TNA stars Matt and Jeff Hardy have been rumored to leave TNA Wrestling for weeks, but there was hope the company may re-sign them. However, it now seems the Hardy brothers flat out refuse to re-sign over disrespectful contract negotiations. In one of the most bizarre turn of events, most wrestling analysts have ever seen, both Matt and Jeff Hardy are refusing to re-sign with TNA due to one of the most epic contract fallouts in recent memory. At one point both Hardy brothers actually spoke with TNA about staying back in December of 2016 and even agreed to terms with TNA at that time.
According to a report by Pro Wrestling Sheet, the contract needed a few minor changes, so Jeff and Matt Hardy decided to simply wait for the finalized offer as their current TNA deal expired in a few months — around this time, in fact. The deal was set for one year, which was seen as something normal for contracts these days outside of WWE.
Matt Hardy constantly checked in on the contracts to see when they would be done so that both he and Jeff could stay with TNA. It made sense to wait a bit, but each time Matt asked, he kept getting the run-around by TNA management. Eventually, Matt and Jeff Hardy’s lawyer told TNA Wrestling officials that they wanted a creative control clause in the new deal, which was shot down immediately.
A source told PWS that the Hardys’ lawyer told Ed Nordholm that there was interest outside of TNA from other companies.
Ed then responded by saying, “Well tell them to go to WWE then.”
So basically, the executive vice president of Anthem Sports and Entertainment told the lawyer of two of TNA’s top stars, one of whom basically carried TNA in 2016, to go to WWE.
TNA recently lost another top star in Drew Galloway, and experts have claimed that if TNA lost the Hardy brothers — Matt, in particular — they would suffer dramatically in the ratings. TNA’s Impact Wrestling product already has issues sustaining their ratings, and a loss of three major stars would be terrible for the business. Obviously, Anthem is the new owners of TNA and will make mistakes along the way, but their negotiation tactics seem to be a bit off.
Of course, when Jeff Hardy heard the “go to WWE” remark from Ed Norholm, it set him off and he refused to sign with TNA, as he was no longer interested in doing so. Matt Hardy tried to continue his talks with TNA however, but when the company sent a new contract last week to Hardy, it was then set for a 2-year deal. TNA also tried to sneak in a part of the contract that the company would receive 10 percent of all his profits outside of TNA.
For those unaware, Matt Hardy has made a nice living on the independent scene over the last few years. Due to TNA’s taping schedule, both Hardy brothers have a lot of time to work for independent companies around the world. Matt Hardy is requested all the time, and many believe he could make a large living on the indies without the need of TNA. He worked with TNA mostly because it was pretty easy money to make and still allowed him to be on television.
When Matt Hardy’s lawyer saw this he said that Matt would be a fool to sign such deal, so he informed the company that he was not interested in signing their offer. However, Matt was gracious enough to come to the upcoming tapings and write off the Hardy characters. However, Matt was told that he was crazy to think that they would allow him on television without a contract.
As it stands, TNA Wrestling is now trying to get their TNA Tag Team Titles back from the Hardy brothers. This situation is not like a problem NJPW suffered when losing four major stars to WWE in 2016, in that the appeal of WWE took hold on top of the money. This entire situation regarding the now clear departures of the Hardy brothers is all due to terrible negotiations from Anthem. It has been rumored that a WWE jump was possible for Matt and Jeff Hardy, and that looks more likely by the day. It’ll be interesting to see if Matt Hardy can manage to take his broken character with him as he departs.
[Featured Image by TNA Wrestling]