2005 saw one of WWE’s most personal and uncomfortable feuds of all time. The Edge, Lita, and Matt Hardy love triangle saw firings, shoot interviews, worked shoot interviews, a blood feud, and perhaps worst of all, it almost ruined the legacy of one of WWE’s most trailblazing female stars.
UPDATE: 2023/08/14 17:10 EST BY ANDREW KELLY
Lita Felt Disconnected To Matt Hardy
Fans are all too aware of the three-way love triangle between Edge, Matt Hardy, and Lita, something that was both present on WWE screens and also going on behind the scenes in a real life feud. With this being such a publicly known scandal and one which bled into storylines on WWE TV, it is fascinating to see what was going on in the heads of those involved, particularly when it comes to Lita, and this will go on to have a look at the reasons why she did what she did, cheating on her boyfriend Matt Hardy with coworker Edge.
Matt Hardy’s History With Edge And Lita
Matt and Jeff Hardy began their careers in WWE at around the same time as Edge, who later took Christian to be his partner. The four ended up as close friends and traveled the roads together. Lita started her WWE career as the manager of Esse Rios, but she left him and soon joined Matt and Jeff as Team Xtreme. Lita and Matt began dating and their relationship strengthened.
Meanwhile, the Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian became the hottest tag teams in WWE and their feud with the Dudley Boyz was one of the best in WWE history. However, when the feud ended, The Hardy Boyz broke up and went their separate way as singles. This is when things got rough for Matt.
Lita Cheated On Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy and Lita began dating in 1999, and by 2004, cracks were showing in the relationship. When Matt Hardy took off the road for over a year thanks to a severe knee injury, Lita began traveling with her and Matt’s close friend, Edge. While Matt was off the road, Lita began an affair with Edge. Edge was married at the time and Lita was still with Matt, creating a very uncomfortable situation. When Matt Hardy found out about Edge and Lita’s affair, he made the whole thing public, going to the internet to air out all their dirty laundry. WWE released Matt Hardy from his contract because of unprofessional conduct on social media.
Since the affair had become public, WWE fans made their feeling known to Edge and Lita, with the fans taking Hardy’s side. WWE crowds would jeer at Edge and Lita on screen, with Edge getting chants of “We Want Matt!” and “You Screwed Matt!” while Lita fared much worse and got some truly disgusting thing chanted at her.
With this real-life drama now affecting the shows, WWE had to pivot their plans and use the real-life heat on Edge and Lita to make them a hated on-screen duo. Fans rallied around Matt Hardy online, and a petition saw 15,000 fans wanting Hardy to get his job back. During this time, Edge and Lita had leaned into their real-life heat and their electric chemistry saw them become Raw’s hottest heels.
The Real-Life Drama Eventually Became A Storyline
The Edge/Lita/Hardy drama was one of the most talked-about events in all wrestling. Hardy was getting main event-level reactions from WWE fans despite not even being in the company, with his name being chanted on Raw every week. These were terrible real-life circumstances, but if they played their cards right, all three could use this situation to propel them into becoming bigger stars. While Matt Hardy was wrestling in Ring of Honor and the independent scene, he would make unscripted unannounced calls into WWE Byte This, a web exclusive show, and would tear into Edge and Lita. This situation was blending kayfabe and reality closer than perhaps any other storyline in WWE history.
On July 11, 2005, Matt Hardy made his shocking return to WWE attacking Edge backstage. During the attack, Matt shouted at Edge, calling him by his real name, Adam, and that he and Amy (Lita) would pay for their actions. This caused uproar amongst fans, with many being uncertain if this whole thing was a work or a shoot. WWE re-signed Matt Hardy after weeks of similar beatdowns. This led to Matt Hardy cutting a worked shoot on Edge and Lita on Raw. This promo, which in theory could have pushed Matt Hardy into the main event, was a disaster. You could feel Hardy’s stock plummeting with every second. He was rambling; he didn’t sound confident and had a bizarre line about wanting Edge to die in a car accident.
Matt Hardy Didn’t Become A Main Event Wrestler In The End
WWE seemed to lose faith in Hardy after the promo. He was the innocent party in all of this, but most weeks it was Edge and Lita who were getting the upper hand. Edge and Hardy’s first match against each other was at SummerSlam 2005, which Edge won. Then there was a Street Fight on Raw which ended in a no contest. Hardy got his only victory in the feud at Unforgiven 2005 in a fantastic Cage Match and their last match came at Raw Homecoming in a Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match. Edge won the match and won the entire feud, with Hardy never really getting his proper revenge.
Edge, Lita, and Matt Hardy all said they were uncomfortable during the feud and would have rather not done it. Edge and Lita’s real-life relationship was over before any of this had hit TV, and Lita and Matt tried to reconcile after the Edge affair, but the pressure on both of them made everything impossible. It was uncomfortable to watch, but Edge, Lita, and Matt Hardy deserve respect for turning a horrible situation into one of the most memorable WWE storylines in recent history.
How Did The Lita/Edge/Matt Hardy Saga Affect WWE’s Storylines?
Whilst Lita was still in a relationship with Hardy, she would enter a storyline with Kane. Kane became infatuated with Lita, stalking her and kidnapping her. It all escalated to the point where he would win a match against Hardy that earned him the right to marry her. The story between Kane and Lita took many twists and turns over several months, including infamously bad moments such as when Lita had a miscarriage (that she wanted to have due to it being Kane’s child) and when Snitsky kicked a “baby” into the crowd. This was a storyline that developed for many months, and it got to the stage that Lita seemingly sided with Kane and fell in love as he became a babyface. However, the issues regarding Lita and her relationships outside of the ring caused a change in all these plans.
WWE made the executive decision to capitalize on the publicity created with the situation regarding Hardy and Edge, and this led them to dropping the partnership between Lita and Kane. After months of being held captive by the monster, Lita turned heel (yes, the logic of this still makes little sense) and aligned with Edge. This ignited a short-term feud between Kane and Edge, which saw Kane gain a win on PPV at the Vengeance event. This put an end to Kane’s role in this angle, as Hardy returned and ignited his feud with Edge.
Lita Has Explained Her Reasoning Behind Cheating On Matt Hardy
Lita has opened up about this whole situation since it happened, and when she spoke on Making Their Way To The Ring podcast with Lillian Garcia, she discussed her mindset at the time, and that she and Matt Hardy didn’t necessarily have any huge issues, she realized that they were not going to progress in their relationship, which likely opened the doors for her doing what she did. She explained how they were disconnected a little, and this is when things started to happen with Edge.
“So when Adam and I started to bond on such a deeper level as well as having the creative outlet with our careers and stuff, both of us, we were kind of like – Oh sh*t! Like once we started to realize we were more than just two bros just hanging out. So the hard thing that has always been with this time period is we realized we were going down a path that we shouldn’t and what I mean by that is mentally.”
She talked about their initial kiss and the backlash of everyone finding out. Lita revealed her regret and the sorries she gave out to Edge’s wife, and touched on the locker room reaction too.
“For the most part, every woman in that locker room judged me. Each of the other wrestlers’ wives, the boys judged me, but as shameful as they acted towards me, I was punishing myself even worse. I was like you’re terrible, how could you do this to everyone involved? So I just felt like I deserved everything I got and more. I just felt so bad about it.” (h/t WrestleZone)
Where Are Edge, Matt Hardy, And Lita Now?
After the feud ended, Lita stuck with Edge as he won more world titles. Lita remained his manager until 2006 when she finally retired from WWE and left professional wrestling. However, she has made various returns to WWE and most recently returned to help Becky Lynch win a steel cage match against Bayley on Raw.
In 2013, Edge moved into a relationship with another wrestler, this time Beth Phoenix. Edge had already retired by this time after breaking his neck, and the two grew their marriage without worrying about their wrestling personas and they now have two daughters. They also have had a couple of mixed tag team matches together, most recently at Elimination Chamber 2023 where they won against Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor of The Judgment Day.
Matt Hardy ended up reuniting with Jeff Hardy and were having a nice nostalgia-fueled run until Jeff was arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence). Matt is still wrestling to this day in AEW. He ended up marrying wrestler Reby Sky in 2013, and the couple has four kids of their own.