Whether fans feel like the “Woken” Matt Hardy gimmick is working in WWE or not, Hardy’s character change for many was a long time coming. The problem was, Hardy wasn’t able to become his true TNA character due to a battle with former employer Anthem Sports over the rights to the “Broken” gimmick that is, in many ways, a spitting image of the “Woken” character.
WWE went ahead with the “Woken” character anyways and it has been met with a mixed reaction.
Undoubtedly, this new character gives Hardy more freedom to flex his creativity muscles. But, there’s always been two issues. First, WWE has writers who might not understand the character as well as Hardy does. Second, the WWE has been limited in promoting the character because Anthem still owned a number of “Broken” trademarks. It looks like the second issue has finally been resolved.
After speaking with sources, Justin LaBar of Wrestlinginc.com confirmed that “Matt Hardy has reached a deal with Anthem Sports to own all of the core characters created in TNA associated with the “Broken” gimmick.”
This might not seem like a huge issue for fans that have already watched Matt Hardy awaken, but part of the issue when it came to securing these rights was that using music, video, likenesses and other facets of the character weren’t as black and white as just moving forward. WWE had to be cautious about not crossing that line and merchandise sales would have been almost non-existent.
Part of how WWE pushes a new character it wants to really get behind is how much money the company stands to make on the back end. With no “Broken” merch, it likely held off on the character changeover and might explain why the WWE seems to be so lazy when it comes to his push thus far.
Will this be the moment Matt Hardy finally dives into the character fans were really hoping to see? Monday’s Raw might be the first sign of things to come.
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