UPDATE x 3: Live Audio Wrestling & The Fight Network’s John Pollack tweeted the following, confirming that The Hardy Boys will not be re-signing with TNA Wrestling:
I can confirm the reports from Mike Johnson & Ryan Satin – The Hardys are not going to re-sign w/ TNA and not expected at tapings this week
— John Pollock (@iamjohnpollock) February 27, 2017
For what it’s worth, The Fight Network is owned by Anthem. Anthem owns TNA Wrestling. UPDATE x 2: Prowrestlingsheet.com is reporting that Matt & Jeff felt disrespected during their recent contract talks with TNA Wrestling. According to their sources close to the situation, the two of them originally agreed to terms back in December.
The deal was supposed to be for one year, but as the weeks passed and with Matt constantly checking in, the brothers felt as if they were consistently given the run around. Matt and Jeff’s lawyer told Impact Wrestling officials that the brothers wanted a creative control clause in their new deals, this was shot down, with their lawyer then telling Anthem’s Ed Nordholm there was interest from other companies and he responded by saying, “Well, tell them to go to WWE then.”
This upset Jeff, who then said he was no longer interested in re-signing. Matt continued talks, but when they sent a new contract last week it was now a 2-year deal and terms had been snuck in which stated that TNA would receive 10% of all his profits outside of Impact (for a booking fee).
Matt’s lawyer told him that he’d be a fool to sign, so he informed the company he wasn’t interested in doing so, but that he would still come to the tapings to write off his character. TNA told Matt that he was crazy to think they’d want him on TV without a contact; Impact officials are currently trying to get their tag titles back.
UPDATE: Unless something major changes over the next several days, current TNA tag-team champions Matt & Jeff Hardy will be leaving TNA Wrestling.
The situation is said to be similar to Drew Galloway in that The Hardys did not physically receive new contracts until just a few weeks before their current deals were set to expire. One TNA source acknowledged that the contracts were late in arriving, explaining that they were behind due to the changeover involved in shifting TNA from its former parent company to the new infrastructure under Anthem Media. They continue to state that the brothers were not happy with the last minute rushed nature of having to sign and some of the language in the contract; this left both sides at an impasse.
The two sides had reportedly verbally agreed to terms of a new contract back in December of 2016. Matt Hardy reportedly had “extreme creative control” over his character and the “Broken Universe.” Under the new regime, that likely would not have continued. At one point, there was talk of adding Hardy to the creative team. Anthem brought back Jeff Jarrett as the new Chief Creative Officer, with Jarrett bringing back Dutch Mantel and Scott D’Amore. New contracts being offered by TNA management include a clause that would require talents to have their outside appearances approved by the company and would require the talent to pay TNA 10% of those earnings. The Hardys are looking for places that will not limit them creatively, while TNA looks to be heading into a period where they are rebuilding the entire company.
The feeling is that the Hardys did not want to leave TNA, as the schedule and the ability for Matt to travel with his family was a huge benefit personally and there’s no sign that sort of thing would be able to continue. The Hardys are considered one of the hottest acts on the independent scene with a gimmick that has added longevity to their careers.
In TNA storylines, the Hardys hold the TNA Tag-Team Titles, and are on an expedition for Tag Team gold, traveling to different independent (their drone Vanguard1 teleports them to various locations) promotions and winning their Tag Team. This journey was sent to Matt, via premonitions from the seven deities.
It’s possible that what ever unaired footage TNA has will simply be scrapped and new champions will be crowned.
It was previously reported that a return to WWE is “certainly in the ballgame, if not likely.” They are currently not taking any independent dates after May, as they’ve said they might not be able to fulfill those dates.
ORIGINAL: We reported last night here on eWrestlingNews.com that Matt and Jeff Hardy will likely be leaving TNA Wrestling as their current contracts with the company are expiring this week. Numerous sources report that pending a last-minute deal, they will be free agents come this Wednesday.
Dave Meltzer is reporting that the two of them returning to WWE is “certainly in the ballgame, if not likely”. Both Matt and Jeff Hardy are not taking any independent dates after May, as they’ve told promoters that they might not be able to fulfill those dates. They also said it’s possible that things could change. This would indicate that no deal with WWE has been reached as of this writing.
The various changes in TNA Wrestling, including Jeff Jarrett’s new role, made it more likely that “The Broken Hardys” would be leaving the company. With that being said, talks between the two sides are still ongoing and there’s a chance they could stick around. The next set of iMPACT! tapings begin on Thursday and run until Sunday. It remains to be seen how that’s handled if they leave, as TV had been built around them.
Also, The Hardys recently announced that they will close their online store after five years. Reby Hardy has been running it and said she can’t do so now that she’s a mother with another baby on the way. This has led to additional speculation about a WWE deal, as it would presumably lead to exclusive merchandise with that company.
We regret to post that after nearly 5yrs & 1000s of happy customers, https://t.co/8OFhB9oGRo is closing up shop. Stay tuned for BLOWOUT SALE
— Shop Matt Hardy (@ShopMattHardy) February 26, 2017
Its been a lot of hard work doing things all on my own – shirt design, site design/orders, customer service, shipping, etc – but…
— Reby Hardy (@RebyHardy) February 26, 2017
…I am no longer able to run the shop in the way Matt’s fans deserve. I will likely revisit the idea after the new baby is here, but…
— Reby Hardy (@RebyHardy) February 26, 2017
…for now, it’s impossible to be @BABYHARDYBRAND‘S Mommy, while making another kid; there are just too many sick/slow days to run properly.