It seems the newly christened Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood simply cannot get away from legal wranglings over their new name as they prepare to begin their post-WWE careers.
Around the time of their recent release from WWE, the formerly monikered Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson were in a back and forth battle with their former employers around trademarks related to their act including FTR, Shatter Machine and others.
Last week, the duo appeared as guests on the ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcast where Jericho revealed that the tag team would henceforth be known as The Revolt. As it turns out, that might not be the case.
Independent wrestlers Caleb Konley and Zane Riley have served Harwood and Wheeler with a cease and desist order regarding usage of ‘The Revolt’ name, as reported by Mike Johnson in PWInsider.
The tag team have been using the name for the last five years and a lawyer representing them served the former WWE Tag Team Champions’ legal representative with a 10 page document on 10th May. The document argues:
“The Revolt are well-known in the independent professional wrestling circuit and are the current PWX World Tag Team Champions. Mr. Burnett and Mr. Riley sell a range of Revolt-branded merchandise including t-shirts, hats, and DVDs, as shown in Exhibit B. The Revolt has been their passion for years and they have literally put their blood and sweat into building The Revolt brand and connecting with their fans.”
What makes matters murkier is that all four wrestlers involved worked at similar times on the Carolina circuit and the complainants argue that it’s unlikely that Wheeler and Harwood could not have been aware of their usage of the name. Whatever the truth in this, it’s not a great look for the team who have garnered significant fan support for sticking up for themselves in recent trademark battles with WWE’s corporate machine. Being seen to be wilfully ‘borrowing’ elements from acts further down the wrestling order would likely be frowned upon by their grassroots fanbase.
The letter goes on to claim that Konley and Riley attempted to reach out to their more decorated peers ‘as friends’ but were rebuffed. It withering states:
Dax and Cash may enjoy playing heels, but this is not the ring. They cannot steal their former friends’ intellectual property without consequence. Their conduct is not only unlawful, it is truly shameless that they would wilfully steal a name from those that worked so hard to build it up.
Harwood & Wheeler’s lawyer Michael Dockins quickly responded to PWInsider’s request for comment, claiming that his clients never had any intention of using The Revolt name. He said:
Our clients do not intend and have never intended to call themselves FEAR THE REVOLT. They have at all times and in every way made it clear that their tag team name would be FTR, and that FTR can and would mean different things depending on their storyline and creative. They are not responsible for and cannot be held responsible for dirt sheets and others incorrectly attributing to them a name other than the name they have chosen, FTR. In fact, when your client reached out to my clients “as friends” to resolve this matter they were informed that the tag team name is, was, and will be FTR and not REVOLT or THE REVOLT or FEAR THE REVOLT.
The response goes into great detail about the legal ins and outs of the issue that you can read in the original PWInsider article here.
We are far from legal professionals so it is not our place to comment on whether we think Wheeler/Harwood are at fault. However, it is curious that during their appearance on ‘Talk Is Jericho’, they didn’t seem to attempt to correct Jericho’s repeated references to them as The Revolt.
Regardless, let’s hope this is now sorted and this talented tag team can soon get back in the ring, doing what they do best – putting on tremendous wrestling matches.