It is not out of the ordinary for wrestlers to start using a different ring name after parting ways with WWE. Most of the time, the promotion has created the ring names of the superstars, and they file trademarks on them to make sure the names are the intellectual property of the company. Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback feels that enough time has passed since he left the company, and he’s asking Vince McMahon and Triple H to let the trademark on his name expire.
Luke Harper has already converted back to his pre-WWE ring name of Brodie Lee. Tye Dillinger is once again known as Shawn Spears since joining All Elite Wrestling. It isn’t common for a superstar to continue using their WWE ring names once they leave the promotion.
Even if WWE doesn’t create a name, they can still trademark it if they’re the first to do it.
Around the end of the summer in 2016, Ryback was released by WWE after a period of tension between the two sides. It was not an unexpected release and he jumped back onto the independent circuit under the ring name of “The Big Guy,” which is a nickname that had followed him for years.
Now, Ryback feels that enough time has passed, and he’s publicly asking WWE, Vince McMahon, and Triple H to just let the trademark expire.
Publicly asking @wwe @VinceMcMahon @TripleH to let the Ryback trademark go. It wasn’t created by them and trying to make someone spend nearly 200K to keep their legal name and brand is petty and unnecessary. Please move on and erase me from your history and programming. ????
— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) February 1, 2020
A Ryback return to WWE seems unlikely. This is one of those relationships that has bridges burned on both sides and a reunion doesn’t seem feasible.
Last year, Ryback spoke with Wrestling Inc. about a number of topics, including his ring name of “Ryback.” He said that WWE never received his approval to trademark it in the first place as he owned it before signing with them.
There is a way for him to get around the trademark, but as he stated in his tweet, it would cost him a lot of money.
“They refiled for that trademark on the last day of the deadline so now what I have to do is I have to cancel their trademark and spend upward of $40,000-$60,000 in attorney fees to fight this to make sure that I get that and it’ll take anywhere between a year and a year-and-a-half from once we filed to cancel their trademark.”
If Ryback wants to get his ring name back from WWE and have them give up their trademark of it, he’ll have to spend money for it. Even if Vince McMahon has no desire to ever do business with someone again, they will forever be featured in old footage of which the trademark still makes sense.