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WWE Attorney On If He’s Ever Seen “Mr. McMahon” Come Out of Vince, WWE vs Ted Turner, Using WCW’s Lawsuit Settlement To Buy WCW

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling is joined by the man affectionately known to John and Chad as Vince McMahon’s “secret weapon.” He is the lead attorney for World Wrestling Entertainment, and today Mr. Jerry McDevitt joins the show for an over 70 minute journey through his life and career. From originally working for WWE in 1987 as part of the Jim Neidhart/US Air lawsuit through the steroid trials of the 1990s and all of the current day issues regarding concussions and WWE Network royalties, Mr. McDevitt explains in great detail the WWE’s perspective on these issues as well as discusses many other historical on goings in the world of Vince McMahon and WWE.

Below are some interview highlights, with a H/T to John & Chad for the transcription. 

Where does the intimidating factor of Vince McMahon come from and has he ever seen the “Mr. McMahon” side of Vince McMahon come out:

Not with me, I don’t. I’ve never had that issue with Vince. We’ve always had a different kind of relationship. He has an obvious physical presence and has an aura to him. I always tell people that in your life you probably meet five people who are just different than everyone else whether it may be a father, it may be a Master Sergeant in the Marine Corps like in my case or who knows it may even be the Pope. But I think for anyone who meets Vince, he is one of those five. He is just different. He’s a different breed of cat, has a different presence to him, I think his accomplishments and what he has done probably intimidate people a little bit but I think he is a very human person, and I think that if you just sit down and talk to him like a normal person, that’s what he enjoys and that is what he is.

What makes the two of them mesh so well together as a team:

Probably because we are both like A-Type personalities. I think Vince and I have this view of if you haven’t done anything wrong then face him and defend yourself rather than a lot of these people who now if you are sued and someone accuses you of something the natural tendency is to deny, hunker down or pay somebody to go away, but we just don’t do that and we’ve never done that. If something has been done wrong and is done wrong in error and not in intent, usually we try to fix it but if you haven’t done anything wrong then you defend yourself.

Did Vince take it personally when organizations like the PTC or Turner Broadcasting threatened his company:

I think he is a very principle guy. When Turner was doing what he was doing, there was no question Turner was targeting the company and trying to put them under and was taking the intellectual properties of WWE, which was their stock and trade. When you get to the PTC there certainly wasn’t much question what they were doing. It was incredibly unfair and defamatory and what we showed in that case, they ended up paying us millions of dollars for what they had done and issued a very public retraction for what they had been saying. What makes him different in those situations is not that he reacted and I think that is Vince. Most people in those kind of situations might say I’m not going to bother but he didn’t;  he wanted to make it right. When we got into WCW, we found out all kinds of things about what they were doing and created some interesting law that basically holds the characters that the WWE created and depicts in it’s copyrighted works that it owns and possesses is really no different than Batman or Superman and the other characters you see. And they are entitled to intellectual property protection. You can’t just take for example the Razor Ramon character or the Diesel character or things that the company had created and just steal it. Just like with Batman and Superman, we’ve got legal precedence to protect the company from that kind of action.

Was the talent (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) held responsible for not shedding their WWE persona or was it WCW who was fully accountable for assuming their established characters:

I think it was WCW. Scott and Kevin are back in the fold with the WWE, and it’s been a long history and they were very talented performers and it’s hard to blame them. If you have someone like a Turner throwing the money at them that he was throwing to not take it and not go along with it, they would really have to fully rely upon the organization to tell them what they were doing was legal or not legal, so no we don’t blame them. It was all orchestrated from the highest level of Turner and the facilitating thing about all of it is at the end of the day, if you don’t do the right thing it ends up hurting you and at the end of the day when it was all said and done they ended up paying us an awful lot of money to settle that lawsuit and that money in turn was used a few years later to buy the assets of WCW. So it didn’t help them much in the long run and in the end WWE ended up owning the film library amongst some of the other libraries to show on the network.

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