The legal dispute between Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Impact Wrestling has raged on behind the scenes and on Twitter ever since The Hardys left the company and attempted to bring their "Broken" personas with them.
Impact Wrestling's stance is they want royalties in return for any revenue that is generated from use of the "Broken" gimmick, considering the gimmick was created under the TNA banner. The Hardys believe they should be able to take the gimmick with them to Ring of Honor or even the WWE due to the fact that they were the ones who created the gimmick.
Last week it was reported that The Hardys were offered a WWE contract and while we have yet to learn if a deal was accepted, it has been heavily rumored that the former WWE Tag Team Champions could be returning to their old stomping grounds as soon as WrestleMania weekend.
To spark these rumors and take a huge jab at Impact Wrestling along the way, WWE Network tweeted out a video of The Hardy Boyz' legendary TLC match from WrestleMania 25 against Edge and Christian and The Dudley Boyz. In the tweet, notice how WWE makes a point to highlight the word BROKEN.
The clever wording did not go unnoticed by Matt Hardy.
Did someone say #BROKEN?
EXQUISITE. https://t.co/ystJfco39m— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 27, 2017
To this point, WWE had referenced Matt and Jeff in several tweets, but had made no mention of the Broken universe they had cultivated while wrestling under the TNA umbrella. While WWE would certainly like to bring the Broken characteristics that had given The Hardys a career resurgence, The Hardy Boyz name still carries enough weight with long time WWE fans that they could be re-introduced as a new version of their older selves.
We saw a similar case when Bubba Ray Dudley created a new Bully Ray character during his time in TNA yet returned to the WWE as his classic Bubba Ray persona.
If the move by WWE seems a bit trite, Impact Wrestling made their own trolling move last week when they added the letters TM (noting a trademark) to all mentions of "Broken Matt" or "Brother Nero" and the "Broken" universe on their official YouTube account. While adding the letters doesn't legally change anything, it sends a message that Impact is not backing off their legal claim to the name.
While The Hardy Boyz future with the WWE future remains in limbo, they will defend the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championships this weekend against The Young Bucks at ROH's Supercard of Honor XI.
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