Matt Hardy is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand.
Along with his real-life brother Jeff, Matt gained notoriety in WWF’s tag team division due to the Hardys’ participation in tables, ladders, and chairs matches. As a tag team wrestler, he is a 14-time world tag team champion, having held six WWF/World Tag Team Championships, three WWE/Raw Tag Team Championships, one SmackDown Tag Team Championship, one ROH World Tag Team Championship, one WCW Tag Team Championship and two TNA World Tag Team Championships.
Wrestling in three separate decades, Hardy has managed to keep himself relevant through a variety of different gimmicks, character changes as well as his use of social media. In 2002, Hardy began a solo career in WWE and his subsequent “Version 1” persona was named Best Gimmick by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Hardy’s eccentric “Broken” gimmick, which he debuted in 2016, earned him multiple awards and praise from wrestling critics, including a second Best Gimmick award (in 2017, the character was renamed “Woken” within WWE). As a singles wrestler, Hardy is a three-time world champion, winning two TNA World Heavyweight Championships and one ECW Championship.
– D.O.B.: Sept. 23, 1974
– Billed height: 6-foot-2
– Billed weight: 236 pounds
– Billed from: Cameron, North Carolina
– Signature moves: Twist of Fate, Side Effect
– WWE main roster debut: May 23, 1994
– Six-time world tag team champion (with Jeff Hardy); first win on June 29, 1999 (Monday Night Raw)
– Three-time WWE/Raw tag team champion (with MVP, with Jeff Hardy, with Bray Wyatt); first win on Aug. 28, 2007 (SmackDown)
– One-time SmackDown tag team champion (with Jeff Hardy); won on April 9, 2019 (SmackDown)
– One-time WCW tag team champion (with Jeff Hardy)
– One-time United States champion; won on April 27, 2008
– One-time WWE ECW champion; won on Sept. 7, 2008
– One-time WWE cruiserweight champion; won on Fab. 23, 2003
– One-time WWE European champion; won on April 24, 2001
– One-time WWE Hardcore champion; won on April 24, 2000
– One-time Ring of Honor tag team champion
– Two-time TNA (Impact Wrestling) heavyweight champion
– Two-time TNA (Impact Wrestling) tag team champion
Reby is Matt Hardy’s wife, and is a model, actress, television personality, dancer, and professional wrestler. She was lead designer for the machine and in charge of the graphic design and creative aspects of the pinball machine. She was “The Boss”.
Brian was the builder and programmer for the pinball machine, and tasked with graphic design and audio editing.
Willie J Smith
Willie did the hand drawn artwork for playfield and plastics.
Robb provided custom voice callouts.
James created the original design of Hardy head entrance on the left ball ramp.
Antoni created the cabinet artwork.
Jeff Hardy, Matt’s brother and tag team wrestler, provided game callouts.
Matt Hardy’s Expedition of Gold Pinball Machine is a retheme of Mustang by Stern Pinball, originally released in 2014. Check out the before and after pictures!
“H-A-R-D-Y” Drop Targets
Interactive “Flying” Vanguard 1
D-E-L-E-T-E-! Game Carry Over Feature Spell-Out in Back Panel
Ramps Featuring Actuated UV Reactive Powder Coated Entrances
360 Degree Bonus Bowl at the Right Ramp Exit
Hardy Logo Spinning Target
Blacklight Reactive Elements
Plasma Pop Bumper
Two “Wrestle” Rectangular Stand-Up Targets
Illusion Purple Powder Coated Legs with LED Leg Light-Ups
Check out the Topper in action below!
Plus Custom DMD Graphics, Mode Selectable Entrance Music – All of Matt Hardy’s Theme Songs, Actual Match Sounds, “Bonus Bowl” Captive Ball Feature, 103 Custom Playfield Icon Inserts Featuring Controlled LEDs, Matt Hardy “Matt Facts”, and More!
- Compete as Matt Hardy by Fighting for 8 Different Championship Titles!
- Take Down the “H-A-R-D-Y” Drop Targets to Wrestle Your Way Into MATTITUDE MULTIBALL
- Shoot Around the Playfield to Earn Wrestling Moves, Finishers, and Power-Ups
- Advance Through the Challenges to Make it to WRESTLEMANIA, a No Holds Barred Battle to Become WOKEN
This Week in Pinball: How did you come up with the idea for gifting Matt Hardy a pinball machine?
Reby Hardy: I’m big into customizing things in our home; we’ve got a multicade with a completely custom cabinet that features our family & I “re-themed” my Stern Playboy to include only my Playboy photos, so when Brian approached me with the possibility of creating a custom pinball machine, I jumped at the chance. Since our home arcade is wrestling themed, I figured a game to chronicle Matt’s career would be perfect for the space.
TWIP: How long did it take to plan and create the machine?
Brian Soares: The short answer is nearly 2 years. It took about a month of back and forth to come up with a general plan. I was initially thinking just a Gottlieb wedgehead like the NY Yankees and many others I had done, but Reby wanted more. So I suggested and pushed hard for something similar to the Gottlieb Cactus Jack’s based Bruce Springsteen and Cincinnati Reds games I had done, but Reby still wanted more. This led me to investigate games that could be updated with a Pinsound board or Pinball Browser software. After narrowing the donor to maybe 3 titles we settled on a Stern Mustang pro mainly for the layout and fast action. Reby was happy she was getting a game with a DMD. I spent a few months getting the general game play figured out. I needed to learn pinball browser, converting Mustang game terms and callouts to wrestling moves, Mustang car modes to Matt’s championship titles, make a master sound matrix to cross reference existing Mustang audio for swapping, etc. Now the fun part…what was it going to look like? This is where Reby really came in….
Reby: Nearly two years! I’ve had a few people ask exactly what the occasion the gift was for & it was initially supposed to be for Christmas of last year! I wanted this project to be the best pinball re-theme ever, so I kept adding features & artwork & modifications, which took way longer than initially expected. Having two toddlers, occasionally going on the road & having a business to run didn’t leave as much time as I would have liked to work on the game, but I’m glad we took our time on it all. It was definitely worth it in the end.
TWIP: Is it true that Dirty Donny was considered for the artwork?
Reby: I’m a huge fan of his work & he was my first choice. I had contacted him thinking he’d probably never get back to me, but he was super responsive & willing to come on board! I felt like the luckiest person in the world & it would have been such an honor to have him work on our game, but unfortunately, it ended up not working out financially.
TWIP: How long were you able to keep it a secret from Matt and what was his reaction when you finally told him about it?
Reby: We went nearly a good year without spilling the beans. After a while, though, it was becoming more difficult to explain why I always had to leave the room when my phone rang & why I kept asking random questions about his favorite titles, favorite gear, etc.; stuff that I’m normally not all that interested in! He could definitely tell I was up to something & I decided it would make more sense to just tell him instead of stressing myself out trying to keep the secret. He was super pumped when I came clean, almost in disbelief.
TWIP: Was creating the machine easier or more difficult after Matt knew it was coming?
Reby: The weight that was lifted certainly made things easier on my end! Him being in the loop with what was going on also made things easier in terms of adding extra personal touches. I was able to professionally record him performing sound bytes for the game & could ask him more in depth questions without having to beat around the bush as to why. The only downside was repeatedly having to deny him the sneak peeks he’d ask for!
TWIP: What was a portion of creating the machine that initially you thought wouldn’t be too difficult but ended up being a bigger hurdle than expected?
Brian: Pinball browser allowed me to edit and create the program currently used in the game. The most difficult part for me was the availability of memory in the original game code. I didn’t fully grasp this when I started the project. All of the DMD animations needed to be changed and nearly every change consumes memory. Raster image changes were “free”, but all the rest had a negative affect. Ideally I would have included even more images than I did, but it just wasn’t possible.
Reby: I would have definitely liked to have gone a little crazier in the DMD animations department, but we would have had to sacrifice other aspects of the game; callouts, game modes, etc. & we decided that those were more important to the game as a whole than a few extra flashy screen graphics.
TWIP: How much interest has there been in the project since it was revealed to the world?
Reby: I was expecting at least part of the pinball community to come after me with pitchforks, but the responsive has been a pleasant surprise of overwhelmingly positive feedback! I know a lot of folks are iffy about re-themes, but I do believe that we did both the subject of the re-theme & the original game justice with this project. This wasn’t a half-assed, stick-a-decal-over-the-playfield type of thing & I think pinball enthusiasts can appreciate the amount of thought, work & love that went into the game.
TWIP: Now that Matt has had it for a little while, how is he liking the game? Does he have a favorite feature or part of the game?
Reby: The game is really special in that every time you play it, you discover something new, so he’s really enjoying slowly learning all the different modes & discovering new sounds & shots to make. His favorite part of the game is hearing our son say, “DELETE DELETE DELETE !” when a certain target is hit.
TWIP: Were there any features that you wanted to add but it didn’t work out?
Reby: As I touched on a bit earlier, I would have loved to include more DMD animations. Other than that, the game truly is exactly how I envisioned it to be & included nearly everything that I wanted to feature. It really is a tribute to Matt & his career & it’s hard to imagine it could have turned out any better than it did.
TWIP: Are there any plans for future software updates?
Brian: Not currently. I have made a few tweaks for missed call outs or messages that Reby has found, but that has been it.
Reby: Right. A few callouts here & there. Anything further would all depend on what the future holds for Matt Hardy himself.. A new theme song, perhaps? I don’t think it would involve anything major. Like I said, this game is pretty close to perfect in my eyes.
TWIP: What was your favorite and least favorite part of creating the game?
Brian: Working with Reby Hardy! When I started the project I had made about 50 custom games at that point, but I had never worked with anyone like her and I mean this as the greatest compliment. She pushed me from day 1 to take things to the next level. She would call or message me with an idea and I’d think she was crazy. Sometimes I would tell her that too! I’d go off and think about it maybe for a few days and then figure out a way we could do it. She was really into mods and the process of coming up with new things was a lot of fun. Whether it was adding UV sensitive powder coating to the ramp or translucent yellow plastics so the game would glow under all her black lights, the lighted custom Matt Hardy hinge covers I made myself or backlit apron mini translights it was really all her creativity. I remember her calling me from a toy store in NC one day wanting to buy a mini drone to pay tribute to Vanguard 1, but I told her to hold off. Nearly a year later I saw a JJP “Dialed In” drone and thought that is what we need! So getting that piece and figuring out how to activate it during game play was a cool thing for me. Overall though without her attention to every exacting detail the project wouldn’t have been as successful as it turned out.
Reby: I loved the creative process as a whole. I wanted to stay true to traditional pinball style but add my own flair to it & I think we accomplished that! I loved bringing people from all different realms of art & entertainment together; musicians, artists, voice actors, etc. Working with Brian was an amazing experience because I think we just clicked. This project wouldn’t have been possible with just anyone; we worked really well together & he was open to all of my crazy ideas & honored them without ever being condescending or letting any ego get in the way, which I feel like is a rarity for collaborations, especially when working with someone with his experience. I’ve never designed a pinball game in my life & he was willing to let me take full control of the reigns design-wise & I’m really grateful that we had such a great working relationship with mutual respect. My least favorite part was paying everyone LOL. It was all very well deserved, though. Worth every penny.
TWIP: How has this game compared to past game builds you have done?
Brian: This game is in another league in terms of complexity when compared to any of the my past game builds. Adding the software, game modes, etc., significantly changed the level in terms of building the game. Without my past experiences though I don’t believe this game would have been possible.
Reby: Yeah, don’t try this at home, folks!
TWIP: Are there any plans to publicly stream the gameplay?
Reby: I would love to, especially after the amazing response the game has gotten from just the website, hardypinball.com! I’m really proud of this game & would love for wrestling & pinball fans alike to get to experience & appreciate it. It would be a real treat for Hardy Boyz fans in particular; hardcore wrestling fans would definitely be able to appreciate the little details & nods to different eras. I’d love to be able to build another & take it on the road 😉
For more information on this pinball machine, check out www.hardypinball.com.
For more incredible work from Brian Soares, check out his websites: