With the reports that Matt and Jeff Hardy have been offered WWE contracts, many are hoping to see the Broken Hardys appear on WWE as they bring their “Broken Universe” with them. But it would seem that Impact Wrestling, the company that was known until earlier this month as TNA, has thrown another obstacle the brothers’ way, once again begging the question — if WWE does bring back the Hardys, will they be wrestling as the Broken Hardys, or will they reprise their far more realistic personas as The Hardy Boyz?
Over the past few days, rumors have been swirling about the Broken Hardys’ WWE contract offers. On Tuesday, Pro Wrestling Sheet wrote that Matt and Jeff Hardy were both presented with contract offers from the very first major company they worked for, hinting that negotiations between both sides have been going well over the past few weeks.
As such, there’s also been some talk that they may appear at WrestleMania 33, possibly as a surprise opponent for SmackDown Tag Team Champions, The Usos, or the team they had just recently defeated for the titles, American Alpha. The Inquisitr wrote that this could make for an interesting dynamic on the blue brand, with the potential of a three-way battle for the titles over the next few months.
However, there’s one company that appears to be standing in the way of the Broken Hardys and a WWE stint featuring their Broken Universe gimmicks and characters, and that’s their old employer, Impact Wrestling.
According to Cageside Seats, many fans have noticed that Impact Wrestling had just made the effort to include trademark symbols next to any word relating to Matt and Jeff Hardy and their Broken Universe. For example, the names “Broken Matt” and “Brother Nero” have the trademark symbols next to them while, in contrast, other Impact wrestlers, such as Ethan Carter III, still have their names as-is.
As expected, Matt’s wife Reby Hardy was not happy when Impact’s trademarking move was brought to her attention. In one tweet, she said that the Broken Universe’s trademarks were “documented as filed” long before Impact Wrestling made the changes on its YouTube channel. She also tweeted Impact executive producer Jeff Jarrett and Anthem EVP Ed Nordholm in a separate post, observing that the company seems to be singling out the Broken Hardys ahead of a potential move to WWE or any other major wrestling promotion but not placing trademarks in front of the names of its current talents.
“Where’s the TM after the names of the characters yall ACTUALLY created? F**king scum of the earth, man…”
As seen in the post above, the name “Jeff Hardy” isn’t trademarked, as that is, in fact, the real name of the man known as “Brother Nero” in the Hardys’ Broken Universe. But the name “Broken Matt” is trademarked — technically, Matt Hardy wrestles under his real name, but uses the word “Broken” before his name to identify himself with his current gimmick.
Could this new development throw a spanner in the works at the Broken Hardys’ rumored WWE move? SportsKeeda wrote earlier this month that Matt and Jeff Hardy could indeed use their Broken Universe gimmicks elsewhere, but the companies they may work for while using those gimmicks would have to pay royalties to Impact Wrestling. This came after Impact had sent cease-and-desist letters to Ring of Honor and cable companies carrying the promotion’s 15th Anniversary pay-per-view over the Hardys’ continued use of their current gimmicks. As a result, both Matt and Jeff had to tone things down significantly, with ROH’s announcers unable to call them “‘Broken’ Matt” or “Brother Nero” respectively.
What are your thoughts on the challenges currently being faced by the Broken Hardys? Would a WWE return be welcome if they have no choice but to ditch their Broken Universe gimmicks and compete as The Hardy Boyz?
[Featured Image by Impact Wrestling]