I found this (stormwrestling.com) an interesting read. It gives some insight as to why some former WWE wrestlers aren't being allowed to use their popular in-ring names even though that was their moniker before stepping foot in a WWE ring.
But Lance makes pretty decent argument for the Dudleys arguing their case ...
That's a very interesting and smart analysis. I think what it boils down to is that if the Dudleys were to use the name against WWE's wishes and WWE was to sue, the Dudleys would probably win. But the Dudleys probably don't want to go through a lawsuit against WWE's big guns, and I'm sure they don't want to alienate WWE anyway (though they did go to TNA).
It is interesting to note the Raven effect as far as the intellectualy property of the Dudley's name. But, as was stated earlier, it probably would be a long drawn out process that no one outside of Vince could afford. If we could only find a "Curt Flood" in this situation willing to fight the battle. (Curt Flood basically lost his career to fight for free agency in baseball - its a long story.) I cannot stand it that the WWE feels this need to display their feathers in this situation. Even if TNA were to explode and become a major player in this business, it would still take quite a bit of time to do so, and if Vince actually cared about this business instead of his pockets, he would realize that if he let a few people go with names, a buzz would be generated between the companies, which might bring wrestling back to the Monday Night War days, which would in turn make everyone more money. The worst thing he ever did was to buy out WCW. As much as I hated it at the end, it was still fascinating to watch these two companies go at it. Plus, it was good business for everyone, even if it wasn't always smart business. Now, Vince has the ship all to himself, and he is slowly sinking it back to the depths of the early 1990's.
"Heidenreich makes any 5 star match a 4 star match just by working for the promotion and being allowed in the building"
Originally posted by HeidenreichIsMyHeroand if Vince actually cared about this business instead of his pockets, he would realize that if he let a few people go with names, a buzz would be generated between the companies, which might bring wrestling back to the Monday Night War days, which would in turn make everyone more money.
I disagree. To us on the outside, it looks like TNA is no big threat so Vince shouldnt worry about them. Most of us would also love to see a big #2 company rise up to compete with WWE.
But in Vince's eyes, I bet this situation with TNA reminds him a lot of late 80's NWA/early 90's WCW. He didnt seem to take them very seriously in the beginning either, but I bet during 95-97 he wished he had done a few things differently.
I know WWE won the Monday Night War in the end, but there was a period of time when he was really hurting, and I cant imagine why he wouldn't do everything in his power to keep that from happening again.
"Regardless of the ECW contract any variation created in WWE would still belong to WWE. The "Whazz Up?" catch phrase, and "D-Von get the tables" I believe were created in WWE and will therefore be off limits either way."
The only point I can argue with is Storm's example of the "Whazz Up?" spot.
Not only do I contend that the WWE can't trademark a wrestling move, but the vocals for that spot and the name of it are ripped off from the old Budweiser ads. The WWE can't lay claim to it, only their Attitude spelling of it (z's instead of s's). I don't see any reason why the Deadly Brothers can't use that bit if they still wanted.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
They can't trademark a wrestling move, but they could potentially trademark the name of the move and associated descriptors (such as the sounds or catchphrases related to the move). However, like Matt Tracker said, they'd almost certainly have to deal with opposition from Budweiser if they attempted to assert trademark rights to "Whazz Up?"
I attribute much of the attention given to appearances by former superstars to the WWE realizing the value of its library - the best of DVDs have generally done well, and have been a good way to generate revenue from a previously dormant asset.