Marcus "Buff" Bagwell is taking WWE to court. Bagwell filed a federal lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, claiming he is owed royalties from the WWE Network.
PW Insider first reported the lawsuit filed by Bagwell, who spent a decade working for World Championship Wrestling. His WCW contract expired mere days after WWE bought WCW in March of 2001, but Bagwell agreed to a new deal with WWE that summer, although he appeared in just one match as part of the WWE roster--a main event of "Monday Night Raw" against Booker T. Reaction to the match was so poor that Bagwell was released soon thereafter.
The lawsuit claims that WWE bought out all future contractual obligations, except for royalties that would be owed in the future, as determined by the language of the contract. While Bagwell's WCW deal did not have a royalty clause, he believes he is owed royalties on footage involving Bagwell that airs on the Network because the WWE contract he signed changed the existing terms.
Citing the WWE deal he signed in June of 2011, Bagwell filed suit believing he is owed royalties for pay-per-views and home video content.
Bagwell set up the lawsuit as a class-action suit so that other former WWE talent in similar situations may join the case. Any talent who signed a WWE Legends contract after 2004 would be exempt from joining the lawsuit, as there is language that specifically states WWE will not pay royalties on Internet subscriptions or video-on-demand fees.
The lawsuit asks the court to prevent the WWE from posting pay-per-views and non-PPV material on the WWE Network until royalties are paid to the plaintiffs.
Rene Dupree filed a similar lawsuit against WWE but voluntarily dismissed it earlier this year.