WWE has officially responded to the federal anti-trust lawsuit filed by MLW back in January.
As PWMania.com previously reported, MLW filed the lawsuit back in January, detailing WWE’s alleged “ongoing attempts to undermine competition in and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW’s contracts and business prospects.” You can click here for a full, detailed breakdown of MLW’s allegations against WWE, and what they are asking for.
In an update, WWE filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit this week.
WWE’s motion to dismiss includes a shot at MLW for giving up on competing in the ring.
“MLW has given up competing in the ring and chosen instead to compete in the courtroom,” WWE attorneys wrote.
WWE also pointed to how MLW’s narrative about other pro wrestling competitors undermines its argument against WWE. They noted how AEW and Impact Wrestling have managed to get their own distribution deals with national networks. They also noted AEW success, and how AEW recently purchased ROH.
“AEW’s success further undercuts MLW’s unsupported assertion that substantial barriers to entry exist,” WWE lawyers wrote. They continued, “AEW also recently purchased another promotion, Ring of Honor, from Sinclair Broadcast Group, to operate as a secondary business,” adding that other wrestling companies have not had issues with increasing their content output.
You can click here to read WWE’s full 48-page motion to dismiss, which includes more jabs at MLW and their claims.
MLW has until April 22 to oppose WWE’s motion to dismiss. WWE has until May 16 to file a reply in support of its motion to dismiss. MLW is seeking a jury trial. They are also asking for compensatory, treble and exemplary damages, and an injunction barring WWE from “inflicting further irreparable harm through its anticompetitive and tortious conduct,” and legal costs.
MLW owner Court Bauer issued a response to WWE’s motion to dismiss, via PWInsider, and said he looks forward to the case making it to court.
“Of course WWE is scrambling to dismiss. They don’t want this thing to go to court. I look forward to that opportunity,” Bauer said.
WWE provided the following media statement back in January when the lawsuit was first filed: “WWE believes these claims have no merit and intends to vigorously defend itself against them.”
WWE is represented by longtime attorney Jerry McDevitt, along with other lawyers from K&L Gates LLP. MLW is represented by attorney Jason Takenouchi and others from the Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman law firm.
Stay tuned for more.