Yesterday, we told you about a contest The Rock (and/or his people) are running to promote the launch of his new YouTube channel. Entitled “Rock the Promo”, it involves fans submitting 45 second clips of their best in-character microphone work, to be judged by “wrestling legends” with the prize of getting to match-up against the Great One in verbal battle.
Since then, two pretty unsurprising things have happened:
One - turns out that the idea of a contest where fans pretend to be wrestlers is not wholly original.
Two - a pro wrestling related story has become a “beef” that also serves as free marketing.
Veteran ECW, WWE and TNA personality Taz runs a weekly segment, “Hump Day Promos” on his CBS Radio show. While it’s not a tournament, it does involve fans cutting 45 second promos which the Human Suplex Machine then judges.
So he called out Rocky on Twitter:
My bro @TheRock straight up gimmick infringement on a weekly series i been doing for a YEAR on my show. #TheTazShow https://t.co/7J96pscolG— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) July 6, 2016
Been doing #humpdaypromos for ONE YEAR on #TheTazShow rules NEVER changed (45 sec promo). We all worked hard, now @TheRock doing it. Wow.— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) July 6, 2016
Fans got involved from there, many backing Taz’s claim he was “hacked”, others pointing out that “Hump Day Promos” is itself a wrestling-ized version of the kind of thing Jim Rome’s been doing on the radio for years.
Later in the evening, the star of Central Intelligence responded (and with our second prime example of shade in as many days!):
@OfficialTAZ Bro just seeing this. Surprised to see all your tweets when you could've just reached out personally and we rap about it.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 7, 2016
@OfficialTAZ I had no idea you even had a radio show my man. Our show is just for the fans to have fun. No heat. This is silly. I'll text U— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) July 7, 2016
Taz didn’t like it being classified as “silly” by Rock or anyone else, and said he was defending his show and the listeners who’d submitted promos (who can benefit from submitting the same tape to “Rock My Promo”, but I guess that’s beside the point).
That’s where it stands right now, with the addition of Colt Cabana getting his own plug it - and seeming to back my take that the concept isn’t something only one person could come up with:
@TheRock @OfficialTAZ https://t.co/waLoF8D9hU— Colt Cabana (@ColtCabana) July 7, 2016
And that’s probably where it’ll remain. Taz stood up for his show, in a way that got Rock’s army of social media followers to recognize, and sites like us to cover, his radio show. Dwayne Johnson will go back to being the biggest star in the world.
What’s your take on this “gimmick infringement”?