DELETED: The Hardy’s Broken End in Impact

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Sometimes life imitates art and sometimes – especially in professional wrestling – life itself becomes art. Over the past week, Impact Wrestling lost six of its biggest stars of the past year, including current Impact Grand Champion Drew Galloway, “The Miracle” Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis, and perennial Knockouts Champion contender Jade (also known as Mia Yim in Shine, Shimmer and other indie promotions). But it was the announcement that the Broken genius himself, Broken Matt Hardy, and his “nefarious” Brother Nero, Jeff Hardy, were leaving Impact.

While it was common knowledge amongst the internet savvy wrestling community that the Hardy’s Impact contracts were drawing to a conclusion in February, most assumed that the new owners of Impact, Anthem Sports, would be re-signing the duo. After all, when even the most die hard fan thought TNA and Impact Wrestling was on it’s last breath, it was the Broken brilliance of Matt Hardy that seemed to captivate the wrestling world and suddenly bring back viewership to numbers like they hadn’t seen in ages. The Final Deletion – and it’s subsequent shorts – became “must see” TV for wrestling fans. Impact was becoming cool again. And with The Hardy’s on an Expedition of Gold, winning tag titles at various indie promotions – including Konnan‘s The Crash Lucha Libre, which Impact was forming a partnership with – it seemed like the Hardy’s were indeed sticking around to help Impact to greater heights in 2017.

But on the morning of February 27, Reby Hardy – Matt’s wife and member of the Broken Hardy Family the past year on Impact – began tweeting the following, seemingly airing some rather dirty laundry about her employers.

While it didn’t take a rocket scientist to read between the lines, many gave it little real thought. After all, Reby was known for being a little hot headed sometimes. But within hours, Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet broke the news that sent the internet and social media platforms into a tizzy. The Hardy’s were officially leaving Impact Wrestling.

As reported by Ryan Satin in his original article:

“We’re told the deal was supposed to be for 1-year in length. Weeks and weeks passed, with Matt constantly checking in, but they were consistently given the run around.

Eventually Matt and Jeff’s lawyer told Impact Wrestling officials that they wanted a creative control clause in their new deals … which was shot down immediately. One source says their lawyer told Ed Nordholm there was interest from other companies and he responded by saying, “Well, tell them to go to WWE then.”

This set Jeff Hardy off, who at that point said he was no longer interested in re-signing. Matt continued talks, but when they sent a new contract last week it was now a 2-year deal and terms had been snuck in which stated they’d receive 10% of all his profits outside of Impact.

Matt’s lawyer said he’d be a fool to sign, so he informed the company he wasn’t interested in doing so — but would still come to the tapings to write off his characters. However, he was told he was crazy to think they’d want him on TV without a contact.”  Ryan Satin, Pro Wrestling Sheet, February 27, 2017

With a bit more context, suddenly Reby’s tweets made a lot more sense. As the internet buzzed and boiled at the news – which was already fidgety with speculation earlier in the week from Dave Meltzer, who suggested the Hardy’s could be back in the WWE by WrestleMania 33. Alongside the news from Ryan Satin and Pro Wrestling Sheet, the fans who once felt peckish, now felt hungry. Several hours after Satin broke the news, Matt Hardy finally broke (no pun intended) his radio silence and took to Twitter.

Later that evening, Ryan Satin again posted news about the rights to the “Broken” gimmick. While it was indeed Matt Hardy’s creation, there was confusion over who legally owned the rights to the gimmick. By the time Monday Night Raw hit later than night, the world was reeling in the news. Even WWE Superstar Sasha Banks got in on the action, name dropping Hardy in a retort with Nia Jax (which Hardy himself replied too).

The next morning, while Anthem Sports and Impact Wrestling officially remained mum on the situation, Jeff Jarrett took to Twitter to comment on the situation.

But later that afternoon, Reby Hardy joined David Lagreca on Sirius XM‘s Busted Open Radio to say that Matt Hardy had no intention of dropping the Broken gimmick – wherever they ended up – and that the Hardy’s had offered to sign a short term deal to drop the Impact Tag Team titles before leaving, but were denied.

For the full interview, check it out below:

And more WWE Superstars begin to poke the bear, starting with former NXT Tag Team Champions #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa).

And Hardy himself dragged up an old tweet reply from new WWE Champion Bray Wyatt to issue a possible threat.

And then, just as it seemed like the Hardy’s were WWE bound, Hardy tweeted yet another tease, this time that they were setting their sights on “The New Wrestling of Japan” (NJPW) and the Bullet Club‘s Elite. Which would make sense for a possible return match against their upcoming Ring of Honor foes, The Young Bucks.

So where does that leave us? Are they or aren’t they?

Well, you’re guess is as good as anyone’s. One thing for sure is that they won’t be back on Impact Wrestling. But they’re lined up to face the Young Bucks for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championships at Supercard of Honor XI in Lakeland, Florida on April 1st, the night before WrestleMania 33. The following day, they’re hosting a WrestleMania tailgate party from 11am to 6pm at Saddle Up for WWN. That’s right, WWN – the parent company for Evolve, Shine, Full Impact Pro. A WWE affiliated company to boot. And due to the Hardy’s unique contracts with TNA, there is no no-compete clause…so the Hardy’s could literally show up for any company they wanted to by next week.

Whether it’s WWE, NJPW, EVOLVE, Chikara or WCPW, one thing is for certain. While the Broken brilliance of Broken Matt and Brother Nero may have deleted themselves from Impact Wrestling, they have become the unlikely biggest free agents on the market and will not stay obsolete for long.

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