Reby Hardy Tweets Impact Wrestling 'Going After' Her?
Since leaving Impact Wrestling, Reby Hardy has used Twitter a number of times to talk about her displeasure with her former employer. Reby's latest tweet from earlier today looks to infer that Impact Wrestling might be coming after her:
It should also be noted, late last night a fan asked if they could still purchase the "F--k That Owl" shirt and Reby responded:
Impact’s Ed Nordholm Goes Nuclear, Leaks Matt Hardy Contract, Communications; Reby Hardy Responds
For months, the battle between pro wrestlers Matt and Reby Hardy and their former employer, Impact Wrestling, has largely played out on Twitter, with Matt and Reby feuding with various TNA bosses like President Ed Nordholm as well as Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell. But Nordholm has reportedly just taken things to another level, emailing the wrestling media excerpts of Matt Hardy’s contract, emails with WWE, and other private communications with and about the Hardys and the Broken gimmick, the center of the dispute that both sides claim the rights to.
Much more than a simple gimmick, the storyline and characters played a big role in revitalizing fan interest in both Impact Wrestling and the Hardys in 2016, and included segments and even full episodes filmed on the Hardys’ own compound and in some cases funded by the Hardys. After a failed takeover attempt by Smashing Pumpkins vocalist Billy Corgan, Impact changed management, introducing stricter contracts, losing some top stars including the Hardys, and kicking off this months-long feud.
And now, Nordholm has gone nuclear, according to reports from several wrestling dirt sheets.
Over on Pro Wrestling Sheet, Ryan Satin published the documents he was sent, including what is allegedly Hardy’s contract, with sections highlighting that appear to say that all intellectual property created under the contract is work for hire, a phrase comics fans will be very familiar with. There’s also an email exchange between a redacted WWE corporate email address and Nordholm, with Nordholm asking if WWE is behind the dirt sheet rumors that WWE is interested in purchasing the Broken gimmick, and the purported WWE representative responding: “no interest on our end in getting involved.” Finally, Nordholm released a timeline of what he claims are communications with Hardy, including phone calls and texts, which paint a picture of Impact trying to negotiate with Hardy and his lawyers to find an amicable settlement to the dispute.
You can see the leaked documents and transcripts here.
More On Hardy Boyz Reaching Deal For 'Broken' Gimmick, Who Didn't Sign Off On It
Global Force Wrestling continues to battle the Hardy Boyz over the "Broken" gimmick. As of press time, no deal has been reached although the two sides have come close to an agreement that would see the Hardy Boyz get the gimmick with GFW receiving financial compensation.
For those that missed it, WrestlingINC.com owner Raj Giri asked Jeff Jarrett on a conference call earlier this week if the Hardy Boyz had acquired the gimmick. Jarrett said that they hadn't, despite the Hardys teasing the character more than usual on RAW this past Monday night. Matt Hardy's wife, Reby, got on Twitter and questioned why Jarrett was lying. She claimed they came to terms on an agreement for the gimmick last week and the deal included a disparagement clause where they would have to pay Anthem $5000 for anytime she tweets something about GFW.
Dave Meltzer stated on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio the two sides had a deal but Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm wouldn't sign off.
"They made a deal last week. But I've got to say this," Meltzer stated. "They made a deal last week but when that happened I was pretty much told that they've come close before and it's fallen apart and you know the fact is even though it was agreed upon, Ed Nordholm had not signed off on it. And that happened, you know, it's happened before. So it's a very tenuous tense situation.
"They'll kind of mediate the thing, they'll come to an agreement and then Impact won't sign off on it," Meltzer continued. "It seems to happen. You know, I remember when I was told about the deal pretty much, you know, being close to done, they're was the caveat of 'Well they may back out again 'cause they always seem to do that.'"
According to Meltzer, the deal was the Hardy Boyz would get the "Broken" gimmick with GFW receiving "some type of financial thing" and both sides would agree to say nothing bad about the other. It was noted that nobody wants the situation to end up in court.
Details On How Much Hardys Would Have Paid For 'Broken' Gimmick, GFW's Demand Preventing Settlement
Sports Illustrated has a story here about the Hardys ongoing battle with Anthem Sports and Entertainment over the ownership of the "Broken" character.
The story discussed the contract negotiations that led to the Hardys leaving TNA. It stated that Jeff Hardy was offered a lucrative deal while Matt Hardy was only offered a fraction of what he had been making. Matt was also originally promised a spot on the creative team which was rescinded by Jeff Jarrett. When I asked Jarrett earlier this week if the Hardys had acquired ownership of the "Broken" character, Jarrett revealed that they hadn't. Matt's wife, Reby, took to Twitter to say that Jarrett was lying, and that the sides had come to an agreement which included a clause that the Hardys would pay $5,000 for anytime Reby posted something about Anthem on Twitter.
Matt wrote on Twitter this week that if Jarrett and Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm didn't settle the situation soon, "it's gonna get terribly nasty" and that they "have lots to expose".
Sports Illustrated reports that sources close to the negotiations between the Hardys and Anthem say that both sides were close to an agreement within the past month where the Hardys would have paid $10,000 - $15,000 for the rights to the trademark. It noted that the non-disparagement clause that Reby mentioned was a $1,000 fine for the first offense and $5,000 for each following violation. The Hardys also agreed to signing off on a press release stating that both sides settled on good terms.
According to the report, Anthem then wanted 50% of all of the Hardys revenue, which would include Jeff's art and music. The Hardys apparently saw it as "a monumental heist and money-grab." It was noted that if GFW is looking to use the gimmick to profit off DVDs and merchandise or a digital series on the "Broken" Hardys, it would be difficult to pull off because the Hardys would not endorse the products and would encourage fans to not purchase them.
"WWE has clearly stated via email that they do not want the 'Broken Brilliance' IP [intellectual property]," GFW said in a statement to SI. "GFW has been and always will be open to a licensing agreement for the IP to all parties, which is customary in the music and entertainment business, but revolutionary in the professional wrestling business."
Matt Hardy Talks Final Deletion and the Personal Cost of the Event
Matt & Jeff Hardy have been locked in a legal dispute with their former employers Anthem Sports over the use of their ‘Broken’ gimmicks/personas, when the Hardys rejoined WWE back at this year’s Wrestlemania the speculation was that they would be bringing the highly successful characters to WWE television.
The legal battle between the Hardys/Anthem is still ongoing and both Matt Hardy and his wife Reby have taken to Twitter recently to vent their frustrations both with the company and individuals such as Jeff Jarrett.
Matt recently posted a tweet claiming that the set for ‘Final Deletion’ cost $2500 and the Hardy family received no financial help from TNA/Anthem.
Do you think that the Hardy’s will eventually get the opportunity to bring the Broken characters to WWE?
Yesterday, GFW President Ed Nordholm spoke with Sports Illustrated in detail about The Hardys and owning the "broken" intellectual property. On Twitter, Matt Hardy said Nordholm "blatantly lied" about the story of Hardy wanting an additional $100,000 on top what was already agreed to from Anthem. Hardy also said he had the conversation taped and would be "checking with lawyers" on this subject.
All four Broken Universe-related trademarks that Global Force Wrestling filed for registration have been given an initial refusal by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), according to PWInsider.
The trademarks, originally filed by TNA Entertainment (prior to the name change/re-brand), were refused for a variety of reasons.
Matt Hardy filed the trademark for "Broken Matt Hardy" first, which the USPTO could see as confusingly similar. If GFW is going to get it, they'll have to prove there is no conflict between the two. They'll also need to indicate whether "Broken Matt" refers to a living person and if it does, Matt will have to sign off. Since Matt filed the trademark first, his application will hold precedence.
The trademark for "Brother Nero" was refused because Global Force Wrestling failed to indicate whether or not it was to identify a living person. If it does, they will need the consent of Jeff Hardy, whose legal middle name is Nero.
The trademark for "Broken Brilliance" was refused because GFW failed to specify whether or not the term has any significance in professional wrestling or if it is just a "term of art" in the wrestling business.
It's likely the trademark for "Vanguard1" was refused because it is confusingly similar to a non wrestling-related trademark.
Further, all four trademarks also received initial refusal because the wordings used for identification and classification of goods and services in the initial filing were too broad. The USPTO requested additional clarification.
This Fallout video from last night's WWE RAW features The Hardys talking to Mike Rome after their win over Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Jeff Hardy starts off by thanking The Revival for the post-match brawl because he now feels revived, he feels like a #1 contender again. Matt Hardy says he also feels revived, he feels triggered, he feels... awoken.
Matt says there is an awakening that is happening inside he and his brother, and now The Club & The Revival will learn why The Hardys have ran the tag team division for a quarter of a century, and they will learn why The Hardys will run the tag team division... forever. The brothers both channel their "Broken" characters in the interview.
Reby Hardy On If They Are Willing To Face Anthem In Court, If She Thinks An Agreement Will Be Made
Source: Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated has an interview with Reby Hardy regarding the ongoing dispute between the Hardys and Anthem Sports over the "Broken" intellectual property. Below are a couple of highlights:
Are the Hardys willing to go to court to pursue the IP? Are you optimistic of a judge or jury ruling in your favor? "Going to the court is not like going to the grocery store. There is a lot of money involved in a legal case, which is another reason why Anthem is dragging this out as long as they can. Jeff Jarrett said, "Just keep dragging it out, they'll get tired of spending money." We would rather settle this like civil human beings, which is what we have tried to do for months and months.
"There are so many things that, if we choose to go to court, we can also add into the case. Senor Benjamin, who is my father, never signed a release to have his image be marketed. Technically, they should not have been able to air his footage. They do not have a release for my son, Maxel, who had no written documents saying he could be on set at Universal Studios, which could jeopardize their relationship with the place where they film on a monthly basis. There is also the fact that I created—shot, directed, and edited—so much footage that I never gave them a release to use, either."
Anthem also denies that it ever asked for a significant percent of Hardy merchandise, including Jeff Hardy's art work and music, as well as stated that the contracts offered to Matt and Jeff were almost close to equal in terms of pay. Is the company being truthful, and where do we go from here?
"We literally have those documents in email form from Ed Nordholm.
"In one of the contracts, Anthem snuck in a percentage the company would be owed from any income from ShopMattHardy.com and JeffHardyBrand.com. The fact that they would feel entitled to that is a joke. Jeff Hardy's site is literally his paintings and music; it has nothing to do with wrestling and is an artistic venture. Why are they entitled to any of that? To slide that into the contract was a real shady move, and we have the documents to prove it.
"Jeff Jarrett's plan was to give Jeff Hardy all the money, and he actually said to pay Matt as little as possible because he believed Matt could not go anywhere without Jeff Hardy. I had reservations about WWE for a long time, but I forgot all of my reservations and our loyalty to the TNA brand after I learned that.
"F--- these guys, to put it bluntly. After Matt financed his own shoots and put hours and hours of his own time writing the shows? F--- these guys. We didn't have any scripts. They're claiming IP, they're claiming this is their character and development, but we never had one script or one shoot sheet. That was all Matt pouring himself into the character and dedicating himself to it.
"The amount of time and effort he put into this made it his brainchild, which is why this is more of a personal matter than business. It was all our creation, and we can easily prove that it was all us, and it's nothing but ego on their end. Matt refused to re-sign, they really believed that he could not go anywhere else, and we called them out on their bluff. Ed Nordholm actually told Jeff Hardy's attorney, "Tell them to go to WWE." Is that the way you negotiate? To try to get someone to sign a s--- contract to work at your s--- company for s--- money? When it comes down to it, this comes down to their ego versus all of the time, effort, and passion we have put into this project and gimmick.
"This is a personal investment vs. ego. I feel like there will never be an agreement without going to court."
Reby also discussed Anthem thinking they own the "Broken" gimmick, Anthem saying that Matt asked for an extra $100,000 during contract negotiations and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.
WWE And GFW Assigned Trademark Attorneys For Matt And Jeff Hardy
WWE's applications for trademarks relating to Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy filed on June 19 were assigned to a trademark attorney on July 27, according to PWInsider. This means they'll bypass the three-month wait period that applies to most applications.
Global Force Wrestling's applications for trademarks relating to the Hardys were filed on April 28 and were also assigned to a trademark attorney on July 27.
WWE's application for Matt Hardy received an initial refusal due to potential confusion with the "Broken Matt Hardy" application, which was filed first by Hardy himself. All other actions will be frozen until Matt's application is finalized. A similar situation happened with GFW's application.
Both of WWE's applications also received an initial refusal due to WWE not providing consent from Matt and Jeff to trademark their respective names. They quickly responded with consent from both of them.
WWE's application for a trademark on the Hardy Boyz name was filed in April and is set to be published for opposition to the public at the end of August.
Matt Hardy has hired an IP lawyer out of Nashville, TN to help acquire the "Broken" trademark, according to a report by PWInsider. According to the article, Hardy submitted a CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promotional poster featuring him with his Broken gimmick during the "Expedition of Gold" tour after the USPTO refused his trademark registration this past May for "unacceptable specimens/documents provided as proof of use."
Exclusive: Matt Hardy Comes To Deal With Anthem Sports
After speaking with sources, I can confirm 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.
The battle of the "Broken" gimmick created by Matt Hardy in TNA has been well documented. Hardy left the company in early 2017 before he and Jeff Hardy returned to WWE at WrestleMania last April. Their return was as their vintage Team Xtreme gimmicks because Anthem Sports, who owns TNA Impact, was claiming legal ownership. Their argument was that the "Broken" gimmick was their intellectual property since it was created on their television.
Just until recently, Matt has been performing the same type of character he did in TNA as "Woken" Matt Hardy in WWE. With this new agreement with Anthem relinquishing any ownership, it will allow more opportunity for the character to be monetized moving forward including merchandise.