Major League Wrestling CEO Court Bauer was the latest guest on the Lapsed Fan podcast where Bauer discussed the saga of selling the rights of the WarGames moniker to WWE back in 2018. He states that MLW filed the official trademark in the early 2000s shortly after WCW was bought, revealing that WWE never officially owned the WarGames name throughout that time.
So, when Vince acquired the assets of WCW, what those assets were just were dependent on what they had coming in. So, if they had never filed for trademarks, and had done nothing on that paperwork, well then, they never had them. They had abandoned a lot of trademarks, they had kind of never managed their IP and it was kind of a snapshot of how they ran the operation. They’ve had these incredible IPs; did they ever tend to it? No. That’s the difference between WWE and a lot of its competitors is they go the extra step, they are ruthlessly efficient, they make sure they have a lot of their IPs in place. I mean they kind of go overboard with some of the IPs they make sure they have but I think that’s what makes them different than WCW – they didn’t do that.
So, WWE never had ownership of the intellectual property that was War Games – the actual name and rights to do it. We did a War Games in 2003 and filed for the trademark and no one had done it up to this point, we were using the War Games and pursued it and successfully got it in the U.S Trademark and Patent Offices and we established use of it and for years thereafter had marketed DVDs and things, then brought it back in 2018 and right around then, conveniently timing-wise, NXT said ‘we’re going to do War Games’ and I said, ‘uh, guys, we need to have a conversation’ and we did.
Bauer later goes on to talk about MLW reinvention of the matchup, which they dubbed War Chamber.
We had announced ours and then they (NXT) did theirs (in November 2017) right after. So, you know, We had a business arrangement, we re-vamped the concept and brought in back in 2019 and introduced War Chamber in Dallas, same concept and added barbed-wire wrapped around the top of the cage but, I can’t go into many of the details, but it’s good to do your paperwork, that’s the biggest takeaway guys. It’s good to do your paperwork, due diligence and making sure you do your paperwork and it all turned out fine.
Check out the full interview below. (H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)