MLW and the WWE are not on the best of terms. This is stems from what MLW perceives as bullying tactics by the WWE to keep their unerring grip wrapped tightly around the throat of professional wrestling. Or, as the MLW lawsuit against the WWE describes it;
WWE’s ongoing attempts to undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW’s contracts and business prospects.”
That’s right folks, it’s suing season and the MLW has a hankering for some litigation against Vince McMahon and his Stamford Mob.
Yesterday, MLW filed a lawsuit against the WWE for what they see as the aforementioned attempt s to ‘…undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market’. This all seems to stem from the time that VICE TV was in negotiations with MLW to show their show on the channel last year, that word got sent to the head honchos of VICE TV that Vince McMahon was “pissed” that they would even consider doing such a thing. These talks eventually broke down and MLW is suing because they are convinced it was this pressure that saw the deal collapse.
The actual wording they use, because I don’t want SPOBS getting caught up in all this, was;
As described in the complaint, WWE pressured third parties to abandon contracts and prospective relationships with MLW. WWE’s misconduct included disrupting every level of MLW’s business, including a major streaming deal for MLW which would have been transformative for the company.
MLW also allege in the complaint that in early 2021, after MLW announced that it was in talks with VICE TV to air MLW programs on VICE TV, a then-WWE executive warned VICE TV that WWE owner Vince McMahon was “pissed” that VICE TV was airing MLW programs, and that VICE TV should stop working with MLW, the VICE TV executive responded that WWE’s conduct was illegal and an antitrust violation, with the WWE executive responding that she could not control McMahon.”
MLW CEO Court Bauer had this to say on the legal proceedings;
WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable. I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop.”
The company itself expanded on this with a press release later on that stated;
WWE’s ongoing misconduct has hurt fans of professional wrestling and competition in the professional wrestling industry. Through this lawsuit, MLW seeks to recover its losses due to WWE’s interference and to enjoin WWE from future interference.”
So, what has the WWE had to say about these accusations and the lawsuit that MLW has filed against them? In reply they released the following statement;
WWE believes these claims have no merit and intends to vigorously defend itself against them.”
I don’t understand any of this if truth be told, but that’s because I don’t have a law degree. What I will say is that I think this is a brave move on MLW’s part and I hope that they have a watertight case as with the power and resources the WWE has, if they’re just going on a wing and a prayer it could prove financially catastrophic for the company.