And once again .. may I welcome you back to this wonderful mini-series featuring The Hardys 8-year journey back to the WWE. Last time, we finished with The Final Deletion which showed Broken Matt Hardy defeating his brother for the right to own the Hardy Brand. As a result, Jeff became an “Obsolete Mule” with the name Brother Nero, and would no longer be allowed to throw himself off ladders or turnbuckles as Broken Matt did not appreciate his “spot monkey” philosophy. Missed the first two parts? Here’s the links for both:-
Just like EC3 did to him only a couple of months before, Jeff found his career being controlled by another. Matt refused to give his brother any meaningful airtime, instead belittling him for his spot monkey antics and the way he sacrificed himself to the creatures. He referred to Brother Nero as Obsolete, and soon enough they drilled the label into him through sheer repetitiveness. It was annoying .. but it was the start of something new for Jeff Hardy.
“I’ll fade away and classify myself as Obsolete … Obsolete!”.
Instead of allowing it to depress him, Jeff remained strong for the fans and hoped he could break the shackles. But it wasn’t to be .. as Broken Matt had no intentions of releasing him. It was around this time that fans got behind the Broken gimmick as they enjoyed the silly antics and phrases, and the focus being on Matt’s character and not Jeff’s. “Delete” and “Obsolete”, two words used to garner heat with the audience .. suddenly became cool and imitable.
There was no denying The Broken Universe became more than intended, so they needed to tweak something to turn them into fan favourites .. they needed Brother Nero to embrace being The Obsolete Mule. During an event at Juggalo Championship Wrestling, Brother Nero grew tired of being punished by his brother, so he took out his frustration on some broken furniture. Fans questioned whether he had lost his mind, was under the effects of drugs .. or if it was a teaser for Brother Nero’s future.
Broken Matt announced he and Brother Nero would team together to earn a shot at Decay’s TNA World Tag Team titles. Nero was reluctant, but did as asked and defeated The Tribunal on his own. After the match (7-min mark), Matt told Nero he liked his passion. Nero took it offensively (like Matt implied he lacked passion before) and took it out on The Tribunal with repeated Twists Of Fates. After driving Coach Al Snow through a table, he told Matt the only person who punishes Brother Nero is himself, before launching his own body to the outside through a table. Jeff embraced the name “Brother Nero” as The Broken Hardys laughed maniacally together.
With Brother Nero embracing Obsolete and his brother’s leadership, they prepared for “Ascension to Hell“; a ladder match with four tag teams fighting to become #1 contenders. In the video below, Broken Matt can be seen training his brother in the art of winning a ladder match without sacrificing your body at every opportunity like a brainless spot monkey.
On August 18th, The Broken Hardys won Ascension To Hell and became #1 contenders to Decay’s tag team titles. It wasn’t long til The Death Dealers confronted The Broken Hardys and threatened to take Matt & Reby’s son.
With much anticipation, Decay accepted the invite to the Hardy Compound for a brawl named “Delete Or Decay” where they invaded with the intent of kidnapping Maxel Hardy. Brother Nero saved Broken Matt from being struck by Abyss’ spiky friend Janice; but was severely wounded in the process. Rosemary walked out of the house holding Maxel, but was confronted by Broken Matt. Her attempts at hitting him with The Mist backfired, as he used his divine powers from the Seven Deities (more on that later) to exhale the mist, before spitting it back in her face.
The Hardy family won the battle, but the war had only just begun. The aftermath saw Broken Matt & Brother Nero visiting the “Lake Of Reincarnation”, a lake on the grounds of the Hardy Compound with healing properties. While Matt hoped the lake would heal his brother’s injury, he did not foresee Jeff’s character reverting back to an ugly anti-Christ “Immortal” state. Luckily .. after a second attempt, the rightful Brother Nero returned and declared Decay were Obsolete.
They went to Bound For Glory as a united team with the same need to take the titles from Decay. As stated by Broken Matt, their title match would go down in history as “The Great War”. Reby joined in with their entrance for the first time at the PPV, where she played their theme songs on a piano. The match was like nothing we’d seen before at Bound For Glory. Someone had the brilliant idea of bring a bucket of water from the Lake Of Reincarnation, meaning Brother Nero could transform several times; once into Willow, once into Itchweed, and again back to Brother Nero.
Broken Matt .. for the first time since he made his brother the Obsolete Mule, gave him permission to be a spot monkey on this special occasion. Nero finished Decay with a Swanton Bomb off a high ladder through Crazzy Steve and two tables, making them two-time TNA Tag Team champions. In their return match, Decay challenged for the titles in a Wolfcreek Steel Cage match, but were unsuccessful.
After a couple of months fending off all challengers, The Broken Hardys were ambushed by an anonymous group called the DCC. The feud soon heated up with the three members of DCC continuously getting the upper hand, and Broken Matt took a turn for the worse as he forgot who he was after being knocked off a forklift. He had his family to support him, as Brother Nero and wife Reby did their best to make Broken Matt remember who he was before the incident. He’d become a shell of his former self .. making it difficult to watch.
Did he ever recover? Did they get revenge on the DCC? And what other crazy matches can we expect in part four? We’ll have to wait and see. Til then, read on after the video as I list key names and phrases which may make it easier for the unfamiliar to become familiar with the wonderful complexities of The Broken Universe.
Terminology Of The Broken Universe
- Delete! – To defeat your opponent and render them obsolete forever.
- Obsolete! – To recognize you require the guidance of Broken Matt, and any resistance will be met with full deletion.
- “I just had a premoneeetion (premonition)!” – Broken Matt has the power to see in to the future through the Seven Deities. This means he can plan ahead of time for a tactical advantage.
- Spot Monkey – Matt often refers to “Bucks Of Youth” (aka The Young Bucks tag team) as spot monkeys due to their obsession in performing many back-to-back high spots in every match they work. Brother Nero was also a spot monkey before his obsolete transformation.
- Vanguard One – Is often found making jokes as bad as Jerry Lawler’s, except it’s a drone and has no arms to count a pin-fall as a special guest referee. As it’s not human, referee’s stated it is not allowed to take part in wrestling matches. It’s main assets include being a top-notch security guard, and having the spectacular ability to teleport people across large distances in a few seconds.
- Senor Benjamin – The family gardener is a little more than .. just a gardener. He’s often looking after Maxel, as well as providing interference. He’s sleazy, but he somehow manages to keep the garden in good condition and always finds a way to help in a crisis.
- Skarsgård the Dilapidated Boat – Broken Matt has been seen to use the boat to gather his thoughts on the Lake Of Reincarnation. While on shore, the boat serves as a shield against fireworks. Matt considers the boat a long-time friend of the family.
- Lake Of Reincarnation – It has mystical properties of healing and transformation. Its special water can be transported elsewhere and used to heal, or transform gimmicks in an instant.
- Wonderful! – Means Broken Matt is very happy with what he sees.
- The Seven Deities – NERIC, COHLE, CHALL, SIRKO, ASTARR, GUSTAVO, & BROHARE are the names of the gods. They are the source of Broken Matt’s powers and guide him like a compass. The names were revealed in a storybook of The Great War when Matt read it to his son Maxel.