Matt Hardy has revealed that Vince McMahon once told him it was just human instinct to want to eat someone in a wheelchair. Yes really.
Prior to SummerSlam 2005, Edge and Matt Hardy were locked in a feud that was much more about fact than fiction. Earlier in the year, it had become public knowledge that Edge was having an actual affair with Hardy’s longtime partner, Lita.
Amid the chaos, Hardy was released from his contract before being brought back. Upon his return, the real-life drama between him and Edge was thrust into the forefront of WWE television.
With fans unsure of what was “work” and what was “shoot,” the match at SummerSlam was arguably the most anticipated match on the card.
Speaking on his podcast, The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the now AEW star reflected on preparing for the event. Hardy recalled a meeting with Vince McMahon before the game where he read the rioting act to both men, warning them not to let their real anger get the better of the game.
McMahon then broke down the psychology of the match and how he wanted the action to play out. This led to a bizarre analogy where he claimed that human instinct means that when someone sees another individual in a wheelchair, they want to eat them.
“So it’s not going to be a long game. I want to describe this as an MMA fight. It’s like a UFC fight, right? I don’t want to see any hokey*t wrestling bullshit. [This] is going to be like a fight a short and effective fight. Matt’s here, scaring the hell out of you. You’re total shit, Adam, so Matt kicks your ass the whole game.
So you have a place, right? You have a pick spot where Edge hits a lucky shot and then Matt hits the post, right? All of a sudden, his face is a crimson mask, and he’s bleeding all over, and that’s where you can take advantage, is that what you have? “Yeah, that’s what we have. We told him in detail what we were talking about doing, and he said, “Okay, great.” I’m going to explain something to you both now, that’s really what I want to see.
It’s basic psychology. This may sound crazy to you. But I did many, many studies on the basic psychology of human beings and animals. He said, ‘Have you ever seen two animals in the wild – in the wild realm, when they go to fight? Have you ever seen an animal hurt another animal? When he hurts this animal and the animal starts to bleed, and he smells the blood, he gets bigger, he swells, he [growling noise], and he just wants to kill the other animal? Do you know what I’m talking about?
He said, ‘Listen to me, these are your primary instincts. It might sound crazy, but when two animals — primal instincts come into play and survival comes into play, and those are their basic primal instincts, and we all have them, even as humans. If you see someone weaker than you, you see someone crippled or in a wheelchair, deep down in your primary instinct, you want to destroy them, you want to eat them, you want to eat them alive!
This is what we do. This is what human beings do to each other. It is our basic primary instinct. When you look at a primitive human being and the psychology behind it, it’s our instincts. You want to take the person who is weaker than you, who is below you in the food chain, and you want to fucking EAT THEM! Do you understand?! That’s what I want to see in this game. »
Understandably, Hardy and Edge were freaked out by the surreal monologue, but later realized McMahon was just trying to bring them closer.
“Adam and I now, we were so freaked out by Vince’s monologue, we were sitting next to each other almost like cuddled, ‘What the fuck?! Yeah, we We’ll follow this through. Thank you very much, boss. As time went by, Adam and I think that Vince brought us there and he tried to scare us into bonding. together. Give us something to say and really like, we were on this page. Everything about this match was super professional.
But, Vince has gone crazy. He told us: “If you [have] never seen a crippled person or a person in a wheelchair, you want to eat them. This is the quote. He said: “It’s the basic instincts, the human psychology, we at the core.” I swear to God, Adam and I have said many times since then, man. Maybe he just did that, to really try to give us something to say – how crazy he was and that was the psychology behind it that helped us bond going into this game.
At SummerSlam, Edge was declared the winner of the match after the referee stopped the match. The feud continued until early October when Edge won a ‘Loser Leaves Raw’ Ladder Match, banning his rival to SmackDown.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.