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.
Of course, Reby Hardy has already responded, calling the leaks inaccurate and claiming the contract pages are not the ones from Hardy's actual contract:
This one continues to be a slobberknocker, folks. Stay tuned, because we're sure there will be updates tomorrow.