During his recent appearance on the pre-Backlash edition of Friday Night SmackDown, global music superstar Bad Bunny made waves not only with his electrifying performance but also with his choice of attire. While the iconic logo did not make an on-screen appearance, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Bad Bunny was donning a hoodie emblazoned with the old scratch WWF logo, which was in use between 1998 and 2002 [source: Wrestling Observer].
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which had previously taken legal action against the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) resulting in a name change to WWE in 2002, has remained steadfast in its concerns over the pro wrestling promotion’s use of their old logo. However, despite Bad Bunny sporting the controversial logo on WWE TV, there has been no change in the WWF’s stance. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer shed light on the situation, stating that Bad Bunny seemingly evaded any repercussions because “basically nobody wanted to tell him not to” [source: Wrestling Observer].
The dispute between WWF and WWE dates back to 1993 when the World Wildlife Fund initially raised objections to the use of the ‘WWF’ name. After a settlement was reached in 1994, the World Wrestling Federation agreed to refrain from using the ‘WWF’ initials internationally, with certain allowances made for the sale of existing products and occasional references on television, such as referring to someone as the WWF Champion.
However, Vince McMahon’s organization largely disregarded the settlement. Tensions escalated when the pro wrestling promotion registered the ‘WWF.com’ domain name and introduced the scratch WWF logo. Subsequently, the World Wildlife Fund pursued legal action, and UK courts ruled against the wrestling promotion, leading to the mandatory name change [source: Wrestling Observer].
Despite the past legal battles and ongoing concerns, Bad Bunny’s appearance in the hoodie featuring the old WWF logo on WWE TV has reignited the conversation surrounding the use of intellectual property and trademarks. The World Wildlife Fund has not yet issued an official statement in response to this recent incident, leaving fans and industry experts speculating about the potential ramifications for WWE’s future use of the logo.
As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether WWE will take any further action regarding the use of the old WWF logo, and whether this incident will prompt the World Wildlife Fund to once again address the matter formally.