FloSports' Lawsuit Against WWN Dismissed After Confidential Agreement 'to Resolve Their Dispute'

The lawsuit filed by streaming provider FloSports against the WWN family of promotions (Evolve, Shine, etc.) in September, which ended their business relationship after less than a year, was officially dismissed on Wednesday morning. Both sides had moved for the dismissal the previous evening. According to an order from Judge Lee Yeakel in United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, both sides have agreed to a mutual dismissal with prejudice, which means that Flo can’t re-file and WWN can’t file a lawsuit on “all claims that have been or could have been asserted.” Requests for comment sent to attorneys for both sides, a public relations contact for FloSports, and WWN’s Gabe Sapolsky have not been returned as of this writing. However, a joint statement was provided to and published by PWInsider.com’s Mike Johnson on Wednesday morning:

FloSports and WWN have jointly announced that they have agreed to resolve their dispute. The terms of the agreement are to remain confidential.

FloSports General Counsel, Paul Hurdlow said "We're pleased to have this behind us and wish WWN well in the future."

WWN CEO Sal Hamaoui stated “WWN is pleased that this unfortunate situation has been mutually rectified. We wish FloSports the best in their future endeavors.”

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Johnson’s report did not indicate which side sent him the statement, or if both did.

FloSports, claiming that WWN had falsified its internet pay-per-view figures so as to obtain a better contract with them, filed the lawsuit on September 15, 2017. The initial complaint was vague and lacked supporting documentation, which struck most reporters covering the case as odd in light of the case that Flo was trying to make. Meanwhile, when speaking to Fightful, FloSports Senior Vice President and General Counsel Paul Hurdlow said that “The lawsuit isn’t to get out of the partnership,” essentially saying it was to trigger a renegotiated contract. That Flo was still sending Brent Brookhouse, who worked on their FloSlam wrestling site/service, to cover that weekend’s Evolve shows suggests that there was some truth to this. However, nobody told Brookhouse about any of this, and he learned of the lawsuit when Fightful and other outlets reached out to him about it. After some back and forth, he was told not to go to the shows and WWN pulled the events from FloSlam.

Eventually, two and a half months after the initial filing, FloSports filed a some of their underlying evidences as exhibits with the court when they were trying to keep the case from being moved to WWN’s home state of Florida. Specifically, they included the Flo/WWN contract (with a page inadvertently left out) as well as the IPPV buy spreadsheet that WWN had sent. The contract confirmed the long-rumored financial terms of the deal ($3.14 million over five years), while the spreadsheet turned out to show nothing that raised any red flags. The contract also showed that while it had been rumored for months that Flo was upset with WWN for not using their money to upgrade production more noticeably or rent nicer looking buildings (a topic that, per a Flo source who spoke to Fightful, was indeed brought up "repeatedly"), the agreement between the companies did not require the wrestling company to do either.

Public sentiment about the case, which had been mixed, sharply turned towards being anti-Flo, with the popular opinion being that as the bigger company with hefty venture capital investment, they used the suit solely to bully the smaller WWN. The remnants of FloSlam, which briefly served as a wrestling news site and the home of Ethan Page’s podcast, were folded that day, with Brent Brookhouse being laid off in the process.

A little over a week later, Flo moved to have the exhibits sealed from public viewing even though they had already been not just reported on and posted here, but also archived on federal court tracking websites. Because the request itself is also sealed, Flo’s rationale is not known, but the move gave the appearance of embarrassment over the wrestling community’s reaction to their evidence. A few weeks after that, once the documents had been sealed, redacted versions (removing the financial and IPPV buy details) were filed, although the missing contract page was restored in the process.

 

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