Matt Hardy comments on if wrestling is hotter in 2023 than during the Attitude Era

During his podcast, AEW star and WWE Hall of Famer Matt Hardy commented on if wrestling is hotter in 2023 than during the Attitude Era…

“When you talk about during the Attitude Era, in the late 90s, obviously, as compared to now, the early 2020s, first half of the 2020s, wrestling is really, really good now beyond the shadow of doubt. It’s just, I think it’s very different, the way you judge the parameters of the entire wrestling industry. I think if you look back to the Attitude Era, it was more ingrained in pop culture. I think that people in America, you might even say North America, were much more aware of pro wrestling and it was like, cool, it was trendy, but it was very different. Now it is so much larger on a global scale. Sure, we got huge numbers where 7 million, 8 million, 9 million people, how many people would watch wrestling, you know, on any given Monday night back then, but it was very different. I mean, there were only 40 television channels then or whatever, you know, it was much, much smaller as far as the things you could watch and your choices.”

“If you fast forward 25 years later, you know, now you have thousands of channels just on cable. You have all these streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, whatever it may be. There’s so much content out there. Now wrestling is also taken in and absorbed in such a different way. It’s consumed now in so many different forms. Some people watch it on live TV. A lot of people just only solely watch it on DVR. A lot of people stream it on whatever their device is. So there are many different ways to watch it and I think right now compared to then, it isn’t as ingrained in pop culture as it was in the late 90s, but it’s also much more well -received and much more known about and people are aware of pro wrestling currently around the globe because so many people sit here and they live on their devices. This is where they watch their pro wrestling. They watch WrestleMania here. They watch All Out here. They watch all their events right here on their smart device.”

“I don’t think wrestling is hotter now than it was in the late 90s, but I do think wrestling has a much more sprawling impact around the globe and I think it has the chance and ability to become hotter now than it was back then. I think that’s where we’re at right now. I think many more people consume pro wrestling in this day and age in so many different ways and you can’t keep those numbers, but back then it was just a little bit hotter at that time because it was truly a part of pop culture. That is something that is really hard to do.”

“Now, it’s much more of a niche industry, as most everything is. There are so many things out there. There’s so much entertainment to choose from and everything is almost niche and has a very certain audience. That’s why I am a huge advocate of saying, we have to appeal to more casual fans. I think casual fans are the way to grow pro wrestling in the big scheme of things. I mean, the people that are wrestling fans, they’re gonna tune in and they’re gonna watch wrestling because they love it. They can complain, they can bitch, they can moan, but they’re gonna they’re gonna tune in, they’re gonna watch it, because they love pro wrestling, and they have to get their fix, so to say, but I think we need to continue to try and build people that are crossover stars that appeal to the casual audience, and especially speaking about AEW. WWE, obviously they’re taking some great steps in the way they’re doing the thing with Logan Paul, the way they’re doing stuff with Bad Bunny, because that does cross over and they get good casual fans to tune in and I think they have a real successful formula going on currently.”

“I think pro wrestling was hotter in the 90s overall, but I think we’re at a point right now where it can supersede that if we continue to go in this direction we’re going in. I think the rivalry between WWE and AEW, I think the things both company or companies are doing, the way they’re going, I think we are able to reach a point in the future if things continue to trend upward, if they take the same upward projection, I think wrestling can become hotter than it was in the 90s.” (quotes courtesy of