The WWE Universe got to see the start of Matt Hardy "breaking" on Monday night—but he might not be "broken" per say. After weeks of toying with the idea and likely months of wondering if the WWE was ever going to get the rights from Anthem Sports to use the "Broken" trademark, it appears the WWE is going to taking the "same, but different" approach.
However, this may no longer matter. A new development makes it seem like whatever the WWE decides is fair game. Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso reached out to Anthem Sports to get their comment on Monday night's Raw broadcast and CEO of Anthem, Ed Nordholm responded with the following surprising statement:
“We have seen the character development and will be interested to see where they take the concept. Our new talent agreements all incorporate language that allow talent to continue to use their IMPACT persona after they leave the company. We are working with our legal team to amend our existing agreements to extend this to all of our current and former talent.”
This statement appears to be a positive for WWE and Matt Hardy. If Anthem Sports has no intention of standing in the way of WWE using this gimmick, then the battle between Hardy and Impact appears to be done and Matt can go on to use the gimmick in any way he sees fit. The question is, does the WWE want to leave Hardy in control?
There were previous reports that Anthem was trying to hold the rights to this gimmick knowing it had the potential to be a money maker for them if WWE really wanted the idea. Realizing that WWE and Vince McMahon were likely never going to pay Anthem and come up with their own ideas instead, Anthem appears to have changed their tune.
The report specifies that Matt Hardy himself will own the trademark for the character if no one files a claim against it for 30 days. That would make it available for him to use starting Dec. 19, 2017.
He has already begun the transformation on social media. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
The #GreatWar is merely beginning on this plane identified as @WWE. I must recruit LOYAL Soldiers from around the planet of Earth to join me as I battle in a DOMAIN overflowing with DARKNESS & DEMONS.— #WOKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) November 29, 2017
Our Platoon has much to do.