wrestling / Columns

Csonka Looks at The Winners in The Battle For The Broken Universe

December 4, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Hardys Broken Universe Broken

Welcome back to column time with Larry! Today I am here to discs something that seemed as if it would not happen, the delightful and exquisite news that house Hardy has won the Great War and will again reign supreme over the Broken Universe. Matt has been steady in his pursuit of what he felt was rightfully his intellectual property, and played the long game, while keeping the gimmick alive in WWE with continual and small teases. Is it too late for it to matter, or is it coming at the right time for Matt? More importantly, who are the winners in the, “Battle For The Broken Universe?” Lets take a look. I hope that you enjoy today’s column, and feel free to share your thoughts. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

In the long term, WWE: It’s obvious that WWE is a big winner here, because despite what some people wanted to tell you, they wanted the gimmick when the Hardys came back; nostalgia doesn’t last for ever, and WWE saw what Matt did on a small scale, and thinks that they can monetize it. I’m not saying they will know how to handle the gimmick and I’m not sure how well it will play in WWE. In TNA, Matt had like-minded people like Borash working with him, a ton of creative freedom, and they did things on an off the grid style. But it will now make its way to WWE. But more importantly than getting to use the gimmick, they got it without playing anyone else’s game. Had they gotten into a legal battle, they would have set precedence that they would do it in the future. Had they tried to buy the gimmick or enter into some sort of profit sharing agreement, they would have set precedence that they would be willing to do that in the future. These are not things that WWE likes to do. With Matt seemingly set to regain ownership of the Broken Universe, WWE will trademark the shit out of the “Woken” brand, and use it as they see fit. It’s an easy win for them.

In the long term, Impact Wrestling Talent: Also in the long term, the performers from the past and present of TNA/Impact Wrestling are big winners. The largely under-promoted, under-appreciated and at times under-paid talents are gaining access and ownership to the IPs of their characters going forward. This is a big win for performers for when they leave, and put in time for whatever exposure they achieved in the company. In the past, the company has stopped some performers from using their former personas on the independent scene, and anywhere outside of the company. For lower level talents without established name value outside of the TNA/Impact universe, it’s extremely damaging. Now they will at least get something out of their time with the company.

In the long term, Matt Hardy: Matt is obviously a huge winner here, and he comes away not only getting what he always believed what was his, but now feels vindicated. And while many will say it’s too late (a fair argument) and that it will never be the same in WWE (also fair), Matt needed this. With Jeff out injured, WWE has had no idea what to do with Matt. He’s either been a random tag partner or job fodder on TV, and if he hasn’t made TV, he made appearances on Main Event. Many have put it all on WWE “for ruining him,” but what do you want WWE to do with a 43-year-old Hardy boy on his own, playing the nostalgia act, and is the one that isn’t as popular and that they have never been fully behind. So this whole things is coming at the exact right time, and has the chance to give Matt new life; note I said has the chance. I will believe it when I see it. But the other reason that Matt is a huge winner here is that, as I mentioned above, WWE will make this their own “woken” thing and trademark the shit out of it. But that will allow Matt to own and trademark the “broken” stuff, so when he leaves WWE, he can continue on, with no issue, using his broke gimmick. That is huge for a star leaving WWE, because as we know, WWE will not budge in protecting their IPs & trademarks (for better or worse). On one hand I agree that WWE held onto properties they didn’t need to (Cody & Dudleyz), which maybe came off as unethical in some ways, but from a business aspect, they had the right to do so. It’s a cruel reminder that the rules of business don’t always allow with everyday life.

In the short term, Impact Wrestling/Anthem: In the short-term, Impact Wrestling/Anthem will be winners because they just babyfaced themselves to fans and wrestlers with this move, for a short time anyway. But from what it sounds like, and everything I have heard, this was a pure PR/saving face move from Impact Wrestling/Anthem. The word going around, and take it for what you will, is that the TNA/Impact Wrestling/Anthem contracts were not nearly as “iron clad” as they had believed, and that Matt Hardy was likely going to win a court battle. And with that being the case, they opted out of a potentially lengthy legal battle, which likely would have led to the loss of the IP as well as money. Despite the claims by Impact Wrestling/Anthem that all is well, Anthem has dumped a ton of money into Impact with little to no return. There are still massive problems there from financial, to talent leaving, to poor management but too many people want to throw their hands up in the air and say everything is ok. And that leads to the never-ending battle between the “everything is ok” people vs. the “TNA is dying and never ever did anything right” people. Unfortunately, neither side will give in and realize that it’s not just one extreme. While the move makes them look like nice guys, it’s a highly questionable business move. If your Anthem and you own Impact, all you really own are the ring(s), merchandise stock, the video library and the various intellectual properties. Giving them up, while a nice thing to do in the short-term to try and earn some good will, feels like a poor long-term play to me.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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