For months, All Elite Wrestling‘s top angle has been the intrigue and suspense behind who the mysterious Exalted One could be. Kicking off in January, Evil Uno of the Dark Order has teased the identity of the group’s off screen leader, but he’s not the only one. AEW as a whole, through Dynamite, Dark and Being the Elite, as well as other avenues, has done a great job leaving the door open for who this person might be. Initial speculation surrounded Christopher Daniels and since, a series of names have been linked to the role, from legends to current roster members and more. Most prominently however, the identity of the Exalted One has been linked to one man in particular, Matt Hardy.
Matt Hardy is a master at his craft. Prior to even leaving WWE, Hardy, whose Twitter bio now reads, “Whereve my #BROKENBrilliance goes, #HouseHardy goes. I AM UNKILLABLE. The MAGIC shall soon be GREATER than EVAH! #FreeTheDELETE” released a video in which he teased joining just about every major wrestling organization under the sun, stating he was “an ELITE performer. I have the POWER and HONOR to make an IMPACT anywhere I show up.” As his final weeks and final story in WWE wrapped up, at the hands of a vicious Randy Orton, Hardy released another video thanking “Dear Dr. RKO” for his role in allowing Hardy to complete his transformation. As was observed about that video, “Dear Dr. RKO” was an acronym that spelled out “Dark Order.”
DEAR DR RKO
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) February 25, 2020
When Matt Hardy left WWE, he took the teases to the next level. Proclaiming himself as in the midst of his second coming, Hardy continued to brilliantly stoke the flames around his free agency on Twitter. He’s teased doing just about everything, including going to NXT, joining NWA and returning to either Ring of Honor or IMPACT Wrestling. Hardy has even mentioned MLW and NJPW in various tweets. Point being, Matt Hardy has utilized ambiguity like it’s his job. That being said, there is one promotion that has seemingly gotten more attention than the others. That of course is AEW.
On February 4th, Matt Hardy tweeted that the “devil was in the details” and that fans should pay very close attention to the next three weeks. Well, over the remainder of the month, various hints were dropped that Hardy was the yet-to-be revealed Exalted One, both by Hardy himself and AEW. Hardy’s first tease came on February 18th, where a tweet he sent out opened with “Against Every Warning,” AKA AEW. Hardy continued to suggest AEW was his new home with further wordplay and on March 7th, AEW did the same, sending out a tweet where the first letter of each line spelled out “MATT HARDY.”
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 7, 2020
As teases continued to take place on AEW TV as well as Being the Elite, Hardy seemed to offer the biggest one yet when the Young Bucks appeared on Free the Delete. Prior to their appearance, in episode nine of the series, Hardy, fighting with his inner spirits, attempted to tell Vanguard 1, “I am exha, I am exha–” before finishing his sentence, “I am exhausted.” In episode 10 of the series, Hardy made a phone call that was revealed in the penultimate episode to be to the Bucks of Youth. With the Young Bucks on the premises of the Hardy Compound, Hardy again was cut off mid-sentence in the midst of another Dark Order tease. Hardy began to say, “I’m about to ascend and bring ord–” before falling to the ground.
Hardy, struggling with the dieties fighting to occupy his vessel, had a premonition in the first episode of the series, that he was buried, only to resurrect having finally regained his broken brilliance. As Hardy said it, only the Bucks of Youth could remove the dying Zenith from his vessel to allow the rebirth of Hardy to happen the way he foretold upon his final WWE appearance. The Bucks, while skeptical at first, did as told and superkicked Hardy before placing him in a coffin and burying him on the episode that aired on March 11th.
Hardy has yet to re-emerge a new man, however, with the finale of Free the Delete coming on Wednesday, it is likely the regeneration will be complete by then. Wednesday, March 18th, should see Matt Hardy return to his broken brilliance and that just so happens to be the day AEW said they’ll finally be revealing the identity of the Exalted One.
But as Matt Hardy is so apt to do, adding to the drama a bit, on Tuesday, he tweeted a particular message “The truth Will be Heard.” On its face, the tweet is pretty innocuous but considering it came just hours after WWE’s account, which some say was hacked, tweeted out the exact same thing, only upside down, is quite suspect. It should be noted as well that the upside down version of that message had two capital letters – M and H.
— Callum Hynd⚡️ 🎃 (@callumhynd_) March 17, 2020
So of course, Hardy had to send one more tweet in the early hours of Wednesday morning, just to help further the confusion and question marks. This time, word play was once again involved as Hardy tweeted a serious of words to describe the newly born Damascus. The first letter of those words spelled out DETLAXE which means nothing. But read that message backwards and it spells “EXALTED.”
At this point, it almost seems too obvious that Matt Hardy is headed to AEW as the Exalted One of the Dark Order. Hardy said what comes on the finale of Free the Delete will be shocking. Would a Dark Order reveal still be shocking even after all the teases? That remains to be seen. Right now, Hardy has to be the front runner as the Exalted One even sounds like Hardy in the way he says “wonderful,” as well as the voice itself sounding like one of the dieties Hardy has been hearing on his web show.
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 18, 2020
The AEW Dark Order reveal is finally here and whether it is Matt Hardy or someone else, there is no doubt excitement around who might be the man behind the voice.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and weekly on Youtube.