AFL legend slams Aussie wrestler over 'disrespectful' name use

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Australian WWE hopeful Brendan Vink's attempt to change his stage name to 'Tony Modra' has left the AFL great he was hoping to honour feeling less than impressed. Pictures: Instagram/Getty Images
Australian WWE hopeful Brendan Vink's attempt to change his stage name to 'Tony Modra' has left the AFL great he was hoping to honour feeling less than impressed. Pictures: Instagram/Getty Images

An up and coming Australian wrestler who decided to use the name of an AFL cult hero has his stage persona has been slammed by the man himself.

Former Adelaide Crows forward Tony Modra, a cult figure in the early 1990s, was flabbergasted when news broke that 31-year-old Aussie wrestler Brendan Vink had opted to use his name for upcoming appearances for WWE wrestling - with the famous wrestling company trademarking the name.

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Modra played 165 games and kicked 588 goals for the Crows and later, the Fremantle Dockers, and told the Adelaide Advertiser he found the use of his name, while acknowledging it was meant as a tribute, to be ‘disrespectful’.

“I’ve got no idea who he is,” Modra said.

“He claims to be an Adelaide fan but it’s a bit disappointing, a bit disrespectful.

“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know you had to copyright your own bloody name.

“My lad loves WWE and I see a lot of that stuff but he’s even asking why some wrestler he’s never heard of before wants to change his name to his dad’s.”

AFL legend baffled by wrestler’s use of his name

Modra said his phone had been blowing up over the story, adding that while he was annoyed Vink hadn’t asked him for permission to use his name, he didn’t bear a grudge against him.

Regardless, the former AFL star said he would have preferred the wrestler to think of another name.

“I’m just bewildered,” Modra said.

“I’ve had people texting me left, right and centre about it. I don’t think there’s anything I can do.

“If he was doing it for charity or something – I do a lot of stuff for Little Heroes Foundation – I wouldn’t mind, but it seems like personal gain.”

Modra went on to say it wasn’t so much about his own name being used, rather that he wasn’t consulted about it by Vink or anyone from WWE to discuss it.

He said he’d be equally concerned if another player’s name had been used in similar fashion.

“I wouldn’t have liked it if there was someone in WWE from Victoria or Geelong calling themselves Gary Ablett,” Modra said.

“I want to get it out there for all supporters, not just Crows supporters.

“I’ve got nothing against him personally but I don’t know him.”

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