Matt and Jeff Hardy are now free agents, free to work wherever they want, immediately. Impact Wrestling just got dealt a major blow with their departure, since their stock has arguably never been higher, and Matt Hardy in particular has been delighting fans worldwide with his brainchild, the singularly quirky Broken Universe.
There’s some debate and speculation at the moment about whether the Hardys will head to WWE, and whether they’ll be in their “Broken” forms when they do. And … you know, whether they would actually have the right to appear as those characters outside of Impact Wrestling. (And yes, they have appeared in MANY promotions under the “Broken” banner, but they were under contract to Impact at the time, so the implication is that any past appearances came with TNA’s blessing.)
Reby Sky (Reby Hardy, or Queen Rebecca if you’re #Broken) made it clear that Matt has absolutely no intention of dropping the Broken Matt Hardy character, no matter where he goes or what company he signs with. Here’s how she put it during an appearance on Busted Open Radio this week (transcript via 411Mania):
“Matt is in love with his Broken Universe; he’s not about to let that go anytime soon. I can confirm that for sure. It’s kind of his baby, his brainchild, and he took such a risk with it. Even I was telling him, ‘Dude, this accent, it’s gotta go.’ Everyone was like, ‘You’re crazy, this is dumb!’ But he kept on with it and it kept evolving. It’s his baby, so there will be #Broken wherever there is Matt Hardy.”
According to the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the continuation of the Broken Universe, as is, is currently up for debate. Impact is claiming that Broken Matt, Brother Nero, King Maxel, Señor Benjamin, Vanguard-1, et al, debuted on TNA television, so that means they’re TNA’s intellectual property. Of course, how far they’re willing to go to protect said IP is anyone’s guess. (In my staunchly non-expert opinion, I would imagine they won’t fight it too hard if he pops up on, say, WWE television as Broken Matt Hardy.)
And of course, WWE would either like there to be no question of ownership of the characters before they were to hypothetically put the Hardys on television, or they’d like to own at least a portion of those characters themselves.
At any rate, Matt clearly wants to continue the most successful and creative idea of his career, as well he should. We’ll just have to wait a little while to see whether he ends up in any legal hot water as a result.