THE LATEST VERSION
Sept. 10, 2003
And begin! Welcome to another long-awaited edition of V1s latest version. As I sit and write this, I cant believe its already September and almost birthday time for yours truly. Its time to tack another year on my age and my career, but it also spells the end of summer and the beginning of cooler weather. As you should all know by now, Matts favorite season is summer and Matt hates cold weather.
Speaking of getting older, in the last month Ive gotten a couple of very interesting comments about my wrestling career. The first was when I was shopping for a new laptop (more on this later) and a 19-year-old employee recognized me and asked if he could help. He then proceeded to tell me that he was a huge fan of mine and that he GREW UP watching me. Wait a minute -- I repeated his statement and said, You mean to tell me you GREW UP watching me? He said that the TLC and Ladder Matches inspired him to be a wrestler, but he unfortunately had serious back surgery that made wrestling physically impossible. Im going on six years with WWE, which by sports-entertainment standards is a very good run in the biggest company ever. Now I know you change and mature a lot from age 13 to 19, but does this guy have a legit claim in saying he grew up watching me? I guess he did when, three days later, a second teenager told me I was his favorite wrestler growing up, along with my brother, Jeff. I actually found both of these comments very flattering because it reminds me that Ive done a lot at an early age. Im only 28 for all those wondering, well almost 29, but thats still young, right?
I would like to say my public prayers for only getting a concussion when I took the West Coast Pop on the Aug. 21 edition of SmackDown! After slamming so violently on my head, all I could think about was having numbness and serious neck surgery like so many of my friends have had. Fortunately, nothing too serious came out of it. I also want to thank everyone who called or asked if I was OK; that always means a lot.
Speaking of serious neck surgeries, Amy, or Lita to the masses, looks great after a challenging 16-month recovery period. Im sure there are countless Lita fans who are very excited to see her compete within a WWE ring again. I think that she is going to be better than ever, as shes in awesome shape and will have a much more refined and wiser wrestling style. Dont fear though, Im sure she will be the extreme diva that she was before -- just better. Much like Matt Hardy became after he unleashed his strongest asset, Mattitude. I think you will see a more well-rounded character as far as Lita is concerned, both athletically and entertainment-wise.
Im going to try to concentrate on another WWE star during each edition of The Latest Version, and this months is Eddie Guerrero. I love the fact that even when Eddie turned on Tajiri, and people were expected to boo him, they still chanted his name. I love the fact that people so strongly dictate who gets cheered and booed. Why do people still want to cheer for Eddie even though hes doing deplorable things? Because he is so entertaining and charismatic. Our audience understands what our product is about, and if a Superstar is fun to watch, whether hes doing right or wrong, hes entertaining. Eddie is an entertaining character, a charismatic speaker and an awesome wrestler, and he is highly respected for his years of sacrifice in the business. Its hard not to be a fan of someone with those qualities. On a personal level, I think Eddie is a super guy who has overcame a lot of tough obstacles in his life and career. Good for him.
My character has a lot in common with Eddies as far as being somewhere between good and bad.
Version One is someone who can be booed one night and cheered the next, much like Latino Heat. The older terminology for this type of character has been a tweener -- someone in between good and bad. My terminology for my character now is a hybrid, a mixture of a good guy and a bad guy. So when Matt Hardy, Version One, the Hybrid, enters the ring, I dont care if you cheer or boo, as long as you react and are entertained. I think the sports-entertainment business is changing from the scenario where someone is in the right and someone is in the wrong. Myself and Eddie are examples of the latest wave of the business -- there are very few clear-cut characters that you will either always love or hate, in my opinion. Just remember you heard it from V1 first.
A couple of times Ive seen signs that have said Version One just crashed, obviously making a software or computer reference. Well, a couple of weeks ago, Rey Mysterio at least made V1s computer crash. We had just checked into our hotel after SmackDown! As we unloaded our luggage, my computer bag had fallen off my wrestling gear bag as I was carrying my other bag in the room. Rey moved my gear bag away from the car, but didnt see my computer. As he pulled off to fill the car with gas, he accidentally ran over my laptop and smashed it. First Rey gives me a concussion and then crashes my computer -- he must be stopped. Too funny.
The remains of my laptop after being 619'ed and West Coast Popped.
Time to plug stuff section --
Dont forget to get the new Matt Hardy T-Shirt, The Sensei of Mattitude, available at WWE.coms ShopZone. A special thanks to Tazz for establishing the title of The Sensei of Mattitude for me.
Be prepared to pick up Litas autobiography coming out at the end of the month -- its a great read and a very inspiring story. While youre at the bookstore, pick up Exist 2 Inspire, the good book of Mattitude, if you havent got it yet.
Be on the lookout for a John Cena album coming out in the not-so-distant future. John and his partner, Trademarc, have recorded some unbelievably good tracks on their debut album. There is actually a track on the album where V1 is a special guest and loans some Mattitude to my Thuganomics homey. A verse in a rap song is another first for me and just one more cool thing I can say Ive done.
With two years gone since 9/11, I would like to send my thoughts to all the families who lost loved ones that day. They will never be forgotten.
Ill seeya when I seeya. Be well, and until then
V1 and only