Former WWE Star Ryback Legally Changes Name To ‘Ryback’
Former WWE star Ryan Reeves went by the name “Ryback” in the company (and Skip Sheffield, but the less said about that run, the better). However, in order to continue using that name on the indies, he’ll have to get around WWE’s ownership of the Ryback brand. And there’s only one way to do that: by legally changing your name. As it turns out, this is exactly what Reeves is doing.
In a recent edition of his podcast, Conversation with the Big Guy, Reeves revealed that Ryan Alan Reeves would legally become Ryback Alan Reeves. It’s similar to how The Ultimate Warrior legally changed his name from Jim Hellwig to Warrior to get around WWE’s attorneys, and continue to use the Warrior name. In that sense, what Ryback is doing isn’t exactly unprecedented. But he does offer an explanation for why this is necessary, to him. As it turns out, he created the Ryback gimmick, but just never got around to filing the proper paperwork to make the gimmick legally his. From the podcast (H/T to Wrestling Observer for the transcription):
“It’s not uncharted territory, but it kind of is too in a way. I legally went and changed my name to Ryback, for many reasons, one of which it was one thing that I did not own, and I created and I used before my time with WWE. And it is something that is associated with my brand and who I am that I am very proud of. So, I went through the proper steps in Clark County in Las Vegas. And it cost a little bit of money, and I go in front of a judge September 1st. But when this airs, you know, hopefully everything is approved and I would be known as Ryback Alan Reeves moving forward.”
On the one hand, it’s a smart move, provided you don’t mind having your gimmick name become your legal, government name. On the other hand, if he had filed the paperwork to legally trademark the Ryback name, WWE probably would have just given him some other name, or just kept him as Skip Sheffield. And then we’d have Ryback legally changing his name to that instead. After all, Ryback was coming up during a time where WWE was giving every known quantity new names prior to debuting on the main roster. And it’s not as if Ryback was some big indy star whose name had inherent value already. So they likely would have given him an entirely different name that they could trademark for themselves.
With that said, I imagine it won’t be long before Cody Rhodes starts getting emails suggesting he do the same thing to keep the Rhodes name, which WWE will no longer allow him to use.
What do you think about Ryan Reeves legally changing his name to Ryback? Sound off in the comments!
And for more WWE news, read up on the injury sustained by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon during training!