Induction: Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara – Broken Matt Hardy, literally

21 Submitted by on Thu, 22 September 2022, 20:00

AEW, 2020

At the end of 2020, we at WrestleCrap nominated The Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara feud for the Gooker Award, representing the worst in wrestling. Ultimately, readers decided that a match that could have killed a wrestler was not nearly as bad as RETRIBUTION. Fair enough.

But while most people (except Matt Hardy) remember the shocking accident in the pay-per-view match, they might not remember the other mishaps that plagued the feud leading up to it.

Mishap #1 occurred in a Dynamite segment, with Sammy Guevara attacking Matt Hardy during a promo. The brawl spilled to the outside, where Matt inadvertently bumped Sammy’s head into the camera. But that’s not the mishap.

The mishap was when Sammy took a chair and flung it straight at Matt’s forehead like a missile.

It was a type of chair shot never before seen in wrestling. 

(And Guevara probably should have reflected on why that was)

That really should have been the end of the segment, but Sammy still had to put Matt through a table…

…which ended up with a thorough paint job.

No, you’re not seeing things. That was blood on AEW Dynamite.

Calling the chair shot the most reckless in history, Matt Hardy said Guevara could have killed him (a bet Sammy would later take him up on). 

The two looked to settle their score in a tables match…

…an intense, hard-fought main event that, due to time constraints, lasted only six-and-a-half minutes and took place mostly in picture-in-picture.

Sammy won the match by putting Matt through a table painted by Hardy himself (with paint this time)…

…but not before cutting open his own head with a different table. That was Mishap #2.

(Sorry for the small size of this GIF; this career-threatening spot happened during picture-in-picture)

Though Sammy managed to bust himself up good, this wasn’t enough for Hardy, who then put his AEW career on the line in a rematch at All Out.

This time, it would be contested under “Broken Rules”, or Last Man Standing. If Hardy was tempting fate before with his “Stronger Than Death” t-shirt…

…he was triple-dog-daring it with his “I Don’t Die” t-shirt.

The match was to begin in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ end zone, but Sammy was nowhere to be found. He finally revealed himself with Matt’s back turned, driving a golf cart right at Hardy.

Would Broken Matt get out of the way in time? Yes. And so concluded the one portion of the match that went right.

Both men began to brawl and ended up in a scissor lift — not the thing The Acclaimed does with Billy Gunn, but a cart that raises itself up off the ground.

Matt attempted the Side Effect, but Sammy blocked it and speared Hardy off the platform and through the table below. Sort of.

Half of Hardy’s body hit the table, but the other half hit concrete. The top half. Where his head and stuff was.

Horrified, the announcers pleaded with the officials and doctors to stop the match… 

…and under normal circumstances, they would have. But the stipulation dictated that Matt Hardy leave AEW forever if he lost. Perhaps AEW could have later said that, since Matt hadn’t actually been pinned, the stipulation didn’t count….

…except this was a Last Man Standing match, where the entire point was to injure your opponent so badly that he couldn’t answer a ten-count.

Could the referee have counted both men down and declared the match a draw? Possibly, but Sammy was already on his feet…

…so with a draw out of the question, he’d also need Matt to get to his feet pronto. And you can’t say he didn’t try!

Everyone involved likely had flashbacks of Summerslam 1997. There, a paralyzed Steve Austin willed his way to history’s most pathetic pinfall, just to avoid having to kiss Owen Hart’s ass. That might explain why Hardy tried to pants Sammy right then and there.

Wrong stip, Matt!

Mercifully, Doc Sampson and Aubrey Edwards called off the match before Hardy could hit his head a second time.

(Or maybe a third time)

But Broken Matt Hardy wouldn’t hear of it! Or, if he did hear of it, it didn’t register in his brain for obvious reasons. It was unclear what to blame for his characteristically nonsensical remarks: Commitment to his persona, or brain damage?

(I feel the same way about most shoot interviews)

But just because a wrestler says he’s okay to continue doesn’t mean he should be allowed to (although that was AEW’s official story for about half an hour). Conveniently, it turned out that AEW staff gave Hardy a medical evaluation after all — some time in the 122 seconds between the bell that ended the match and the bell that restarted it.

And so Matt, once pointed in the right direction, shambled towards Guevara to resume the match. This was, in a way, a win-win for AEW: Best case scenario, Matt Hardy would win as planned and wouldn’t have to honor his pledge never to wrestle in AEW again. Worst case scenario, the stip would be redundant.

For some reason, Sammy actually allowed the broken Broken Matt Hardy to DDT him on the concrete floor. 

Then, in the only thing resembling a good decision in the entire match, they went straight to the planned finish. Of course, that planned finish just happened to involve climbing really, really high.

“Don’t be stupid”, warned JR, seconds before a blacked-out Matt Hardy slipped on the scaffolding.

I guess that’s why Guevara decided that, You know what, two rungs is plenty high. Hardy punched Sammy, sending the Spanish God plummeting one story to the cardboard and mats below. Sammy stayed down for the count, and Matt Hardy got to continue his wrestling career (possibly).

Even without comparing it to the earlier concrete spot, this was a tame bump. Still, there was no way Matt Hardy was going to wrestle any longer than he already had. Sammy could have stood up at the count of one, and I’m sure AEW’s production guys would’ve just aired a freeze frame of this shot while the ref counted to ten off screen:

Bell to bell (to bell to bell) the match lasted barely eight minutes. Most would say that was about seven minutes too long, and that Tony Khan should have ended it after the disastrous botched table spot (the one at All Out, to be specific).

Sure, Khan would’ve had to cook up some far-fetched excuse to allow Hardy to wrestle again. None so far-fetched as the one he went with at All Out, but still….

Maybe Matt could have shown up on Dynamite in a mask as the Midnight Rider or High Voltage or Ingar Jinx. Maybe he could have broken the stipulation outright — it was, after all, a “Broken Rules” match.

The important thing is that, despite falling from a great height, banging his head on concrete, and knocking himself unconscious…

…Matt Hardy avoided a concussion. 

He just didn’t wrestle for the next two months. 

Because he wasn’t medically cleared. 

Because Sammy Guevara attacked his knee off-camera. 

And certainly not because of the fall at All Out

Written by

Art has been writing inductions for WrestleCrap since 2012. He also writes reviews of old Monday Night Raws, posted here every other Sunday. You can find his old reviews at the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
21 Responses to "Induction: Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara – Broken Matt Hardy, literally"
  1. Handsome B. Wonderful says:

    This might be the least worthy wrestlecrap entrance yet. I’m guessing this has been to coddle the whiney E drones who can’t tolerate someone NOT standing up for WWE?

    • Ben says:

      Pretty much. Anything you say against WWE/AEW nowadays and you’re already labeled as a pro-AEW/WWE mark.

      I swear, many wrestling fans are getting dumber by the year.

    • Grebeling says:

      I’m afraid you’re projecting your own biases onto other people. The vast majority of inductions are still WWE and occasionally WCW angles, as they should be given that they’re the two most influential wrestling companies in history. AEW wants to position itself as the main competition now, so it’s only right that it also receives scrutiny for making stupid and in this case dangerous booking decisions. If you’re trying to argue that this angle wouldn’t have been inducted if it was from WWE, you clearly haven’t read many inductions since we’ve had Undertaker vs Goldberg and Brawl for All, and on WCW’s side we had the junkyard battle royal. Plus there was TNA’s ridiculous Sting/Jeff Hardy fiasco.

      Idiotic booking is what it is. Sticking your fingers in your ears and making excuses isn’t helpful, in fact it’s exactly that kind of “please keep feeding me BS” attitude that led TNA to become a laughing stock. Guys like you are a detriment to wrestling.

    • Sam says:

      I would answer if I knew what the fuck you are talking about. Are you more brain damaged than Matt Hardy?

    • Alec says:

      Least deserving Entry?
      Really?

      Regardless of how you feel about either company, a Match where someone nearly died and they didn’t stop it is bad.

      Never mind that the build-up had another head injury (or two).

      This is Crap.
      I’m not a Drone for saying it.
      It just is.

    • Hulk6785 says:

      This is the Least Worthy Wrestlecrap Entrance since Wrestlecrap Entrances aren’t really a thing. Though is is a very worthy Wrestlecrap Induction since, you know, SOMEONE ALMOST FUCKING DIED AND THEY KEPT THE MATCH GOING!!!!

    • Ben says:

      And before dumb skulls especially named Sam try to comment again like a typical aggressive wrestling smark/mark, this match was indeed a Wrestlecrap material. Someone almost died and AEW didn’t have the balls to stop it.

      • Ben says:

        Don’t think I can’t see you pretending to be me with this. At least we agree that it’s a miracle that no one died from this nonsense.

        – the original Ben

    • Handsome B. Wonderful says:

      Ok that was actually a good comeback

  2. Michael Hunt says:

    Then at Full Gear they did a Deletion match where the very first spot was one of them trying to run over the other with a monster truck. Like of all the feuds to do that with.

  3. Colin Oranges says:

    Speaking of gooker nominees, I reckon it’s high time to induct WWE 2K20. It was after all fairly close to ‘winning’ a few years ago and was so bad that they skipped 2K21 and released Battlegrounds instead.

  4. Statistician says:

    STATISTICALLY…….

    This is the 7th induction from 2020. Is this in response to my comment that there aren’t enough inductions from 2020? I hope so.
    This is also the 3rd induction from AEW, and yet thusfar the Nightmare Collective has been spared.
    This match, according to WrestleCrap, was the worst thing to happen to Matt Hardy since his match against Evander Holyfield on that one SNME. I’d question that – I think there’s an induction in his TNA run. He looked at his worst there.
    I’d expect that there would be more inductions for Sammy Guevara in the future. For someone lauded as the next big thing in AEW, his contributions to the company have been way negative. Example: whatever the fuck the TNT Title scene was for a while.

    Tune in next time for inductions that hopefully don’t endanger lives.

  5. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I’m still waiting to see AAA’s Triplemania XXIII – WON’s worst PPV for 2015 featuring the match they awarded worst worked match of 2015…

    Knowing me and my lack of intelligence, it’s been inducted, and I completely missed it…

  6. Handsome B. Wonderful says:

    Yeah you all are right. I retract my previous comment

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