Matt Hardy

Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm (Anthem Sports and Entertainment) took it upon himself to release a series of text message exchanges between himself and Matt Hardy dating back to March when a dispute first started up between both sides regarding the use of the “Broken” characters outside of the company.

Back in February, Matt Hardy publicly confirmed that he would be departing the company along with his brother Jeff Hardy. When both opted to not agree to terms on a new deal, Impact Wrestling officials declined to bring them back in and have them drop the company’s tag team championships at scheduled TV tapings in Orlando.

The Hardys would then show up in Ring of Honor not long later, making an appearance at the Manhattan Mayhem VI event in New York City. Both Anthem and Impact Wrestling would then attempt to prevent them from using the “Broken” characters during an ROH PPV and even going as far as to contact the satellite distribution companies.

While The Hardys would make a surprise return to WWE at WrestleMania 33 back in April, an ongoing dispute with Anthem and Impact would play out online over the next few months with both Matt and Reby Hardy claiming they owned all trademarks regarding the “Broken” characters. Reby ended up being the most outspoken against Impact.

On Monday, John Pollack conducted an interview with Nordholm who stated Impact had all “ownership rights to the characters” created within the confines of the company adding, “ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling and I don’t even think the Hardys would dispute that directly.”

Following this appearance, Nordholm released the following statement to the wrestling media on Tuesday that included text message exchanges with Matt Hardy and email correspondence with WWE. Nordholm had noted in the interview on Monday that WWE had showed no interested in the “Broken” characters, something the emails confirm.

The following statement is courtesy of The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online.

“In response to on-going speculation concerning our position with respect to the “Broken Brilliance” creative, I am providing this detailed log of our communications on the subject and the contractual structure of our relationship with Matt Hardy with respect to intellectual property matters (which is standard to our roster and in the industry).

There has never been any argument from Impact Wrestling that the Hardy’s were key contributors to the development of the characters and story line, or that Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy executed on their roles in spectacular fashion. But the position taken by the Hardys is a massive disservice to the contributions of the rest of the creative team at Impact Wrestling, including Jeremy Borash, Dave Lagano, Matt Conway and Billy Corgan, and is totally at odds with the terms of their contracts.

The Hardys would have you believe that Anthem is somehow avoiding their lawyers to address this. This is the log of our communications with the Hardys and/or their lawyers. It is clear that we have not been avoiding them.

March 10 – EBN speaks with executives at ROH about “Broken Brilliance” being used in ROH shows. I indicated willingness to provide an arrangement that would allow the creative to be used in ROH shows and encouraged ROH to have Matt speak with me if he wanted to pursue that discussion

March 11 – EBN spoke at length with Matt by telephone about the structure of an amicable arrangement for use of the Broken Brilliance creative

March 14 – Matt sent text message to Ed Nordholm at 4:05pm: “Tried giving you a call, it rang & went busy. I’m open to working things out amicably as we spoke about. The lawyer who represent me is interested in seeing your offer. My lawyer’s email is {redacted} which you could send the offer to for review. Thanks.”

And I responded by text at 6:41 pm: “Thank you Matt. I was supposed to be [flying] into NYC today and am a little twisted. I will pull something together with [our] lawyers and try to get it over to your lawyer tomorrow or Thursday at latest“

March 16 – At 8:25 pm I sent an update text to Matt: “Hi Matt. My lawyer got me a draft too late to get reviewed for today. I will look at it in the morning. Sorry for the delay”

And he responded at 9:16 pm: “Ok, he’s ready for it. Thanks for the update.”

March 17 – counsel for Anthem Wrestling delivered draft proposal to counsel for Matt Hardy

March 24 – counsel for Anthem Wresting followed up with Matt Hardy counsel requesting comments on the proposal

March 27 – counsel for Matt Hardy responds that they have been away and have not reviewed the proposal but will be back “in the next few days”

After which no further communication until

April 18 – counsel for Matt Hardy leaves a voice mail message for counsel for Anthem Wrestling asking to arrange a meeting

April 20 – EBN contacts WWE by email to determine veracity of internet rumours concerning WWE interest in Broken Brilliance

April 21 — WWE respond by email that there “is no interest on our end” {redacted email exchange attached}

April 21 – counsel for Matt Hardy sends a follow up message requesting a meeting

April 27 – lawyers speak to arrange a meeting

May 16 – lawyers meet but no agreement reached

Finally, I am attaching a copy of the relevant provisions of Matt’s contract with Impact. The clause is virtually identical to the corresponding provisions of every wrestler under contract with Impact.

The facts are that we tried to accommodate the Hardys for their Ring of Honour engagements, and have tried to elicit an indication from WWE whether they have an interest in using the Broken Brilliance creative in WWE. We are not hoarding it from WWE; WWE is not interested in it.

We fully respect the decision of Matt and Jeff to return to WWE and appreciate all of their contributions to Impact Wrestling. We wish them every success.

Our focus is on the future and we will not have any further public comment on this matter.”

As you could expect, neither Matt or Reby Hardy were thrilled about this.

7 COMMENTS

  1. For God sakes it’s not like this was the best gimmick ever created. This seems like a lot of fuss over something that will never be used by WWE. I can’t see Matt or Jeff being elevated more than the tag titles (which they won at their debut).

  2. What’s bad is the TNA/anthem/ed look bad but no way near as bad as reby god damn that women has made herself look like s***

  3. Ed, it is called being played like a fiddle. Matt has been doing this for 12 damn years.

  4. I think they’ll both get single pushes when their Tag run is over. Maybe Matt for a mid card Tittle and Jeff in the World?

  5. I too think they’ll get singles pushes and Jeff was one of their biggest merchandise sellers when he originally left and Matt was hugely over with the fans. I saw just how popular they are this year at the Wrestlecon during WM weekend when their signings drew bigger audiences than Flair, Sting, Hall, HBK and Lita (her line was quite long) combined. I think I still have pics but the Hardy’s line was insane and didn’t stop all day. The point is I think they would actually do better with singles runs than they will with the team right now if they can’t use the Broken stuff. It wasn’t the best ever but was possibly the most over gimmick of the last couple of years and they did it with Impact’s small audience. I was also shocked at how big the Delete chants were at Mania before the Hardy’s even appeared. All in all, WWE and the Hardy’s don’t need the broken stuff (altho I think it would help in their current presentation) but I just think it looks petty for Anthem to be still going on about it (i.e. engaging with the Hardy’s over it) as it makes them seem like they (Anthem) think they are bigger than they currently are, petty and wanting to mess with the livelihood of talents after the previous version not paying talents, etc. even if it turns out they do own the rights. It seems to me the only one losing in these exchanges is Anthem.

  6. I guess they just aren’t a favorite of mine. They sell merchandise with or without the titles, and I don’t see why they need to put them on a couple of 40+ y/o guys. I always thought Matt was a lot better than Jeff, but that being said, Matt Hardy headlining a Wrestlemania wouldn’t really interest me.

  7. Reby needs to stop flapping her trap off on twitter. TNA lawyers will love this. Keep calm and carry on. She is probably right but a dignified silence would speak volumes.

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