The battle between the Hardys and Anthem Entertainment/Impact Wrestling over ownership of the “Broken” gimmick Matt & Jeff used to raise their profile in the company formerly known as TNA hasn’t gone to a court of law, but it continues to rage in the court of public opinion.
Recently, Impact President Ed Nordholm spoke to John Pollock of Live Audio Wrestling about the situation. You can see a clip of the conversation above. During the chat, Nordholm discusses the overall situation, and the contracts which he believes give Impact ownership of the characters:
I think it’s unquestionable that the ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling. I don’t think even the Hardys would dispute that. They’ve all signed contracts. Their contracts are standard contracts. Not only in the wrestling industry, but in the entertainment industry, generally, the producer of the show owns the content and it doesn’t really matter who in the creative team came up with the idea of what the character should be. The person that owns the storyline and the character is the person who invested to take that idea and put it on TV. That’s what we did. Impact put those characters on TV, and the contracts with those people are indisputably contracts that provide their IP to Impact.
When asked if he’d be open to talking to the Hardys, he says yes, but then makes mention of a rumor which has been around since Matt & Jeff debuted at WrestleMania -that WWE has no plans to depict the brothers as “Broken” on their programming:
We’ve offered many times to find an arrangement with the Hardys that would allow them to continue to use the gimmick within reasonable parameters as to what’s important to us and what would be important to them. I understand with the dynamic of their move to the WWE and drama with which they created that launch – I understand their plan to create maximum “heat” in that period from when they announced to us that they weren’t going to sign the contracts, to the date that they revealed their new location. But I kinda half-expected that once that had been achieved, the thing would die its own natural death because as far as I know, the WWE doesn’t want the gimmick, and indeed, from every conversation I’ve had with them, I’ve been told they have no interest in it.
Now, it has to be noted that Pollock works for Fight Network, which is owned by... Anthem, just like Impact. He’s reported stories on the former TNA without any evident bias in the past, however, and there’s no reason to question him here - although it explains Nordholm’s choice of LAW as the vehicle to deliver this message.
A message which, unsurprisingly, wasn’t well received by at least one Hardy:
Only thing apparent here is the level of desperation from a person of his position doing a phone podcast re: intentions of a billion $+ co. https://t.co/WcXOJUwkQa— Reby Hardy (@RebyHardy) May 22, 2017
Taking advantage that fans do not know details of contracts, which were NOT "standard entertainment contracts" & not drafted under Anthem https://t.co/2IXCMITa03— Reby Hardy (@RebyHardy) May 22, 2017
This seems destined to continue for a long, long time.
But whether it’s because of the lack of any movement toward common ground between the principle parties, or Vince McMahon’s lack of interest, it’s seems like it’d probably be best to not hold your breath for Broken Matt in WWE.