It’s possible that there’s no single story we’ve written about more in the past 12 months here at With Spandex than the real life feud and legal drama between Matt Hardy and Impact Wrestling. Amazingly, as improbable as it sounds, this might actually end up being the last post we ever have to write about the intellectual property imbroglio, as it appears to finally be at an end.
To recap as briefly as we possibly can: Matt Hardy spent the last year or so of his tenure in Impact Wrestling creating the #BROKEN Matt Hardy Universe, which quickly became — by far — the single most popular and successful aspect of Impact while he was in the company. The Broken Universe eventually grew to encompass Jeff Hardy, Reby Hardy, Matt and Reby’s son Maxel, Reby’s father-in-law, a bevy of animals, a drone with a soul, a magical lake, a dilapidated boat, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express, Three Count, and … a lot more.
When the Hardys left Impact early last year, they had every intention of continuing to use the Broken gimmick. And they initially did, until Impact and Athem Sports sent cease and desist letters to Ring of Honor — where Matt and Jeff were working at the time — on the eve of a pay-per-view. Ever since then, the Hardys and Anthem have been in a very public — and at times very ugly — legal dispute over the intellectual property of the Broken Universe.
About a month ago, “WOKEN” Matt Hardy made his official debut in WWE, and is (lack of all-important surrounding Universe aside) fundamentally the same as Broken Matt, with a couple letters’ difference. Anthem chief Ed Nordholm basically acknowledged that Impact has abandoned its claim to the Broken Hardys IP, so it looks like smooth sailing and (hopefully) full steam ahead with the concept in WWE.
To seemingly confirm this, Hardy posted the following picture of himself shaking hands with Nordholm on Wednesday.
In Woken-speak, that seems to indicate Impact, Anthem, and Hardy have come to a complete agreement and that Hardy owns the concept and characters free and clear. NOW BRING ON KING MAXEL ALREADY, WWE.