FEUD OF THE YEAR: THE YOUNG BUCKS VS. THE HARDYS
Matt and Jeff Hardy are pioneers of modern tag team wrestling and have been winning championships in major promotions for nearly 20 years. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) admittedly were inspired by The Hardys in terms of in-ring style and have been winning championships domestically and internationally for nearly a decade.
In 2016, The Hardys -- who had unlocked their “broken brilliance” -- and The Young Bucks were the two hottest tag teams in the sport. Fans dreamed of a match between the iconic tandems but it seemed impossible since they worked for different companies.
However, after engaging in a war of words with the Young Bucks on social media, Matt Hardy shocked the wrestling word when he appeared via video at the Final Battle pay-per-view in December 2016 immediately following The Young Bucks’ successful defense of the ROH World Tag Team Titles against The Briscoes. Matt Hardy warned The Young Bucks that the Hardys were coming for them, setting up the 2017 Feud of the Year!
MOMENT OF THE YEAR: THE HARDYS’ SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT MANHATTAN MAYHEM
On March 4 at Manhattan Mayhem VI, Matt Hardy made good on his warning. The sold-out crowd inside the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City gasped as the lights went off after The Young Bucks had successfully defended their ROH World Tag Team Titles against Jay White and Lio Rush. When the lights came back on, the now-murmuring crowd erupted with a roar that filled the building.
In a surreal moment that will go down as one of the most memorable in ROH history, The Young Bucks were standing face to face with The Hardys. Matt Hardy took the microphone and outlined his and his brother Jeff’s intentions. An impromptu challenge for the titles was accepted by The Young Bucks, and the dream match became reality through a twist of fate (pun intended).
After some back-and-forth action, Matt Hardy hit a Twist of Fate, Jeff Hardy followed with a Swanton Bomb, and just like that The Hardys were the new ROH World Tag Team Champions.
MATCH OF THE YEAR: THE YOUNG BUCKS VS. THE HARDYS IN A LADDER MATCH AT SUPERCARD OF HONOR XI
After The Hardys successfully defended their newly won titles against The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) in a three-way Las Vegas Street Fight at the 15th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 10, The Hardys and The Young Bucks took their fierce rivalry to new heights with a much-anticipated ladder match before a record crowd at Supercard of Honor XI on April 1 in Lakeland, Fla.
It’s well-documented that ladder matches have been The Hardys’ speciality for decades, but The Young Bucks are no strangers to ladder matches themselves. In fact, at the All Star Extravaganza pay-per-view in September 2016, The Young Bucks defeated The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) and The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) in Ladder War VI to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
At Supercard of Honor XI, the atmosphere was electric as the Hardys and Young Bucks pulled out all the stops -- as well as a bunch of ladders and tables. Some of the many highlights of the match included Nick Jackson hitting a 450 Splash off the top rope to put Jeff Hardy through a table outside the ring; Matt Hardy tipping over a ladder with Nick Jackson on top, causing Nick to flip over the top rope and onto Matt Jackson, who was lying on a table outside the ring; and Matt Hardy tipping over a ladder to send Matt Jackson flying over the top rope and through a table.
The climax of the match saw two ladders side by side in the ring, with The Young Bucks on top of one and The Hardys on top of the other. After a struggle, The Young Bucks simultaneously super-kicked The Hardys off the ladders and then pulled down the belts that were hanging above the ring to become three-time ROH World Tag Team Champions.
After the match, Matt Hardy grabbed a microphone and told The Young Bucks that they are the best tag team The Hardys have ever faced. Having just been through a war together, The Hardys and The Young Bucks then shook hands and embraced, demonstrating what “honor” is all about following the ROH Match of the Year!