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Dead Wrestler's Dad Sues the WWE Pay Up If You're Gonna Exploit My Son

4/19/2015 12:40 AM PDT

Dead Wrestler Eddie 'Hot Stuff' Gilbert -- Dad Sues WWE ... Pay Up If You're Gonna Exploit My Son (UPDATE)

EXCLUSIVE

The WWE is cashing in on Eddie "Hot Stuff" Gilbert even though he's been dead for 20 years ... at least according to his family, which is dragging the league to court to get a cut of the action.

According to docs ... Eddie's dad, Tommy Gilbert, is in charge of the estate and says the WWE is plastering his son's image and likeness all over TV and other media platforms without permission -- and, more importantly, without paying them a dime.

Tommy says old wrestling footage of Eddie -- a pro from '79 until his death of a heart attack in '95 -- is being used to promote the WWE. 

Interestingly, Eddie's fam isn't suing to block use of the footage -- they just want a judge to force the WWE to fork over a share of its profits, plus damages.

A WWE rep tells us, "Through the years, WWE has acquired the legal rights to library footage of various former wrestling organizations including Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Mid-Southern Wrestling among many others. WWE has made substantial investments to acquire these copyrighted works and has the legal right to use them."

The rep adds, "Similar cases in the past have been unsuccessful, and we expect this case to be dismissed."

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