What is there to say about The Final Deletion that hasn’t already been said by a bajillion other internet wrestling fans? Like a lot of people I saw that contract signing with the thrown baby and was like, “Ha ha ha…TNA,” but there was something about me that pulled me in. I saw the preview for The Final Deletion with fire and fireworks and Jeff Hardy in a tree and was like and thought it was going to be a total trainwreck and so I decided to watch it, but something funny happened.
Between all the bumps on grandma’s kitchen table and Senor Benjamin giving a baby a xylophone, the Brothers Hardy told a fairly compelling (and surprisingly straightforward) story. Matt, frustrated that he could never beat his brother, becomes broken and goes to ever further extremes to best Jeff. Behind the army of aerial assault robots and revenge landscaping it’s a pretty classic feud. It’s Bret and Owen Hart. It’s Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty.
This all culminates with The Final Deletion: a match held in the Hardy’s backyard in the same ring it all began in. Now for those of you looking for a mat classic, you won’t find it here. The actual in ring segment of the match consists of some clotheslines and scoop slams and random bumps into plunder before the Hardys launch fireworks at each other and fight across their property for the remainder of the bout.
What makes this match great isn’t “workrate” but rather the uniqueness of it. First you have the fact that the match is taking place outside and has the Hardys making use of the natural landscape around them. I know DDT in Japan has done this a few times contesting bouts at the beach or in the mountains bereft of a ring, but in mainstream American wrestling nothing of this sort has ever taken place before. Seeing someone do a swanton bomb out of a tree is something I’d never seen before, and in wrestling to do something that no one has seen before is quite a feat indeed. The match was filmed in a much more cinematic way than your average wrestling match providing a sense of gravitas that few matches have. There’s no announcing at all during the match. No one calling the action. Instead the match is scored like a final showdown in a summer blockbuster movie. Lucha Underground uses a similar style with their backstage segments which I honestly like a lot more than what WWE does with their backstage stuff, but again I don’t think any matches have been presented like this.
Of all the wrestling matches that have taken place in the history of this great sport, very few, good or bad, are talked much about after the fact. I think that The Final Deletion will be one of those rare matches that people talk about years from now, if for nothing else but the fact that it taught us that “It takes a lot of fuel to delete a Brother Nero.”