What some feel may be the real reason for WCPW’s impending rebrand has emerged… and it’s not perhaps what you’d expect.
Barely 48 hours removed from WCPW’s final iPPV, the promotion’s old wc.pw website no longer works (at time of writing), which makes sense since there’s no tickets to sell… at least until the promotion emerges as Defiant. For what it’s worth, a quick check of some of the expected domain names show that the new name may well not have been registered as a domain. Yet.
So, why the move away from WCPW? Was it because of the recent departures of high-profile names? Surprisingly, the answer seems to be “no”.
According to post on Facebook, there’s been some legal issues surrounding those four letters. Whilst I am not privy to the behind-the-scenes stuff, I can confirm that the initials “WCPW” were registered by a James Kirby Duck in November 2015 with the US Trademark and Patent Office. That application was logged for those initials to be used in a variety of areas, including “production and distribution of television shows in the field of professional wrestling matches”.
Previously, the initials were used by Windy City Pro Wrestling, based out of Chicago – a promotion that was perhaps best known for being where Christopher Daniels got his start. That group’s trademark was cancelled in 2006, although they continued running shows until 2011.
Duck, who’s previously wrestled and managed in local indy promotions in Illinois, of course opposed the creation of WhatCulture Pro Wrestling, as he revealed in his Facebook post:
“People have wondered why I have taken so long to get WCPW up and running. I have eluded many times to various “legal wranglings” going on. So here is what happened. After I trademarked the name WCPW, a company out of The United Kingdom started running shows as WCPW.
“Of course, I had to spend various monies to have my Lawyer contact them in the hopes of avoiding another long drawn out costly legal battle between Myself and a big wrestling company.
“I am happy to announce that as of December 4th, the UK Company will no longer be calling themselves WCPW and have decided to rebrand themselves. This clears the way for me to be the only WCPW, with a fresh start in 2018. So while I have taken a long time to get this thing off the ground, believe me when I tell you that there are always things going on behind the scenes that people do not know about.”
Whilst I can assume that had this gone to a court, any defence would have centred around the fact that WCPW ran the vast majority of their shows in the UK (they only ran 3 times outside the UK: once over WrestleMania weekend in Orlando, plus the World Cup Qualifier co-promoted shows in Canada and Germany), the Internet quickly makes everything global, regardless of whether you’re a podcast based out of someone’s bedroom, or in this case, a promotion running shows in one town. That being said, Duck’s own Facebook post notes that his WCPW hasn’t held a show yet, so this could well have become a battle between what matters: registering a trademark first, or registering a trademark and using it (WCPW did file an application in October 2016 – four months after their debut show.
Interestingly, another trademark has since been filed by WhatCulture for the name “King Ross” – that application went in a full week before the departure of the person behind the character was announced. Make of that what you will!)
Although WCPW has ceased live events (with the final Loaded shows airing in the next two weeks), their new name could well cause similar problems. We’ve already covered the possible issues that Defiant Wrestling could cause with Seattle’s DEFY Wrestling, there’s the risk of further confusion closer to home. 5* Wrestling’s TV show earlier this year was broadcast under the name of “Dominant Wrestling” – a name so generic that there’s already been confusion between Defiant and Dominant!
Just think… a quick Google search could well have stopped that issue, and the ensuing mess behind-the-scenes. This story is, of course, developing, and we’ll stay in touch with developments as the rebrand continues towards the December relaunch.
Author’s notes: since this was posted, WCPW have registered WeAreDefiant.co.uk as a domain name, with that site currently showing details for tickets for their December 4 relaunch. The old wc.pw website is now functioning, with details on WCPW up until this month’s Refuse to Lose iPPV.