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WWE Sues Wine School Over Smackdown Competition

Vince McMahonThe WWE can parody celebrities, use the MNF theme when the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line comes on WWE RAW, and mock presidential candidates, but don’t you dare use the word smackdown. The WWE has filed a lawsuit against a wine school for a competition called the Sommelier Smackdown.

The WWE is claiming that it owns the word smackdown and has sent legal letters to the school. The owner of the Wine School of Philadelphia doesn’t seem to be phased by the legal threats. “Honestly, this makes me feel kinda special. I am being picked on by Vince McMahon. I better start working out. Maybe I should just challenge Vince to a wine tasting cage match. How would that look,” said the owner on the wine school’s website.

I am kind of mixed on this one here. On the one hand, it is extremely hypocritical to sue a wine school for using the name smackdown after WWE for years used the WWF acronym which was owned by the World Wildlife Federation. On the other hand, it really is a blatant rip off in every sense of the word. The word smackdown is meant to represent a competition and is commonly associated with the WWE. What is next? Is the school going to promote a Wine WrestleMania?

The irony here is that is anyone going to confuse a wine tasting competition with the WWE? Are there that many WWE fans that are going to run to the Wine School of Philadelphia in hopes of seeing the Big Show or the Great Khali competing in a wine tasting match? The answer is no and the lawsuit seems kind of silly in that retrospect. It would be like the producers of the movie No Way Out suing the WWE for using the name for their pay per views. I don’t think anyone is expecting a screening of the movie every time WWE advertises the event.

NBC10.com reports that The Wine School competition pits tasters that the Sommelier Smackdown pits two wine experts against each other in a food and wine pairing contest. According to NBC10.com, the school has been promoting the contest since 2007. According to dictionary.com, the etymology of the word “smackdown” dates back to 1990. As we all know, WWE SmackDown is only 10 years old and this could be a big problem for Titan Towers.

Maybe The Wine School of Philadelphia should change the name of the competition to Sommelier Pro Wrestling Event. It’s not like anyone is going to confuse the WWE with pro wrestling these days.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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