WWE was rocked by a lawsuit in January of this year, filed by the Court Bauer-helmed Major League Wrestling. Amongst other things, it alleged that WWE’s interference had led to talks between MLW and a litany of potential distributors – Tubi, VICE, and Fite TV – being canceled.
A hearing for the lawsuit has now been delayed until December 5th. The decision was made by the United States District Court, California Northern District (San Jose), and will decide what actions will follow. In summary, the decision of whether a trial is required or not is expected to be made here.
WWE Vs. MLW: The Full Story
The lawsuit filed by Major League Wrestling stemmed from Stephanie McMahon allegedly meeting with Tubi officials, where she’s said to have pleaded with them to not move forward with an MLW deal. This deal had already been agreed upon by MLW and Tubi days before, with Stephanie’s involvement seemingly due to the nature of MLW going head-to-head with NXT.
As for VICE and Fite TV deals, they both fell through following reported interference from Vince McMahon and Gregg Bernard, respectively. McMahon used his relationship with A&E, a shareholder of VICE, to get the plug pulled, while Bernard is supposedly responsible for preventing plans from Fite TV, owing to his position within the organisation.
In short, MLW’s lawsuit primarily focused on WWE having allegedly utilised “unfair and anticompetitive business practices” to create a “professional wrestling monopoly”. This included, but is not limited to, stealing in-ring talent from other promotions, interfering with said talent’s contracts elsewhere, and misuse of private information.
MLW sought the following as a direct result of the impact of WWE’s actions:
“11. As a result of WWE’s wanton misconduct, MLW has suffered and will suffer monetary damages and irreparable harm, resulting from, among other things, continued loss of brand recognition and valuable talent, posing a serious risk that its business will be destroyed. 12. MLW therefore seeks compensatory, treble and exemplary damages arising from WWE’s unlawful conduct and injunctive relief barring WWE from inflicting further irreparable harm through its anticompetitive and tortious conduct.”
The full lawsuit, documented as being filed on January 11th, can be found here.