- The Hardy Boyz made their return to WWE at WrestleMania 33, and based on their immediate pre- and post-WrestleMania interviews, it was hard to tell whether they’d be bringing the “Broken Universe” with them to the WWE. Could an extensive interview following Monday Night RAW be a sign that the Hardys are “broken no more,” and therefore won’t be using the gimmicks now that they’re back in WWE and holding the RAW Tag Team Championships?
Although Matt and Jeff Hardy were, at the time, 41 and 38-years-old respectively and considerably older than most of the men they faced in the ring, the two brothers from Cameron, N.C. enjoyed a career renaissance in 2016, with the introduction of the gimmicks, catchphrases, and other minutiae making up the so-called “Broken Universe.” Good news was proclaimed to be “delightful” and “wonderful,” as announced by Matt in a faux-British accent, while opponents were derided as “obsolete,” and to be “deleted” by the tag team that became known as the Broken Hardys after Matt and Jeff concluded their brother vs. brother feud, a.k.a. the “Final Deletion” storyline and match.
Under their “Broken” gimmicks, fans ate up everything the Hardys had to offer, and when it was announced that they were leaving Impact Wrestling last month, rumors that The Hardy Boyz would be returning to WWE had swirled once again on an almost daily basis. Those rumors rang true on Sunday night at WrestleMania 33, where the Hardys won the RAW Tag Team Championships as surprise fourth entrants in a ladder match for the tag titles.
Still, fans weren’t quite sure whether the Hardys were still “Broken” or not — in an interview shortly before WrestleMania, Matt Hardy was speaking in his natural accent for the first time in close to a year. But when interviewed after winning the RAW Tag Team Championships, Matt seemed vaguely “Broken” again, talking about how he and Jeff had “deleted” Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to win the titles, and how “wonderful” it was to be back in WWE. But what’s the deal with the Hardys’ WWE gimmicks?
On last night’s episode of RAW Talk, host Renee Young asked Matt Hardy about why The Hardy Boyz returned to WWE after all those years away from the company. As you can see from Cageside Seats’ transcript of the interview, it would seem that Matt was again eschewing the “Broken” verbiage that he had made popular last year when he first launched the gimmick in Impact Wrestling.
“I think myself and my brother were both in great places in life. We took time off, we healed, and I think we not only healed physically but mentally and emotionally. We both started families and we’re just in such great places. Maybe before we truly were the Hardy Boyz, maybe now we’re the Hardy Men, we’re grown up. Being here this time around, it just feels so right and I think this is going to be the most fun we’ve ever had here.”
Young also asked The Hardy Boyz about what they were doing before their return to WWE, and Cageside Seats noted that that would have been a good chance for Matt, in particular, to launch into his “Broken” gimmick, use highfalutin words, and speak in the distinctive accent that had been such a key feature of the gimmick. It also may have served as an opportunity for Matt to reference the companies he and Jeff had worked for after their respective WWE departures. However, aside from a mention of an “expedition of gold,” meaning winning the tag team championships in every company they worked for, Matt played it straight.
Thanks for a WONDERFUL week, Orlando! pic.twitter.com/YnGstd5lwP
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 2, 2017
Likewise, Matt Hardy wasn’t twisting around the names of tag teams and people like he often did as “Broken” Matt, when Renee Young asked him about what he thinks of the Monday Night RAW tag team division at the present. There were no references to the “Day of New” (The New Day) or “Meek Mahan” (Vince McMahon) — just calling tag teams by what they are commonly known as in WWE canon.
“It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be fun, and for us it’s very exciting because we have a new crop of opponents. Before in the days we faced the New Age Outlaws and Edge and Christian and The Dudleys but now there’s The Revival, there’s Cesaro and Sheamus, there’s Enzo and Cass, and tonight The Club (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) that we faced. There are so many great tag teams so there are so many different stories and so many amazing scenarios you can find yourself in.”
By the looks of things, it would seem that Matt and Jeff Hardy aren’t quite “Broken,” if at all, due to the heated legal battle they currently are involved in over the ownership of their gimmicks. According to Forbes, Matt had filed to have his gimmick trademarked on March 1, but his and Jeff’s former employer Impact Wrestling hasn’t taken this sitting down, having sent cease and desist letters to Ring of Honor (where the Hardys worked last month) and other promotions, requesting that Matt not use the gimmick.
— Jason Foster (@fosterfallen) April 4, 2017
Still refusing to acknowledge BROKEN Matt Hardy and Brother Nero now it's just back to the Hardy Boyz. ???? #RAWaftermania
— JP Chavez ???? (@jpchavez) April 4, 2017
Seeing that many fans, particularly casual audiences, may still remember the Hardys from their original tenures in WWE, there’s a chance that the company is taking a slow burn approach and gradually introducing the WWE Universe to the Hardys’ Broken Universe. Moreover, if it’s any consolation to fans of the Broken Universe, Matt Hardy still uses his “Broken” verbiage quite frequently on his official Twitter account, hinting that the gimmicks may still be used in WWE at some point in the future.
Now that The Hardy Boyz’ return to WWE is official, and now that they hold the RAW Tag Team Championships, are you willing to accept a watered-down version of their Broken Universe, or an older, wiser, more realistic version of the Hardys who ruled the WWE tag team scene in the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras? We’d like to hear from you in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]