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WWE issues statement on Matt Hardy's contract expiring

WWE officially acknowledged this afternoon that Matt Hardy's contract has expired.

The company wrote in a statement that was posted on WWE.com:

Matt Hardy’s contract with WWE has expired.

A trailblazer throughout his 19-year WWE career, Matt and his brother Jeff pioneered the first tag team Ladder and TLC Matches in WWE, stealing the show at WrestleMania on several occasions. Matt, who competed in his first WWE match in 1994, captured nine tag team titles with Jeff, in addition to two other reigns with MVP and Bray Wyatt. 

He is also a former ECW, United States, European, Cruiserweight and Hardcore champion, and he won the Fifth Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 34. 

But Matt is perhaps most revered for the uncanny connection he has cultivated with the WWE Universe over the years, even as his character has transformed. From a gravity-defying daredevil willing to take any and all risks to becoming one of the most eccentric personas ever seen as “Woken” Matt Hardy, all incarnations had one thing in common -- the adoration of WWE fans.

WWE thanks Matt Hardy for his contributions to sports-entertainment and the WWE Universe and wishes him the best in his future endeavors.

This follows a video posted late Sunday evening where Hardy talked about his contract status. He said that his contract was set to expire on March 1st and has opted to let his contract expire and become a free agent.  He stated that WWE was his home and was treated well, and he can’t say enough good things about the company.

He said that it was time to take a break. When it comes to his creative outlook, he and WWE “are on different pages." He said that he is positive that one day he will return to WWE, but right now is weighing his options.

Both Matt and his brother Jeff returned to the WWE at WrestleMania 33, winning the Raw Tag Team titles in a ladder match. Matt became a singles wrestler again after Jeff Hardy became inactive due to a torn rotator cuff. He soon adopted his “broken” persona used during runs with Impact and Ring of Honor, becoming “Woken” Matt Hardy. He teamed with Bray Wyatt briefly before taking time off in July 2018 due to back issues.

The Hardy Boyz returned to WWE in February 2019 and won the SmackDown Tag Team titles shortly after WrestleMania 35. However, Jeff Hardy announced he would take time off due to a knee injury, with both being written out after Lars Sullivan attacked them.

After appearing sporadically throughout the rest of 2019, Matt had returned to WWE television in recent weeks and confronted Randy Orton regarding his attack on Edge. Orton assaulted Matt on the February 17 edition of Raw, writing him out of storylines.

Jeff Hardy remains under contract and will appear on this Tuesday's episode of WWE Backstage.