On last night’s episode of AEW Dynamite, the man formerly known as Billy Gunn was just referred to as Billy during his confrontation with MJF.
This was a recent change because he was called Billy Gunn during his previous appearances on AEW television but at least for now he won’t be able to use the Gunn last name, similar to how Cody Rhodes is simply referred to as Cody.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the reason for this change is because WWE took issue with him using the “Billy Gunn” name. Billy, real name, Kip Sopp has a live trademark on the name Billy Gunn for the following:
“Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.”
“Clothing, footwear, headgear.”
So it looks like he may have rights to the name for merchandise purposes and perhaps a wrestling school but not as an in-ring performer. As of this writing, he still has “Billy Gunn” merchandise up on Pro Wrestling Tees.
Another thing to note that the “Billy Gunn” trademark for use as a wrestler was abandoned so it’s unclear right now how WWE can claim ownership right now unless the claim is that they created the name, which could be an issue later if they decide to challenge him in court. Kip Sopp first became Billy Gunn when he debuted in WWE in 1993 as part of The Smoking Gunns with Bart Gunn.