Impact Wrestling president Ed Nordholm was a guest on The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling this week to discuss Anthem's purchase of the company last fall, the departure of Dixie Carter, the Hardy's situation and many more topics.
A lot of people will want to know about the relationship with the Hardys.
"I think it's unquestionable that the ownership of the characters in the storyline resides in Impact Wrestling. I don't think even the Hardys would dispute that. They've all signed contracts. Their contracts are standard contracts. Not only in the wrestling industry, but in the entertainment industry, generally, the producer of the show owns the content and it doesn't really matter who in the creative team came up with the idea of what the character should be. The person that owns the storyline and the character is the person who invested to take that idea and put it on TV. That's what we did. Impact put those characters on TV, and the contracts with those people are indisputably contracts that provide their IP to Impact."
Are you open to speaking and sitting down with the Hardys?
"Oh, of course. I was open to speaking before and I'm open now. We've offered many times to find an arrangement with the Hardys that would allow them to continue to use the gimmick within reasonable parameters as to what's important to us and what would be important to them. I understand with the dynamic of their move to the WWE and drama with which they created that launch – I understand their plan to create maximum "heat" in that period from when they announced to us that they weren't going to sign the contracts, to the date that they revealed their new location. But I kinda half-expected that once that had been achieved, the thing would die its own natural death because as far as I know, the WWE doesn't want the gimmick, and indeed, from every conversation I've had with them, I've been told they have no interest in it."
So they're not actively pursuing it from you.
"Oh god, no. We've been in communication because there's all this chatter about how we're keeping it from them. [Laughs] I'm taking heat because I'm keeping something from you. If you want it, why don't you call me? And their answer to me has been, 'No, not interested.'"
Back in March, the Hardys appeared on a Ring of Honor event in Manhattan announcing they would be appearing on the following Friday's pay-per-view. What had come out was that on Friday, ROH was notified a few hours before the pay-per-view to stop utilizing these characters on their broadcast.
"We had conversations with the Ring of Honor people before the Manhattan event as to what I was gonna be good with and what they were good with. I thought we had an understanding as to where the line was going to be, and they communicated to me that they understood our position and would honour it. It became apparent in the day before the pay-per-view event that whatever Ring of Honor was putting forward as to who was showing up, who was being teased, and actually who they intended to appear was going to be the [Broken Hardy] characters. We did what people who own intellectual property do. You can't do that. We had an understanding. You're not living by that understanding."
How would you characterize the relationship now with Ring of Honor?
"Fine. I think the Ring of Honor people would have preferred had we not interfered with that show. I don't think they hold any ill will toward me for doing what I did. I've had discussions with Joe [Koff, Ring of Honor COO] from time to time. There's still opportunities for us to be working with Ring of Honor much in the same way we intended to do before the Hardy Brothers left. They've got lots of other wrestlers within their organization that would be fun to see against our wrestlers and vice-versa, I'm sure. So hopefully as the heat from all of this dies down at some point, we can start working with them in much the same way as we intend to work with AAA or NOAH or anybody else. It doesn't have to be an international partner for us to be wanting to bring the fans opportunities to see match-ups they want to see."