It may be quite some time before we see the full "Broken" Hardys gimmick on WWE television.
Following up on today's earlier report regarding the interview with Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm, PW Insider is reporting that both the Hardys and Impact have obtained legal counsel and that a long, costly court battle could be in the works to determine who owns the intellectual property.
Matt Hardy started portraying the "Broken" character more than a year ago, which soon became an entire set of gimmicks encompassing his brother Jeff (as Brother Nero), Matt's wife, father-in-law, and even infant son. There were three "Deletion" matches filmed at the Hardy compound in North Carolina, the first of which generated a huge ratings victory for Impact. Once the Hardys and Impact were unable to come to terms on a new contract earlier this year, however, things got ugly. Impact is claiming it owns the intellectual property. The Hardys have disagreed, with both Matt and his wife Reby Sky making public comments via social media about Impact.
Ultimately, ownership of that gimmick will be determined by the contracts the Hardys signed with Impact -- if and when those contracts ever are made public.
Nordholm told Live Audio Wrestling that he had no doubt Impact was the rightful owner of the concept and that WWE had "no interest" in obtaining it.
"I think it’s unquestionable that the ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling," Nordholm told LAW. "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.The Hardys made their return to WWE at WrestleMania 33, and are the current Raw Tag Champions."
The Hardys made their return to WWE at WrestleMania 33, winning the Raw Tag Titles, which they still hold.