WWE Lawyer: TNA putting on ECW-themed PPV "at its peril."
I reached out earlier to World Wrestling Entertainment attorney Jerry McDevitt to ask if WWE had already, or was considering, taking legal action against Total Nonstop Action Wrestling for TNA's promoting of this Sunday's "Hardcore Justice" pay per view.
The event is being hyped, in effect, as an ECW reunion, despite WWE owning the rights to the ECW name and intellectual property.
I received this reponse from McDevitt:
"The WWE is the sole owner of the ECW marks, and as with all of WWE's intellectual property it will be vigorously protected. TNA acts at its peril if it infringes upon WWE's rights."
That can be taken to mean many things, but this much is apparent: TNA's questionable usage of the ECW brand is on WWE's legal radar. TNA could argue semantics and claim that they are not promoting an ECW reunion as much as a hardcore wrestling reunion, but that's intellectually dishonest, at best.
TNA has done itself no favors by mentioning the E-C-W letters more than once on television in recent weeks, and featuring photos of past ECW events (photos presumably not owned by WWE.)
TNA President Dixie Carter may be excited about the buzz and small up-tick in ratings that the "Hardcore Justice" concept has created. But you have to wonder how quickly that excitement will turn into terror if she is served with cease and desist papers hours before the pay per view is supposed to go live.