After a lengthy legal dispute, Hardy officially owns all of the “Broken Universe” trademarks, which include “Broken” Matt, Brother Nero, and Vanguard1. The trademarks were transferred to Hardy from Impact Wrestling at the end of January, concluding a nearly 10-month battle between Hardy and his former employer, Impact.
Anthem Sports and Entertainment, Impact’s parent company, provided this statement regarding its decision to come to terms with Hardy: “We don’t have anything to add to this story, but we are happy to have resolved this issue and are focused on the future.”
In addition to good business, sources close to WWE and Anthem confirmed that the issue was ultimately resolved due to finances.
If Anthem had not turned over all of the rights to Hardy, there was the possibility of a legal battle between Anthem and the Hardys. Anthem could have potentially owed money for the usage of Senor Benjamin, King Maxel, and any other characters that never signed releases or were compensated for their work. There is even a chance that this could have even opened the door to sue Pop TV, a risk that Anthem chose not to take. So to not lose any more money or damage their image, Anthem chose to allow the trademarks to transfer to Hardy. Another positive for the company is that Anthem now has a Broken Universe DVD they can release and add onto their Global Wrestling Network service.
Anthem Executive Vice President Ed Nordholm is a savvy businessman, but when it came to pro wrestling, he began his tenure in Impact by listening to the wrong people. Jeff Jarrett and his advice to Nordholm served as the culprit that caused the entire dispute. Anthem has now changed their whole philosophy, letting talent keep their intellectual property due to the Hardy scenario.
In an amazing twist of fate, Jarrett’s disparagement of Hardy actually turned into a tremendous positive.
Jarrett doubted that the “Broken” character could ever draw money, which ultimately led to Hardy’s exit from Impact and return to WWE. Now, Hardy owns the “Broken” intellectual property and he is well positioned to extend his career. There is no doubt that Hardy, at 43, has much more of a future creating storyline-driven matches as “Woken” Matt than he does wrecking his body as “Tables, Ladders, and Chairs” Matt.
Hardy was criticized in some circles for being too selfish or even naïve for fighting for intellectual property, and plenty argued that he would not have fought the same battle against WWE. But those critics are using a narrow framework and missing the much bigger picture: Hardy fought for his rights, and won, which benefits the entire Impact locker room. This also serves as his legacy in the company.
Vice President for WrestlingWithWrestling.com, Impact Wrestling Reporter, Spanish Impact Wrestling Reporter. Follow Me On Twitter @Ghetto187