Independent wrestler G-Raver and apparel company The Indy Connection have spoken out about their involvement in a new lawsuit brought on by Jim Cornette.
The Altoona Mirror first reported Cornette was filing a federal lawsuit against the Brownsville, Pennsylvania-based The Indy Connection for selling his likeness and name on the G-Raver shirt that said “Fuck Jim Cornette.” According to the complaint, Cornette’s main issue was the unauthorized use of his likeness and his name on the shirt, which came as a result of a social media exchange between Cornette and G-Raver (Brandon Graver).
Cornette initially poked fun at G-Raver’s serious injury at GCW / Black Label Pro’s 2 Cups Stuffed event on August 30 where he suffered nerve damage to his hand and was rushed to the hospital after a light tube spot. The initial “Fuck Jim Cornette” shirt depicted Cornette’s likeness with his eyes crossed out, pins in his forehead and his mouth gagged with the phrase at the bottom of the shirt. Cornette first posted an exact remake of the shirt on his website as a response, while Indy Connection owner William Molnar applied to trademark the phrase and use of the domain name.
WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo reached out to both sides after the lawsuit was filed, which was after another parody shirt called “Clownette” was created as well. Cornette said any money that they will receive past expenses in the lawsuit will go to charity, and Cornette attorney Stephen P. New said the “Clownette” shirt would result in another lawsuit as well.
Both Graver and The Indy Connection have since responded by issuing their own respective statements to Wrestlezone. Graver explained his history with Cornette as well as his initial reluctance to accept help in the form of a GoFundMe account for his injuries, and the idea behind the artwork for the original shirt.
“Let me start out with why this shirt even happened in the first place. People assume it was “if the fans were lucky they probably stopped the show so they could watch this idiot bleed out” at the GCW/BLP AEW Starrcast show in Chicago. I responded harshly and questioned if he was an advocate for death? I didn’t care if he didn’t like what I did. That’s subjective to people. I was done with it then. I was just gonna sit back and enjoy the responses.
However, my real problem came to fruition when he named me “Grover” and started taking me apart as a person on his podcast. Saying that I asked for go a fund me, and that I was begging for money. That I was a piece of shit for that. I never asked my fans for anything! I never would. One old friend contacted me and said “dude, let me do a go fund me for you” I exclaimed NO! the other one had already been made without me knowing at first. It was a young fan that came outta nowhere with it. I still didn’t want it, but a fellow worker convinced me to let it go. Along with the outgoing support of everyone. The best thing that was said was “if you were an asshole, they wouldn’t have done this for you, accept it”.
I thank you fans that did anything for me. I love you guys, but I still felt weird about accepting it to this day. I always wanted someone to get something out of any money given to me. T-shirt, picture or pin. Thank you.
So I figured, what’s a better way of responding to this? Something that is a signature of mine, is tattoo needles. So I said, let’s make a parody cartoon version of him with X’s over his eyes, tape over his mouth and tattoo needles in his head. My friends at the Indy connection paid for the art and made that happen. What happened then? He was all pissed because I found a way to piss him off? The shirt had a great response! My idea of a parody of making him look like he’d been in a match with me and got the tattoo needles in his head was my response to his podcast. He even called me a fat ass at one point lol. Inaccurate depiction, but it’s funny.
Regardless of all this. I’ll be honest, it’s been over for me. I’ll do whatever I gotta do. I never needed a parody t-shirt or any words to “get over” Yet, I think I speak for my associates with the Indy Connection when I say, everyone involved with this parody t-shirt nonsense has made a big top circus with it. So it’s time to send in the clowns.”
The Indy Connection also issued the following statement to Wrestlezone regarding the legal issues with Cornette:
For immediate release
December 31, 2019
UNDERSTANDING THE TEARS OF A CLOWN
Insight to the online circus created around the buzz of a parody t-shirt design.
On September 2nd, 2019 we reached out to Brandon Graver with the intentions of creating a t-shirt to help offset some of his medical bills from a gruesome injury sustained just days prior.
Upon releasing the G-Raver: Unkillable shirt, an onslaught of negative remarks quickly began to appear on social media, all stemming from the tweets made by a certain wrestling personality.
In light of the situation, it was decided collectively to release a parody shirt depicting an alternative commentary based upon those tweets; that shirt was known as the notorious Fuck Jim Cornette Tee.
Months were spent trying to bring all parties to an agreement on the fate of the shirt. In that time our company was publicly debased by Mr. Cornette, even being referred to as a “low class outlaw indy website” on his podcast. With the reputation of our business continuously being tainted, we ultimately decided not to sign Mr. Cornette’s agreement.
We firmly stand by the social commentary represented in the parody design on the Fuck Jim Cornette Tee and appreciate the support within the wrestling community for Mr. Graver’s road to recovery.
About The Indy Connection:
The Indy Connection exists as a resource for independent wrestlers and independent wrestling companies to enhance their branding by creating unique digital and physical assets for promotion. Our artists have worked with numerous top tier talents both in and out of the professional wrestling industry.
For more information please visit TheIndyConnection.com