Since their ‘Delightful’ return at Wrestlemania, capturing gold along the way, the stand out question for the Hardy Boys is whether or not they remain ‘Broken Matt’ and ‘Brother Nero’, the characters that have revitalized their careers over the past year.
The ‘Broken’ characters have become one of the most over in the wrestling community and when the brothers were released from their contracts with Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA), the rumour mill was constantly turning out that they would be making a return to the WWE, like they just recently have. But are they truly ‘Broken’. The simple answer is no, not quite.
Obviously, the main reason for this is the ongoing lawsuit between the Hardys and Impact over the use of the Broken Gimmick, but with Matt and his wife Reby holding the trademarks to the characters, you would have thought this would have been a simple case open and shut. It’s a sticky issue because whilst The Hardys were in TNA, they had full creative control over the Broken gimmick, making House Hardy believe that by owning the trademarks and also having full creative control, this gives them full control over the use of the Broken Gimmick. However, Anthem (the people who own and operate Impact Wrestling) believe that because the character was created on their promotion, they have full rights and control over the character and deserve some form of compensation every time the gimmick is used. It is believed that civil litigation will follow and a potential court hearing will take place regarding the final outcome on who owns the Broken gimmick. Until then, the status of the Broken gimmick remains undecided. Despite all of this, ‘Broken Matt’ continues to use the gimmick throughout his families social media accounts, but neither he nor Jeff utilizes the Broken gimmick at any professional wrestling shows for ROH or on the independent circuit apart from the occasional ‘DELETE’ hand swipe.
However, one underlying reason that the Hardy’s may not be broken currently is the WWE Universe itself. Being the most successful wrestling/sports entertainment promotion globally, there are a lot of their fans who still see the Hardy’s as ‘Team Extreme’ and have no indication of their time in Ring of Honour or Impact prior to WWE. Casual fans may be confused by all these ‘DELETE” chants and Matt’s white streak in his hair or the unusual way that he talks in his promo because they simply don’t know the ‘Broken’ storyline. I’m assuming that the ”Meekmans” will have no problem dealing with Impacts threats of cease and desist, but i think Vince and co are more worried about their casual and younger audiences not understanding the characters. Both Reby and Matt Hardy have hinted that for now, Team Extreme has returned to WWE, but that they will become ‘Broken’ once more. It should be interesting to see if they plan or re-doing Matt’s Broken start or whether, when the legal proceedings end between the Hardy’s and Impact, they will dive back into the deep end with Broken Matt, Brother Nero, King Maxel, Senor Benjamin and Vanguard One …