Matt Hardy Talks About Infamous WWE No Mercy 99 Ladder Match
The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian changed the WWE forever on that night
When WWE booked the Terri Invitational Tournament in 1999, little did they know how much the outcome would change the course of wrestling history, with the finals seeing Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boys battle in the first ever Tag Team Ladder Match in WWE history, revolutionising the business in the process.
The match made overnight stars of the two teams, and its significance is not lost on Matt Hardy, who said the following on the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast:
“If that match turns out being a disaster in any capacity, we don’t continue to do more things,” Hardy said. “You don’t see table matches, you don’t see TLC matches, you don’t see those amazing memories from WrestleMania 16 and 17. They don’t exist, they don’t materialise, they don’t happen. You also don’t see the tag team division become as over as it did at the time too. That spoke volumes about how successful that match was that myself, my brother, Edge and Christian and the Dudleys were able to raise the equity of the tag team division in WWE.
“People know too, Vince McMahon isn’t a tag team wrestling person. The way he looks at things, ‘I need singles stars who can be my world champion and that’s what people are invested in’. If he ever gets a tag team that becomes extremely over like mad, he’s just looking to break those guys up and turn them into singles stars. It’s just his mindset, that’s one of the things I love about The Young Bucks, they want to be a tag team forever. That was mine and Jeff’s mindset at the time. Even looking back at that match with Edge and Christian, they may have separated that night and they didn’t. We wanted to take tag team wrestling and elevate it to the highest level that we possibly could.”
Hardy continued, thanking Vince McMahon for the opportunity: “I will always be grateful to Vince McMahon for trusting kids to go out there and have this No Mercy ladder match. He gave us that opportunity, that can’t be stated enough. If it wasn’t for him allowing us and trusting us, this match could have been okay or alright, but it ended up being exceptional.”
The match was an instant hit, and the next night on Raw, the two teams met in the ring for a mutual show of respect: “I think it was very smart, and I would imagine this was a Vince call,” Hardy said. “Vince read the room correctly. Following that match, it’s new era of wrestling where fans were starting to dictate what they enjoyed more and they were going to start to dictate who gets over courtesy of their work rate. There were always times where WWE would push someone and they would force or manufacture some type of superstar on the fans, and sometimes they would buy into it. We’re getting into that period where enough people understand wrestling that they can’t really manufacture a superstar, it has to happen organically.
“That’s what happened that night, I think Vince knew myself, my brother, Edge and Christian were going to be extremely respected, people dug into our work ethic and we did some groundbreaking stuff that night before. He did that call to shake hands and have a mutual respect for each other and I think that was the correct call. Going forward, I actually pitched initially, my idea was to have us together as a group and work against DX, and I wanted our group to be Version 1 of the Hardys and Edge and Christian. That’s initially where I came up with the Version 1 concept, Version 1 of the prototypes of wrestlers that you’re going to see in the future. That didn’t end up happening.”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.