WWE spent lots of attention on AEW wrestler names in recent months, with Cody Rhodes as the most prominent name on their list. However, the WWE is far from done with their petty battle of the surnames.
Billy Gunn Not Allowed To Use His Wrestling Surname
Despite working for the WWE for years, Billy Gunn eventually left the WWE for AEW as his role in World Wrestling Entertainment came to an end. However, the transition has been anything but smooth for the former member of D-Generation X.
Billy Gunn used his wrestling name for many years and wanted to do the same when he joined AEW. However, it now seems the WWE is blocking him from using it.
To avoid lawsuits coming from the WWE, AEW found a temporary solution by referring to Billy Gunn as simply “Billy.” That being said, they found a smart way around things by using the Cody Rhodes approach.
By using Billy and Austin Gunn in the same tag team, they advertise the pair as Billy and Austin Gunn. Of course, the production is not using the name, it just puts a clear hint towards it.
Cody Rhodes’ Name Battle With WWE
Even though he spent his time in WWE as Stardust in the later years, the WWE did anything in its power to prevent him from using the name Cody Rhodes.
The battle of the surnames became clear with Cody Rhodes since his family name is part of his legacy. Yes, the WWE blocked his use of the name for a long time.
Fortunately, Cody decided to bite back by recently filing a trademark for his own name. Before the filing of the trademark, AEW had to often use the combination of Cody and Dustin Rhodes to actually use the Rhodes name.
In 2018, fans wondered about Cody and why he did not use his iconic surname. At the time, he gave the classy answer and said that nobody prevented him from using the name.
A) Nobody is keeping me from using my last name. There’s no evil plot.
B) he could call himself “blue eyed velveteen American dream soul jr” and I wouldn’t be offended. He’s very talented and not hurting anybody.
Besides, we Rhodes always make a comeback. We endure. https://t.co/9mkapKT7cG
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) June 27, 2018
Despite the classy answer back in 2018, the recent trademark proves that the company did prevent him from using his surname in the past.
The Cody Rhodes trademark expired in 2019 and they failed to re-file the trademark.
Still, they do not seem to want to let go of the name, as they are currently opposing Cody’s trademark.
WWE Seeing AEW As Serious Competition
The name battle between Cody Rhodes and the WWE, and Billy Gunn and the WWE, shows that the company might not be as comfortable with AEW after all.
While they laughed off the rumors that AEW posed a serious threat, WWE brass now seems to have changed their minds.
Like it or not, AEW is serious competition for WWE. This is especially the case after their amazing Stadium Stampede match.
Of course, Billy Gunn and Cody Rhodes are not just unknown wrestlers. Both men are known throughout the wrestling industry, no matter which promotion you follow most often.
There is one bit of positive news for Rhodes though, as the WWE did not oppose Cody’s trademark filing for the name “Dusty Rhodes.”