INDUCTION: Evander Holyfield vs. Matt Hardy – Let’s Get Ready to…Well, Not Do Much of Anything

33 Submitted by on Thu, 10 September 2015, 20:00


WWE, 2007

Once upon a time, many years ago, Saturday Night’s Main Event used to be a major happening. It was an age before Raw, one where the primary television outlet for the WWF was their weekly syndicated show, Superstars of Wrestling. Yes, Prime Time was around, but most folks followed the exploits of their favorite performers on a show that usually aired on Saturday mornings. Or at least it did in Cincinnati, where I grew up.

We talk today about how formulaic Raw is, and trust me, I am on that bandwagon. Looking back, though, Superstars was arguably more cookie cutter – you had an “Event Center” with whatever random Ken doll look alike they had at the time (Sean Mooney, Craig DeGeorge, etc.) and a talk show segment (Piper’s Pit, Brother Love, Flower Shop) wherein angles took place. Throw in Lord Alfred shilling at the end for Mr. Freeze Freeze Pops, and every week it was basically the same.

The vast majority of the show was the top guys pummeling local geeks; click on the “JOBBERS” tab up above and you’ll see a ton of them. The ‘main events’ of Superstars were such in name only. The only time you’d ever get to see big names actually pitted against each other was by attending live events or watching one of the very few pay-per-views the company did each year.

Saturday Night’s Main Event was a totally different cat. It was all about top guys battling it out. Hulk Hogan almost never wrestled on Superstars unless it was for an angle (Paul Orndorff turning on him was a huge one), but he was a fixture on SNME. So it was a huge deal, and was always something my friends and I looked forward to watching.

Of course, WCW Monday Nitro came along and changed the entire wrestling landscape. I say Nitro did that, because despite what WWE would have you believe, Raw in its early days still featured oodles of squash matches. Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching the Steiner Brothers beat the crap out of teams like The Executioners, but to say that WWE reinvented the industry would be untrue. Eric Bischoff forced that change by forcing Vince’s hand.

The point being of all this is that SNME was years ahead of its time. It was a great show, featuring so many memorable moments fans of that era will never forget. After a few years, though, the WWF’s mid-late 80’s popularity petered out and NBC took it off the schedule. It became a fondly remembered relic.

In 2006, WWE and NBC decided to bring it back. There was an initial reaction of glee; you need look no further than this here site to see nostalgia holds a place near and dear to our hearts. It didn’t take long, though, for everyone to realize the thrill was gone and that in the end, it was just another 90 minutes Vince and his crew had to produce.

But they did have to fill it, so they would come up with wacky ways to do so, such as the disaster we’re here to discuss today: a boxing match featuring Evander Holyfield versus Matt Hardy.

Really – they brought in “The Real Deal” (well, the boxing one) to fight MATT HARDY.


See. There he is in a boxing robe. Look, I’m a Matt Hardy fan (I loved the 1.0 gimmick), but I am not quite understanding why you’d bring in a name who was once as big as Holyfield’s was to have a boxing match with him.

Still, it did bring us the man to Matt’s left: a trainer who has feathered hair, parted in the middle, and a very pronounced mustache. Maybe I am supposed to know who he is. If that’s the case, I apologize.


Not to cast aspirations on the man, but for all I know he could be his hair dresser. In fact, he kinda looks like a hair dresser. That is one fine feathered do.


And yes, Holyfield comes out, seconded by MVP. According to the announcers, this boxing match was originally to be MVP versus Matt Hardy. Why were they going to box? Literally no idea.

Literally don’t care.


What I DO care about is the fact that not only did WWE pony up to get Holyfield, they also hit the ATM to give MICHAEL BUFFER a payday! I don’t remember if there was ever a battle for Michael Buffer’s services during the Monday Night Wars, but it was still pretty surprising to see him in a WWE ring after all the WCW main events he’d announced. I also know that every WCW guy who had any notoriety at all who came into WWE later eventually got jobbed out and…

…well, yeah.


And yes, we know who Shawn stole that from.

Hopefully they paid you royalties for it.


So MVP, who is not in the match, gets his very own ring introduction. I would go off on this, but who can get upset when it leads to a Michael Buffer “BALLLLLLLINNNNNNN!!!!!” recital?


Thankfully the next man introduced is in the bout – it’s “The Man Who Will Not Die (Despite All of the Company’s Attempts to Kill Him Off)”, Matt Hardy!

Is his hair dresser going to kiss him?

Kinda looks that way!


While Matt has a 0-0-0 stat line, Holyfield has a slightly better record.

Don’t like young Matthew’s odds tonight honestly.


That picture has so much insanity I don’t even know where to begin.

Michael Buffer looking like he may be copping a feel on the ref’s chest while staring at his fart chamber.

Matt Hardy wearing camouflage – CAMOUFLAGE!!!! – shorts.

Matt wearing headgear while Evander gets no such protection.

Matt’s corner man looking like he’s saying “Meow”.


Saying “Meow” like this.

So the fight starts and honestly, it goes exactly as it should:

With Matt getting pummeled.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t say it goes EXACTLY as it should, as you’d kinda want Evander’s punches to come somewhere near Hardy’s head. Unless you’re Matt, then yeah, I guess this is going exactly how he’d want it.

That or he did get clocked, as Matt does what appears to be his best sell job ever.

WrestleCrap FUNFACT: the filename for the image above is crosseyedmatt.gif.

RD Reynolds Decidedly NON-FUNFACT: I have a parody of that stupid Van Morrison song called “Cross-Eyed Matt” now stuck in my head.

Somehow Matt survives the round, and we get RING CARD girls making an appearance!

Michelle McCool appears wearing what appears to be your grandma’s drapes and Kristal Marshall appears as the complete smoke show she is. Lost in all this would be Kelly Kelly strutting and shaking her rump in an absolutely absurd manner, a piece of television history Kevin Dunn deemed not worthy to focus upon to save for future generations.

I know folks hate that guy for the zooming and shaking camera angles that now crush our eyeballs on Raw, but seriously, squint at that as hard as you can at Kelly Kelly in this image and tell me his failure here is not a bigger crime.

As the girls dance around, Matt can’t even enjoy it, as a) he’s loopy and…

b) his corner man is coming in for what appears to be a smooch. Yikes.

RD Reynolds Decidedly NON-FUNFACT: Van Morrison is now gone. Unfortunately, this has now replaced it.

As round two begins, for no adequately explained reason, Evander decides he doesn’t want to punch Matt in the face anymore. This despite the fact he had zero problem punching him in the face repeatedly in the first round.

MVP isn’t happy about it, so he goes in to tell Holyfield to go in for the kill.

And yeah, you know what happens next.

For whatever reason the ref dubs this the end of the fight. No idea who won or lost, but I do know this: Matt’s cornerman has wayward eyes!

And arms!

He heads for Holyfield looking for some hug love immediately after the fight. And while Holyfield looks at the guy like, “who in the heck are you?” the advance is made unabated.

So while we don’t know who won or lost, we do know who had a great time.


This guy.


In fact, let’s make him dance.

If I could make him sing, he would be singing this…with these guys.

I think he’d like that.

Did I mention this match was terrible? No?

WrestleCrap FUNFACT: this match was terrible.

My work here is done.




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33 Responses to "INDUCTION: Evander Holyfield vs. Matt Hardy – Let’s Get Ready to…Well, Not Do Much of Anything"
  1. Sean Bateman says:

    RD singing Crosseyed Matt vs Blade’s Brown Haired Trish! Book it, Vince!

  2. Doc 902714 says:

    Eh! Holyfield was still better than James Buster Douglas on SNME

    • Larry says:

      That really isn’t a fair comparison. It was heavily hyped for weeks that Mike Tyson was going to be the guest referee for SNME & there were even hints that he was going to lay into Hulk Hogan during the match. Unfortunately, Mike had his fight with Buster Douglas the week before his SNME appearance…and got knocked out in what was one of the greatest upsets of all time. WWE had to scramble around & get the new heavyweight champ on the show & drop Tyson’s appearance. Buster was signed at the last minute & the entire spot was rewritten to only have Douglas come in & give a 3 count to Hogan & celebrate with him.

      For all the promotion WWE got with Tyson vs. Stone Cold & DX, it would have been much more newsworthy & hyped having him in an angle with Hogan

      • Guest says:

        Not when Tyson had just come off getting his lights turned off by Buster Douglas….and then the stuff that happened some time later with him…..which did not at all have anything to do with Tyson getting removed from Punch-Out.

  3. JSWH says:

    I was at The Garden the night they taped that. It went over pretty well live! The crowd was happy to see Buffer, from what I remember.

  4. Gotchism For Life says:

    I like wrestling. I like boxing, kickboxing and the obscure but awesome sport of shootboxing.

    BUT they should never mix.

    Look at Mr T vs Piper at WM2. Sucked.
    Brawl for All. Sucked
    Big Show vs Mayweather. Sucked

    You can work a wrestling match light and loose and have it look believable, but you can’t with boxing.
    Good induction, match was crap.

  5. Geoff says:

    Shawn Michaels shrugging should be the new MMR shrug picture. You should give MMR a rest on his shoulders sometimes so he doesn’t have to keep warming up before each shrug and pulling his ACL or something in that area.

  6. Adam says:

    I think all this was part of the “MVP’s a better athlete in everything” portion of the feud with Matt. Like pretty much every MVP rivalry, it seemed to last forever without going anywhere.

    • Tempest_Fennac says:

      In the WWE’s defence, I think the reason for MVP not wrestling for ages was because they found some sort of heart problem during his yearly examination, but they didn’t want to scrap his partnership/rivalry with Matt so they had them participate in a lot of non-wrestling contests until MVP was able to wrestle again.

  7. Down With OPC says:

    This feud inspired me to be Matt Hardy for Halloween that year, with a friend of mine dressing up as MVP. We then had several contests to “honor” that feud: a staring contest, air arm wrestling contest, and possibly a “who could drink a beer the fastest” contest.

  8. Tony says:

    I’m going to call Matt’s cornerman “Discount Marc Mero”.

  9. Mister Forth says:

    What a strange moment. Sadly, WWE really didn’t put any effort in making this Saturday Night’s Main Event run work. Possibly would’ve mean’t less bad Pay-Per-Views.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This made NO sense.

  11. Alexandru says:

    I don’t remember this at all must not have been watching during this time. People complain about how bad the product is but it’s more or less lazy writing since WWE actually has talented guys. Whereas 2006-2011ish (what I saw of it) was a truly awful period with awful story lines and a lack of talent/talent less guys coming in I.e.Sheamus, Spirit Squad (minus Dolph) etc.

    • Mike Hunt says:

      Sheamus is not talentless and neither was Ken Doane from Spirit Squad, in fact he was the one most people thought would become the breakout member in the group’s formative stages.

      • Alexandru says:

        Sorry Sheamus is bland/has no charisma he’s good in the ring but so are a lot of guys.He’s had “go away” heat with fans for a few years now. That doesn’t exactly scream “talent”. Doane was also bland nothing special about him at all.

  12. Tiggie says:

    fun fact about this induction. Holyfield was legit p*ssed off after hearing JBL making a ton of derogatory comments about him backstage.

    From his Facebook Page:

    “One of best stories ever from commentary was at Madison Square Garden with Evander Holyfield.

    I had met Evander before and he was a total jerk, complete jerk to both me and Ron.

    He used the religious image while he was an absolute reprehensible creature. He’s had a ton of kids by a ton of women and professes to be a model Christian. I don’t mind people being what they are, but I abhor fakes. I can’t stand Evander Holyfield.

    Soooooo……. On to MSG.

    Evander is to box Matt Hardy in a ‘boxing match’ as MVP’s replacement in a Madison Square Garden event.

    I am doing commentary and the whole show I am putting over Evander as this great guy, blah blah blah.

    By the end of the show I am sick of myself. So during commercial I tell Michael Cole a true story of Evander and my wife at Fox News.

    My wife had called me and told me she was in the ‘Green Room’ with a famous boxer but not being a sports fan she didn’t know who he was., she told me it was Evander Holyfield.

    I explained to her he was one of greatest boxers of all time and told her the whole story of his career which I knew by heart as a huge boxing fan. She told me that he was ‘very nice’. I said “of course, he has had 9 kids by 9 women of course he is nice, leave now!” and of course I was joking, but half serious.

    During the break I tell Michael this story, but of course I go further-I totally tear down Evander as a hypocrite and piece of garbage that I think he is. I have no idea this is being broadcast into his dressing room, I still had my headphones and mic on. Every word I say Evander hears.

    Matt Hardy and MVP were in the room, ask them how tense it got. A spokesperson for Evander went to Vince and threatened to have him leave the show.

    More importantly, how would you like to be Matt Hardy? He is facing the former heavyweight champion in what he hopes is a work and he now knows this guy is furious. While I was saying this Evander had one of his kids on his lap listening, and from Matt’s story he just got very quite.

    Evander ended up doing business which I am sure Matt was thankful.

    My headset was ringing to tell me to shut up.

    After the show I went to Evander’s dressing room, not to apologize for what I said-I meant it and still do, but it was totally inappropriate for me to treat a guest of our show like that, I shouldn’t have let my personal feelings potentially screw up a show.

    At his dressing room I encountered a security guard. I was expecting anything from a fight to him excepting my apology-I had no idea, but I had made my bed and I would lie in it.

    I never apologized for what I said but for the venue I said it in as he was our guest. I meant what I said, but shouldn’t have said it to a guest of the WWE. The security guard looked at Evander who was less than five feet away and Evander shook his head, so I never spoke to him direct though that was my intention and he heard every word I said. And, I never apologized for calling him what I did, I apologized for doing it on a WWE show.

    As I walked by the boys to Evander’s dressing room, no one knew what would happen. Ron Simmons told me, “leg dive him!’ which was my plan, it was a tense moment.

    I have seen him since, I have no respect for him, but I do hate he is getting ‘punch drunk’ as no one deserves that. He is a great boxer but a rotten human being.

    The next day I apologized to Vince, I was wrong to attack a guest like that. Vince said, “we almost lost him” and I responded, “we almost lost Matt” and we both laughed.

    The day I almost got into a shoot fight with the former world heavyweight champ.”

  13. Mike Hunt says:

    The most pathetic aspect of all of this? I very clearly remember reading a report on the ratings for this show, from a reasonably reputable site. It said the rating was around 2.8, but that upper management had been expecting at least a 5 for the return of this show. This despite booking crap like this.

  14. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    In all fairness, the MVP vs. Matt Hardy feud was really good, but unfortunately it just kind of faded away after Matt went down to injury. It was just two guys trying to prove they were better than eachother, and had some great backstage vignettes, even if it did get sidetracked by the oh-so-common “enemies team up to win the tag belts then pretend to be friends” trope. I’d argue that it was the last great WWE feud that involved guys who were (at the time of the feud) in the midcard. Nothing since involving two wrestlers below the main event level has had that kind of spark.

  15. Jed Shaffer says:

    I didn’t even know this happened.

    I still wish I didn’t.

  16. Jeremy says:

    Saturday Night’s Main Event suffered not only from pretty much being able to get the same thing on Raw and Smackdown every week anyway, but because after the first 1 or 2, they stopped trying to make them special. They’d just throw a six-man tag with three feuds from Smackdown into one match and other meaningless filler.

    They made Superstars sort of a big deal when they brought it back in 2009, but that didn’t last long. Same thing with Main Event a couple years ago and don’t get me started on Smackdown. Every time they change networks or move back to Thursdays, they put some minimal effort into it for a few weeks, then it goes right back to being half-assed. But don’t worry, they’ll start making it special again once it moves to USA next year, for about a month, then it’ll be just another show where nothing memorable happens as always, because without a brand split, its pretty inconsequential.

  17. Ze Frenchie says:

    I love how, in the GIF, there’s a guy in the audience that seems to be reacting to Pseudo Marc Mero’s Disco Stu impersonation.

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