The more eagle-eared among you will have noticed WWE tip-toeing around using the term "Super Bowl" and this is why that is.
While it may sometimes feel as if WWE blindly peppers us with as many PPVs as it possibly can, that is not the case. When WWE's many big shows take place is something that is meticulously planned. There's a reason why WWE doesn't stage a PPV on Super Bowl Sunday. There are far too many people watching the game than would tune into the WWE Network.
WWE has come up with an inventive way to get fans to watch a little wrestling this Sunday, though. The return of Halftime Heat. A match that will air on the WWE Network during halftime of the Super Bowl. The last time WWE did this was 20 years ago in 1999. On that occasion, an empty arena match between The Rock and Mankind aired on the USA Network.
This time around, six of NXT's finest Superstars will clash in a six-man tag team match. The show has been touted and advertised all week by WWE, but at no point has anyone said the words Super Bowl. Instead, it has constantly been referred to as "the big game." There is a very good reason for that, and it isn't just something silly like Vince McMahon not wanting to give another sport free advertising on his shows.
According to AJC, the NFL has actually copyrighted the term Super Bowl. It doesn't mess around when it comes to people and companies it doesn't want using the terms uttering the words either. In 2007, the NFL forced a church in Indianapolis to cancel a Super Bowl watch party. It has also attempted to copyright the phrase "the big game" as well but unsurprisingly hasn't been as successful with that venture.
So there you have it. The lack of Super Bowl mentions on WWE television is not just Vince being Vince. It's because the term has been copyrighted and even though it might well fall under the premise of nominative fair use, it really isn't worth the hassle. As far as we have seen, the closest someone has come to saying Super Bowl in WWE this week was Shawn Michaels during the Royal Rumble kickoff show. However, HBK caught himself just in time and reverted back to call it the big game instead.