Matt and Jeff Hardy are set to come back to WWE very soon, but many have wondered if the “broken” gimmick will come with them, and it seems there is some good news for fans of the Broken Hardy brothers. Matt Hardy invented the broken character we have come to see. However, TNA Wrestling (now going by just Impact Wrestling), claims they own it. The thought from Anthem Sports and Entertainment, the new owners of Impact Wrestling, is that since it happened on their show then they must own it.
One of the biggest mistakes they made was not putting an “intellectual property ownership” in Matt Hardy’s TNA contract. This would have allowed them to own the gimmick if Hardy did it when he was with TNA. However, they also did not copyright or trademark it with the American federal government either. Matt Hardy actually filed for the trademark of “Broken Matt Hardy,” including the broken universe, almost immediately after leaving TNA.
Since Matt and Jeff Hardy have started with Ring of Honor Wrestling, Anthem has tried to force the brothers to stop using the characters of Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero. They have even put a “TM” on all of the videos involving the Hardy brothers from TNA that involved the gimmick. They firmly believe they own the characters despite not ever filing once for the trademark or copyright of anything involving the broken universe, unlike Matt Hardy, who did the legal filing.
It seems to be a conclusion among fans and analysts that Matt Hardy does own the universe but Anthem wants to play hardball so that they can try to own something. They even tried to settle with Matt Hardy, according to his wife Reby Hardy. If by chance they felt they owned everything, why would they ever want to settle? As of now, the Hardy’s have yet to pay Anthem for the characters but they have watered them down a bit.
Despite this, it seems that the WWE believes that the broken gimmick is too valuable to keep down. According to The Wrestling Observer, it appears that WWE will allow the Hardy brothers to use the gimmick on WWE programming. It is unknown how WWE is going to pull this off from a legal standpoint, which is where a lot of people are wondering how they’re going to pull off allowing them to use the broken gimmick for now.
It is being said that if by chance Anthem continues to hassle Matt and Jeff Hardy regarding the broken gimmick, they may file a lawsuit against Anthem. It would be weird for a now WWE Superstar to do this. However, Matt Hardy has claimed that he and his wife own the Broken Matt Hardy name, as licensed to them from the United States Patent Department. This could be why WWE may be open to using the characters.
They have been promoting the Hardy brothers for the last few weeks and even teased the broken gimmick’s usage, saying a number of things that relate to the gimmick all over social media. Their deal with ROH is expected to end after their match with the Young Bucks on April 1st at Supercard of Honor. This is the night before WrestleMania 33.
There are some who speculate that the two will take part in WrestleMania, but it seems like they are booked all day long in various events. Interestingly, those festivities end before WrestleMania’s main broadcast begins. It is expected that if they do end up returning at WrestleMania, it would be after or during the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship ladder match,
It makes a lot of sense that they would have some small involvement around ladders, especially at WrestleMania. However, most fans feel that they should go to WWE SmackDown Live and not WWE RAW. The reason has a lot to do with how well SmackDown Live has been booking their shows versus how RAW has booked their shows. WWE fans would love to see the Hardy brothers back, especially using the broken gimmick. However, the show they go to does matter to them too.
As far as the broken gimmick is concerned, the Hardy brothers have killed it for some time with it. Clearly, WWE will want them to use it. However, there is a good shot that they do not refer to the “broken” side of it, but allow the characters to be used. WWE has been smart about working around legal loopholes in the past. If WWE can do that with Matt and Jeff Hardy, it could be very interesting in the WWE once more.
[Featured Image by TNA Wrestling]