Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
The Hardy Boyz might be taking on Sheamus and Cesaro at Payback, but first, Matt must defeat Karl Ander Son – that is to say, the son of Karl Anderson – for the tag team titles, as the Good Brother tweeted:
— Karl Anderson (@KarlAndersonWWE) April 17, 2017
But the tag team title belt isn’t the only thing being pulled in two different directions.
Matt and Jeff Hardy’s WWE return, while super nostalgic, has been slightly awkward. After completely reinventing his career in TNA with the wildly successful Broken gimmick, Matt hasn’t been able to continue his BRILLIANCE in WWE because of a legal dispute over who actually owns the character: Matt or Impact Wrestling?
Even their merchandise appears confused, with their new t-shirt seemingly referencing the Broken gimmick’s recurring ‘rebirth’ theme.
But nothing is more conflicted than Matt’s Twitter account. Ever since the Hardys’ WWE return, he’s been cycling through his previous gimmicks there, sometimes tweeting normally, others with his Broken Brilliance, and now resurrecting his old Matt Hardy Version 1.0 character:
Matt regularly engages in combat training with Smokin' Joe the boxing kangaroo. pic.twitter.com/327t4LqgxO
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) April 16, 2017
None of this has helped us answer the all-important question, though: does Vince McMahon actually want Broken Matt in WWE?
Dave Meltzer has now revealed on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE are indeed planning on bringing the Broken Hardy characters to Raw, and their legal team are working with Impact Wrestling owners Anthem Sports and Entertainment about acquiring rights to the gimmick. Vince is aware that the Team Xtreme nostalgia pop will soon wear off, so he wants to transition Matt and Jeff into their newer characters. There’s also the other obvious upside of selling loads of merchandise.
Wrestling News World are reporting that WWE don’t want to give Anthem any royalties or a long-term percentage deal on merchandise, and are instead offering a lump sum amount to take full control of the gimmick. Once that’s settled, then the Broken Hardys storyline can begin on WWE TV. Of course, the unfortunate consequence of this is that WWE will most likely end up owning the Broken gimmick, not its main creator Matt Hardy – which has been one of the major friction points since he left TNA.
This week’s episode of Raw might not have had Broken Hardys, but it sure as hell had a broken ring – helping the show continue its post-Wrestlemania ratings momentum with an average of 3.35 million.
— WWE (@WWE) April 19, 2017
Last night’s episode of Smackdown Live opened with a graphic remembering Matthew ‘Rosey’ Anoa’i, who has sadly passed away age 47. Rosey debuted for WWE in 2002 with his real-life cousin Jamal as Eric Bischoff’s enforcer team 3-Minute Warning, and later became The Hurricane Shane Helms’ storyline protegee, called ‘The Super Hero In Training’ or ‘The S.H.I.T.’ for hilarious acronym points. The two would later win the World Tag Team Championships.
Rosey is part of the professional wrestling dynasty The Anoa’i Family, and was the son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika and, of course, the older brother of Roman Reigns. Start a ‘Thank You Rosey’ chant in the comments below.
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