'Woken' Matt Hardy finally arrived on this week's WWE Raw, and the character is already generating massive interest online.
Hardy's debut vignette surpassed 1 million YouTube views in a single day, and currently sits at 1.5 million, marking it as a viral success. The video also made the site's top 25 trending videos on Tuesday, and more people are now searching for Matt's name than his brother Jeff's for the first time since 2005 (as per Google Trends).
These numbers show that while the gimmick had lain dormant since the 'Broken' Hardys departed Impact Wrestling in February, the hype hasn't diminished one bit, and the brothers' legal wranglings with their former employers hasn't blunted the audience's enthusiasm.
The fans aren't the only ones enamoured with 'Woken' Matt, though. Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso has written that Vince McMahon himself is a huge advocate of the character, and has given Hardy full creative control over the gimmick's direction. The Chairman reportedly sees it as a great opportunity to cash-in on a popular, well established character, and seemingly trusts Matt's direction.
Impact still technically own the old 'Broken Universe' intellectual property, but ended their legal pursuit last week, and could yet strike a deal with the Hardys.