With Edge's recent move to SmackDown and subsequent World Heavyweight Championship victory, many people both inside and out of the WWE have speculated if Matt Hardy, Edge's former friend turned rival, will get a title opportunity, which if it did happen, I believe would be his first ever. Many people in the IWC particularly, have said that he could have a brief feud with Edge resulting in one WWE pay-per-view match, but no way in hell will he ever be a world champion. Well I am here to disagree. Matt Hardy can be World champion, and here's why.
As far as I am concerned, to be qualified to hold a World Championship, particularly in WWE you need several qualifications. One of the most important things is a moveset. I'm not saying you have to be as gifted as a Bret Hart or a Kurt Angle, but you need a set of moves that everybody recognises, looks effective and gets popped. Batista has the Spear, the powerslam, the spinebuster and the Batista Bomb amongst others. John Cena has the spin-out powerbomb, the Five Knuckle Shuffle, the Throwback, the FU and the STFU. Vince McMahon has jack shit, but he's an exception because he's now Dr. Vince McMahon. Matt Hardy has a recognisable moveset. Hardy has the Side Effect, a move which is not unlike the Rock Bottom, but swankier. He has the familiar second rope leg drop which always looks cool. He has the corner clothesline/bulldog combo which although isn't going to be putting anybody away any time soon is a great transition move and can be use to start building a comeback. Then of course there is his finisher, the Twist of Fate. This is a finisher which has a familiar name, looks good and is damn effective as it works the head, face, neck and sternum, much like an RKO.
Another important factor is popularity and the ability to shift merchandise. There is no-one out there who can dispute the Matt Hardy has been one of the most popular superstars in the WWE for the past two years since he returned in 2005. He out-pops most of his co-workers on SmackDown including the likes of Chris Benoit and Kane. On occasion, Matt Hardy has out-popped former ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley who, as we all know, is the latest to get the superman push. Matt, as part of the Hardys has always been able to sell some merch which may be the sole reason John Cena was first crowned WWE Champion. Hardy can take advantage of his tag team status and a main event push would surely result in him shifting more of his own merchandise. Of course a renewed feud with the Rated R Superstar would only increase his popularity even more because Edge is undoubtedly the best heel currently in the WWE, maybe even the entire wrestling world.
So far we have established Matt Hardy is popular and owns a good enough moveset to be a World champion. Many of the great champions of the past have been awesome sellers. Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H and even John Cena to name a few, are all tremendous sellers and that helps them and their opponents. That's why matches between combinations of those guys have nearly always resulted in tremendous matches. I think Matt Hardy is one of the best sellers on the current WWE roster, especially when selling a particular limb such as an arm or a leg. Case in point, let me take you back to February and a match between Matt Hardy and Joey Mercury. Mercury had been working the arm the entire match and Hardy had been selling it brilliantly as always. When Hardy made his comeback, he whipped Joey into the corner and was going for his clothesline/bulldog combination move. Now normally when Matt does this, he switches arms – hits the clothesline with the right and then the bulldog with the left. Not this time. To sell the arm, instead of switching arms, he repositioned his body so he could do both the clothesline and the bulldog with the same arm. How many people would think of doing that? I was going to send that one in to the guys over at Hidden Highlights but forgot. I do recall a particular HH from the same match about Hardy doing the Twist of Fate with one arm as well, but mine was better. Still, it's another example of how good Matt Hardy is.
Another important factor in mediocre superstars becoming world champions is feuds. Hardy has had several tremendous feuds over the years in tag teams, but not so many as a singles competitor. He had the brief run against Kane which of course resulted in Kane marrying Lita, but that was not nearly memorable enough. The one that really stands out is his feud with Edge in 2005.Not only did this produce great matches, but it had a real sense of drama because it was real. That's what makes this feud different from just about any other feud in recent memory. And because Edge is now the champion a rekindled feud would be huge for Hardy and give him the extra step he needs to be a legit champion.
The final critical talent needed is the charisma. Matt Hardy is by no stretch of the imagination a great talker, but he is good. Take a look at when he was a heel and going through the Mattitude thing. There were some good promos in there. And again with the Edge feud – some really intense promos there, too. And let's face it, Batista and Bobby Lashley were champions for a long time, and Matt Hardy is miles better than both of those guys.
Let's face it, Matt Hardy has all the tools needed to be World champion, and with Batista out of favour, Kennedy and Taker on the shelf, Matt Hardy is going to get pushed and I'm making the prediction now. Matt Hardy will win the World Heavyweight Championship this year.
Credit - http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/columns/54391/Schmozzes-&-Screwjobs-05.15.07:-Edge-Screws-Cena-Part-III-of-V.htm