“I’ve pushed my body way too far. I’ve made mistakes, as a way to working with the pain. Looking back now and taking a year off and working my own schedule. I have four, five, six days to recuperate during the week. I had a couple of noninvasive surgeries that have broken up bone chips of my back. I just started the DDP Yoga. I’m just doing things to improve myself.
“I have to give an honorable mention to my girlfriend Reby Sky, who is from Queens and Latin, so she has some fire in her. She always stayed on me in case I did get off track. It’s a combination of being in a real good place in life and realizing that I can’t wrestle the schedule that I used to back in the day. I won’t. There has been some interesting conversations that I’ve had, but I refuse to go back to work full schedule I did because I’m never going to put my body in the type of jeopardy that I did a couple of years ago.
Hardy’s brother, Jeff, has also faced his share of obstacles and demons. Now the TNA Impact Wrestling champion, Jeff has risen from the ashes, and Hardy couldn’t be prouder.
“I knew Jeff when he was the most unpredictable human being in the world,” Hardy said.
“You just never knew what Jeff you were going to get. Now Jeff is the most responsible person alive. I think it’s a combination of finding his path in life and being happy and doing what he thinks he needs to do with his schedule. He is also a dad. His daughter just turned 2. Now I think in life Jeff feels he has another human being that is more important than him. So that was a big factor as well.
“We’ve always been there for each other all the way through from the beginning. One day we dreamed of being tag team champions one time. Everything we did after that was extra credit. We’ve both had amazing careers and done more than we planned on achieving in our wildest dreams. As far as having each other’s back and being there for each other, that’s something that never changed. It’s a nice feeling to have your brother, who is your blood and best friend there for you.”
With his career thriving, Hardy is driven to succeed. In the past year, he has developed a renewed love of the game. The consummate performer anticipates his upcoming match with Sabu at the Extreme Rising show on Dec. 29.
“I’m pretty excited to do it,” Hardy said. “We actually had a tag team match back in 1997, right before Jeff and I signed with WWE. It was myself and Jeff versus Sabu and Rob Van Dam. We watch those few years when we are just getting in the business. He was one of those who had this mystique about him. Then with the way he went through those tables and the abuse he put his body through, you would wonder if he was human. He really carved out his own niche, as far as being his own character.
“There is no way I can look at a guy like Sabu and not respect him. All wrestling fans should respect him just for all the sacrifices he has made and put his body through. A lot of times Sabu wasn’t doing it because it was on the level of a WWE, where he was going to making a huge contract. He did it because it was his passion, and he did it to entertain the people. We’ve always had a mutual respect for one another. When we meet, people in Philly are going to get their money’s worth and won’t be disappointed.”
• Matt Hardy battles Sabu as part of a stacked lineup at Extreme Rising’s return to Philly 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29 from the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory. Rhino faces Devon Storm, and Luke Hawx takes on Stevie Richards. Jerry Lynn collides with Homicide. The Blk Out has agreed to face a mystery team in a steel cage. New tag team champions will also be crowned, and the show will feature the debut of Hijo De Rey Misterio against Bestia 666. For information, visit http://www.extremereunion.net
• Follow Matt Hardy on Twitter: @MattHardyBrand.
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