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Mark Briscoe’s Callout of WWE on FOX Over DEM BOYZ Term Sparks Industry Debate

In the dynamic and often fiercely protective world of professional wrestling, language and catchphrases carry a lot of weight. This was made abundantly clear when AEW’s Mark Briscoe publicly took aim at the WWE on FOX social media account for its use of The Briscoes’ well-known term “DEM BOYZ.” The term had been associated with the Briscoes for many years, making it a significant part of their identity within the wrestling community.

The issue caught fire when WWE on FOX posted content that tied the “DEM BOYZ” phrase to WWE Superstar Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits, shifting the spotlight from the well-known ROH tag team, Jay and Mark Briscoe, to mainstream WWE talent. This move didn’t sit well with many in the wrestling community, and one voice in particular helped amplify the discussion.

Maria Kanellis, a former WWE star, joined the fray, passionately defending The Briscoes’ claim to “DEM BOYZ.” On social media, Kanellis shared striking images of Mark and the late Jay Briscoe, underscoring her point about the significance of the phrase to the brothers and their legacy. Kanellis’ defense was not just about a term but also personal, shedding light on the close-knit nature of the wrestling industry and the respect among its personalities.

The debate further intensified when a fan pointed out potential hypocrisy involving other wrestling terms. The fan argued that AEW incorporated “He’s Him” into merchandise, and young wrestler Nick Wayne is dubbed “The Prodigy,” a moniker formerly used by Maria’s husband, Mike Bennett, during his time in Ring of Honor (ROH).

Kanellis, however, was quick to discern the nuances, highlighting the difference between the two situations. She took to social media to state that her husband, Mike, had no issues with Rok-C using “The Prodigy” and had even conversed about it with the up-and-coming star. According to Kanellis, the WWE on FOX account’s use of “DEM BOYZ” was a separate matter entirely, not paralleled by the examples brought forth by the fan.

The incident opens up broader conversations about the proprietary nature of phrases within the pro wrestling industry. While some might argue that terms and catchphrases are part of the shared language of wrestling, others hold that they are part of a wrestler’s identity and intellectual property, especially when those terms are strongly associated with particular personalities or teams.

From t-shirts to tweets, wrestling catchphrases can define careers and create legacies. Thus, the concerns raised by Briscoe and Kanellis are not to be taken lightly. This spirited exchange may have prompted many within the wrestling community to consider the rights of performers over the words and phrases they make famous.

Should WWE on FOX have been more mindful in using The Briscoes’ “DEM BOYZ” tag? Is the wrestling industry overlooking the importance of trademarks and originality? Let us discern the difference between homage and appropriation as the conversations continue both within and outside of the ring. As always, we invite your opinions in the comment section below.

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