Ed Nordholm, Executive Vice President of Anthem Sports & Entertainment and President of Global Force Wrestling, spoke with SportsIllustrated.com’s Justin Barrasso to give his version of the story on what is going on with The Hardys and their fight to get the rights to the “Broken Universe” intellectual property.
Given the negative publicity surrounding the issues with The Hardys and Alberto El Patron, Nordholm was asked if it would be in GFW’s best interest to come to terms with the Hardys. Nordholm said, “No. I don’t see how they’re related at all.”
Nordholm asserted that there should be no confusion over who owns the IP over the “Broken Universe” IPs. He said, “Because Matt Hardy, his brother [Jeff Hardy], and his wife [Reby Hardy] have all signed contracts that sign over all rights to the IP. That is the fundamental term of every term for every wrestler on our show, that’s a fundamental term for every wrestler with WWE, and that is the same contract that Ring of Honor has. It’s not really up for debate.”
In response to The Hardys claim that they spent thousands of dollars on their characters ($3,000 on the volcano used in the “Apocalypto” episode, for example), Nordholm said, “No. The company spent millions of dollars producing television last year, including all of the shows that incorporate the various aspects of the “Broken Brilliance.” I don’t know whether Jeff and Matt had some out-of-pocket expenses that they might have had on the volcano and the like, but that would not change, in any way, shape, or form, what their contracts say about who owns the IP. If they had some out-of-pocket expenses, they certainly never brought them to my attention. To suggest that they somehow funded the show is absurd.”
He reiterated that WWE has no interest in the “Broken” IP. Well, WWE is never going to negotiate with another wrestling company. Would they like the Hardys to have ownership of the IP’s? Yes, but WWE is not going to get involved in that. It’s been clear for some time that WWE would like to use the Hardys with those gimmicks if they are legally able to do so.
Nordholm is apparently willing to go to court if necessary: “If we do go to court, his contract will be produced in discovery, and it will be public–all of it, and not just the clauses that are relevant. I don’t think there is any issue around confidentiality.
I don’t have to go to court to fight for [the IP]. We own it. If Matt brings an action to us that says we don’t own it, I guess we’ll defend ourselves, but I don’t intend to take any particular proceedings. I know I own it. I’ve got a contract that says I own it. I don’t have to go to court to fight for it.”
Nordholm also fired back at the previous SI.com report from sources saying that The Hardys and Anthem were close to a deal that would have allowed The Hardy to buy the “Broken” IP’s for $10-$15,000 but the deal reportedly fell apart when financial demands were increased by Anthem. Nordholm’s response: “What prevented it from completion is that we’ve never come to terms. I have made numerous efforts, going back to February and the time of the cease and desist letter [to Ring of Honor for advertising the “Broken” Hardys for their 15th Anniversary pay per view] to make an arrangement with Matt Hardy to use the gimmick. Every time we have those conversations, they sort of start warm then end up not coming to fruition due to an inability to come to an agreement as to what basis I would confer those rates on him.”
Nordholm also said that on a Sunday before a taping (months ago before they parted ways), that Hardy called to ask for another $100,000 or he wanted to explore his options. Nordholm said, “I don’t say that to make him look bad. I’m saying it because I don’t blame him for trying to maximize his economics on his last big run. The reality is I couldn’t afford to go another $100,000 at that particular time, and I had to say no. I have no misapprehension; if WWE wants to take a guy away from me, I can’t really compete. I thought I had a deal with Matt, I reached as hard as I could. The part of the story that says we offered Jeff a big deal and Matt a little deal is utter bullsh–.” He added that the deals offered to Matt and Jeff were offered deals “almost equal” to each other with an “all-in contract at a multiple of what he had been making under his old contract.” Nordholm says that he is not trying to make Hardy look bad by revealing this but GFW/Anthem could not afford to pay out an extra $100,000.
I would highly recommend that you read the entire Q&A by clicking here.
Note: In response to the story, Reby Hardy claims that she has recorded every phone call with Ed Nordholm and that Nordholm is lying.