Impact Wrestling/Anthem Sports has decided to let Matt Hardy have ownership of the “Broken” intellectual property and all rights to the personas him and his brother Jeff used in TNA/Impact. This means Matt and Jeff Hardy would now be free to use the gimmick in WWE or anywhere else they please.
The “Broken” trademarks were up for objection in December and anyone who had objections would have 30 days to step up and try to claim it. Sports Illustrated recently reached out to Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment, about whether or not he has been in new negotiations with Hardy. Nordholm replied:
“We have seen the character development and will be interested to see where they take the concept. Our new talent agreements all incorporate language that allow talent to continue to use their IMPACT persona after they leave the company. We are working with our legal team to amend our existing agreements to extend this to all of our current and former talent.”
Dave Meltzer, in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, mentions how unheard of this is in television. Meltzer also states the following as to why Impact is all of a sudden quitting the long fight they had for this gimmick.
“The story behind it is that the Hardys were able to show financial and contractual digressions which left Anthem in a bad way, and this may be a public saving face for the company of just saying that they are being good guys and will be letting talent keep their gimmicks because of the feeling that it would end up that way based on a precedent that would be set in the Hardys case.”
Sports Illustrated also notes that WWE is creating its own new character for Hardy, that although will not be labeled as “broken”, will still be very similar. Hardy’s Twitter says “#WOKEN” on it, so it’s likely going to be Woken Matt Hardy.
You can see WWE teasing the introduction of Matt Hardy’s new broken-esque gimmick in the video below.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.