Back before we’d seen the logo for WWE’s next Raw brand pay-per-view (PPV), Great Balls of Fire, a lot of the jokes focused on the company using the name of a 60 year old song for an event in 2017.
Turns out, wrestling fans weren’t the only ones who noticed.
Jerry Lee Lewis, who recorded the early rock ‘n’ roll hit, had trademarked the phrase “Great Balls of Fire” sometime after the song came out. And he didn’t want WWE using it without his permission - and likely some compensation.
Luckily, Lewis shares a lawyer with another Jerry who’s pretty well connected in the wrestling world. As Jerry Lawler explained on the latest episode of his Dinner With The King podcast:
My personal attorney here in Memphis is Joe Barton. Good friend of mine and my attorney. I got a phone call from Joe a few weeks ago, and Joe also represents Jerry Lee Lewis. And Joe said, “Hey Jerry, do you happen to know who I would contact at the WWE about copyright infringement?”
I go, “What? What are you talking about?”
He goes, “Well, we understand they are doing a pay-per-view called Great Balls of Fire and Jerry Lee has that phrase trademarked. He has ever since they recorded the song.”
So, I put him in touch with the WWE people, gave him a name. Apparently he called them and got everything worked out. Not only are they using the name, they are using Jerry Lee’s song, which is awesome.
Alls well that ends well, and we got a pretty cool commercial out of it, to boot.
Still surprised Vince McMahon didn’t think to check on that. He was probably still giggling to himself about the logo.