philosophy. In our lives, we owe it to ourselves to follow what we feel is right for us. Put singularly, you owe it to yourself to follow your true gut feelings and instincts. You know whats right, you know whats wrong. Dont ever follow preconceived notions that others may lead you to believe. If the actions in everyday life feel uncomfortable or forced, maybe you should step back and reevaluate your decisions. Do what you would do, not someone else. Live for you, live to be happy and good to your family and friends. If you have gotten away from instinct and logic, get back to things that make sense. Do the right thing; it makes life so much better and so much easier.

Wow, that was heavy

Be well, and until then

Matt Hardy
V1 and Only