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Big JM

"CM Punk"'s Final Months? Possible trouble for Phil Brooks.

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Having recently heard the talk of the WWE copywriting, trademarking, or whatever you want to call it, the names “CM Punk” and “The Last Outlaw”, this fan is instantly reminded of the Impact wrestling former tag team “Team 3D”'s departure from the WWE. Formerly known worldwide as the Dudley Boyz, this team electrified the tag team division in the late 90s and early 00’s. Their stints in the original ECW and the then WWF are legendary with their tag team attack, the aptly named “3D”, putting their opponents threw tables, and helping creating the iconic Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches, only tells a small portion of their accomplishments over the years.

In 2005, during their usual roster cuts, the WWF, now WWE, decided to part ways with the Dudleys. After a failed break-up of the group with the roster spilt, the duo had reunited, won some more tag team championships, and were wished well on future endeavors. Oh, and they could no longer refer to themselves as the Dudleys, Dudley Boyz, Buh Buh Ray, or Devon, collectively or individually, respectively. When WWE bought out ECW, their origin and name givers, the WWE also bought anything and everything associated or considered property of ECW that crossed their minds. So now with the decision to release the Dudleys after six years, despite their hard work and contributions to the WWE, the tag team division and wrestling in general, it was seen by many as a slap to the face and a kick to balls good-bye.

As one could expect, the Dudleys were not pleased having to not only change their names, but face legal consequences for failing to do so. Considering the fact that they are now known as Team 3D, they didn’t win any court battles. The WWE Public Relations defended their decision to wrestlers, fans, and promoters alike, saying it was simply business. One of defining moments of this episode was that Stephanie McMahon was one of the WWE’s personal to justify the decision publically, among the faceless PR workers, perhaps giving some light on what moron or callous individual could even conceive the idea of using a legal loophole such as this one.

Now, with the WWE trademarking CM Punk’s name, one that he brought with him all the way back from his backyard wrestling days, I’m slightly worried how the events of CM Punk leaving the WWE, supposedly, this Summer/early Fall, will finish. Some think he is simply letting his contract expire to allow time to heal, after all last Fall he was a commentator for some time with a broken hip I believe. Others think his leaving is for real, following a perceived dislike among fans of his position in the company right now. My current thoughts are one of two end points: CM Punk legitimately leaves the WWE, but will no longer be able to call himself the name he made famous on the indie circuit or he is going to stay and the name trademark is part of a business deal made between the two. Now for the former, whether it was a threat from the WWE to keep him on their terms or simply a business decision in their attempts to market as much of their talent as possible, we shall have to wait and see. I for one am hoping for a ‘happy’ ending and that Phillip Brook will not be referring to himself as The Artist Formerly Known as CM Punk in future endeavors.

Your thoughts?

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  1. maar13's Avatar
    I think is more the second option you said, They have reached some kind of deal because CM Punk is no idiot, if he let them do that something good has to given to Punk. In the case of the Dudleys Heyman had something to do from what I understand. They though Heyman had granted them the rights but those rights went to WWE after ECW has gone belly up.

    In this case is probably because of a deal between the two.
  2. alexrules01's Avatar
    Hopefully its a Rock kinda deal, both parties are able to use the name, they have joint ownership
  3. Lowki's Avatar
    He can always call himself CM Punk. It's like the newsboard posted, a similar thing is in place with Tommy Dreamer and is basically merchandise driven. I guess the idea is for WWE to stop him going to TNA if anything.
  4. AOF666's Avatar
    I'm thinking he is resigning after thetrademarking his name.
  5. Slobernocker_30's Avatar
    He can (and probably would) legally change his name to CM Punk.
  6. vaid100's Avatar
    Your confusing Trademarks with Copyright law! Team 3D can't use the Dudley gimmick because WWE took full ownership of the Copyright when they purchased ECW. It became their intellectual property, to do with whatever they damn well pleased. But, on the other hand, if team 3D returned to WWE under the Dudley Boyz gimmick, WWE would have to re-register a Trademark because they have not fulfilled the requirements to sustain one since their departure, even though it was well within their rights to present a fake Bubba Ray and Devon combo to keep it active. CM Punk is the intellectual property of Phil Brooks, he owns the copyright, when he leaves WWE, the name leaves with him. You can only keep a Trademark whilst you've got something to trade!!
  7. BigJM's Avatar
    Wow, a lot of comments! Thanks for your feedback everyone. I was not aware how trademarking and copyright actually worked (or at least for the WWE) so I was hoping I was among a few who are simply nervous about a real CM Punk Departure. Here's hoping to a few more years of Straight-Edge.

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