Quick, when you hear the words 3:16, what comes to mind? Jesus Christ, the Living Word made flesh, instructing the Pharisee Nicodemus in the ways of a New Covenant in which God would reconcile all humanity through divine grace in John’s Gospel? Well, time to update your references. “3:16” belongs to World Wrestling Entertainment now, according to the U.S. Government and trademark law.
As you may remember, professional wrestler and human Monster Energy Drink Steve Austin started using “3:16” to taunt his wrestling opponent (and born-again Christian) Jake Roberts way back in 1996. Stone Cold turned “Austin 3:16” into a thing after beating Roberts in the ring, and then it became an insufferably popular t-shirt for a while (WWE.com calls it “the most popular garment of all time.” Snopes was unavailable for comment on that one.)
And now WWE has gotten its giant, sweaty hands on 3:16 to prevent anyone else from making a profit off of it. Which is totally fine. It’s not like anyone else would have any vested interest in “3:16,” right?