Ever since Matt and Jeff Hardy officially parted ways with Impact Wrestling, the status of their “Broken Universe” gimmick has been the subject of intense and often spiteful debate. Matt intended to use the “Broken” character wherever he wound up, but then Impact slapped Ring of Honor with the threat of legal action, and things sort of went downhill from there.
The rumors and reports have indicated that WWE is planning on using the Broken Universe characters when the current Hardy Boyz nostalgia run comes to an end, and everything we’ve seen on television sort of seems like it has that long-term logic in mind. There were also reports that WWE and Impact were working toward a settlement regarding transferring Impact’s claims to the Broken Universe trademarks over to WWE and resolving any legal issues, but continued animosity between the Hardys and Impact on Twitter would seem to indicate that isn’t the case.
The man at the center of much of the public drama (at least on Impact’s side) is Impact president Ed Nordholm. Nordholm recently appeared on Live Audio Wrestling, and had this to say about the current status of the Broken Hardys dispute:
JOHN POLLOCK: A lot of people will want to know about the relationship with the Hardys.
ED NORDHOLM: I think it’s unquestionable that the ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling. I don’t think even the Hardys would dispute that. They’ve all signed contracts. Their contracts are standard contracts. Not only in the wrestling industry, but in the entertainment industry, generally, the producer of the show owns the content and it doesn’t really matter who in the creative team came up with the idea of what the character should be. The person that owns the storyline and the character is the person who invested to take that idea and put it on TV. That’s what we did. Impact put those characters on TV, and the contracts with those people are indisputably contracts that provide their IP to Impact.
POLLOCK: Are you open to speaking and sitting down with the Hardys?
NORDHOLM: Oh, of course. I was open to speaking before and I’m open now. We’ve offered many times to find an arrangement with the Hardys that would allow them to continue to use the gimmick within reasonable parameters as to what’s important to us and what would be important to them. I understand with the dynamic of their move to the WWE and drama with which they created that launch – I understand their plan to create maximum “heat” in that period from when they announced to us that they weren’t going to sign the contracts, to the date that they revealed their new location. But I kinda half-expected that once that had been achieved, the thing would die its own natural death because as far as I know, the WWE doesn’t want the gimmick, and indeed, from every conversation I’ve had with them, I’ve been told they have no interest in it.
POLLOCK: So they’re not actively pursuing it from you.
NORDHOLM: Oh god, no. We’ve been in communication because there’s all this chatter about how we’re keeping it from them. [Laughs] I’m taking heat because I’m keeping something from you. If you want it, why don’t you call me? And their answer to me has been, “No, not interested.”
Obviously, wrestling fans can make up their own minds about whether they should take Nordholm’s comments at face value. It appears like the long and short of it is this isn’t resolved, and may not be resolved any time soon. Unless it’s already been resolved and everyone has just been working us this whole time. But we all know that we wrestling fans NEVAH get fooled, right? Yeeeeessssssss …