MLW Suing WWE Over Alleged Attempts To Monopolize Wrestling Market And Undermine Competition

MLW is taking legal action against WWE.

On January 11, 2022, Major League Wrestling filed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment based on alleged ongoing attempts to undermine competition and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW's contracts and business prospects.

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Full details on the suit can be seen below, via MLW.

Professional wrestling company Major League Wrestling (MLW) (MLW Media LLC), filed a lawsuit today against World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE). The federal court antitrust lawsuit is based on WWE’s ongoing attempts to undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW’s contracts and business prospects.

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.

“WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable,” said MLW CEO Court Bauer. “I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop.”

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.

The case is captioned MLW Media LLC v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. MLW is represented by Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.

This information confirms a previous report from Fightful Select.

In February 2020, it was reported that MLW attorneys contacted WWE's legal team alleging that they had attempted to tamper with contracted talent from MLW.

It was noted in the 2020 report that ever since MLW began signing talent in 2018, their contracts have had language regarding the prohibiting of talent working WWE dates, with a note that the promotion strengthened its language against working dates for other promotions after AEW was formed in 2019.

Furthermore, one MLW source claimed the promotion had an "abundance" of evidence should the matter need to go to court, though (at the time) they remained hopeful that would not be necessary.

Fightful will continue to monitor the story and keep you informed should any new information become available.

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