Former OVW wrestler Ted McNaler was recently on The Monday Locker Room show with Bin Hamin. During the episode, McNaler claimed that OVW wrestler Tony Gunn received a cease and desist letter from AEW producer Billy Gunn over the term "The Gunn Show". Tony Gunn is his real name, and he has been using the term "Gunn Show" for the past several years.
Tony Gunn issued the video response above at the 2:33 mark regarding not being able to use the term. It should be noted that Gunn never said that he received a cease and desist, but rather was told that he can't use "The Gunn Show."
"I was recently told that 'Tony Gunn, you can no longer use the gimmick 'The Gunn Show'', that's it's been trademarked by someone on a bigger stage, a bigger platform," Gunn said. "And that means that what I've been building over these past three or four years, building my brand, building who I am, is gone. Down to the music that I've had made, I cannot use. Down to my wrestling gear, my catchphrases that I say on the mic, what I'm referred to in the wrestling business 'The Gunn Show'. To my merchandise that I have I cannot sell anymore. I can't do any of it. I've been stripped away of it all. And I've never felt this way before. I've never had my wrestling identity stolen from me. I never thought that could happen to me.
"It hurts. It hurts a lot. And I'm pissed off. Really pissed off. I've been wrestling for 15 years and I've had a lot of gimmicks, a lot of characters along the way and I finally found something that works for me, something that translated to the people and on TV and now I've had it ripped out from under my feet. It's bulls--t. At the end of the day, it's truly my fault. As an independent wrestler, you're supposed to protect your business, you're supposed to protect your brand. My brand was 'The Gunn Show' and now I lost that brand because of me."
Billy Gunn's wife, Paula Sopp, denied that Billy had sent Tony a cease and desist letter. Paula issued a statement to WrestleZone stating that while they never sent a cease and desist, they did send a text message to let OVW know that they had trademarked the term.
"We reached via text message to OVW, to let them know that we aren't trying to be a$$holes but we trademarked 'Gunn Show' and please let Tony know he can't use it," Paula stated. "He's upset that he can't use it anymore, which is understandable. We have been going thru leaps and bounds to trademark The Gunn name and everything related to it, including Gunn Show. We've hired an attorney last year for our trademarks. We've spent thousands of dollars for our trademarks.
"Billy has worked over 25 years using the Gunn name, professionally and on the Indy scene. Tony should have reached out to us and talked to us as a PROFESSIONAL, and we could have worked something out. Instead, he went to podcasts, social media and wrestling dirt sheets. As a professional, whether it's owning a business or a wrestling name, you have to protect yourself and your identity. If you've been around longer than 5 years in the wrestling business, you should know this!
"If Tony doesn't want an ACTUAL letter from our attorney, he will cease and desist the defamation of Billy! We wish Tony all the best with his wrestling career!"
Paula also tweeted, "Please show everyone this supposed cease and desist letter! Oh, you can't because there wasn't one! Man up, apologize for being a liar and call us! All you had to do was ask...that's it!"
Gunn responded to Paula, noting that he never stated that he received a cease and desist letter and that he's working on getting the story taken down.
You can see the tweets below:
Please show everyone this supposed cease and desist letter! Oh, you can't because there wasn't one! Man up, apologize for being a liar and call us! All you had to do was ask...that's it!— Paula Sopp (@psopp215) July 8, 2020
Paula, I never stated a cease & desist letter to anyone. That's through a third party and looking to have it taken down.— Tony Gunn (@gunn_tony) July 8, 2020