As bad as it may seem, WWE does have control over its wrestlers' images and has to sanction any major changes. While it comes off as a bit tyrannical, we can't really fault the company on such grounds as merchandising is an important part of the business.
It would suck buying a WWE action figure for your kid only for them to complain about the likeness sometime after due to someone getting a new hairdo or, in Brock's case, getting some prominent new ink.
These changes affect the company but they affect the wrestler too and, as JR explains, could keep money out of one's pocket.
The new AEW commentator discussed the wrestler's tatt on the newest episode of his Grilling JR podcast, claiming he had to explain things to a much younger Brock during his first run with WWE and that the lecture was well received.
“Well, I explained to him that it had an impact on business, and that impact took money out of his pocket," he said (h/t 411Mania). "Because if we have to slow down the production or the release of, let’s say an action figure.
"You know, a guy can make six figures-plus quite easily if his action figure is accurate, authentic and out on a timely basis. So that was the issue there, is that we had an agreement with action figure people and video game people on these guys’ likeness, and to make sure that they look good, and they look authentic and so forth. And then all of a sudden you’ve got this giant tattoo on a guys’ back that is missing from all the other stuff. It looks like you’re buying outdated material from the get-go.
“So it’s not a good marketing thing, and I explained it to him that way. And pretty much in this tone, you know. There was no yelling and screaming, or threats or all that Wild West minutiae. We just had a great — we had a conversation, he got it. And he apologized and said, you know, ‘I understand.’ He said, ‘I didn’t think of those things.’ He was a young kid, Conrad, he was a young guy."