WWE has filed a motion to dismiss Major League Wrestling’s amended complaint in the ongoing lawsuit between the two wrestling companies.
For those not following the story, MLW has accused WWE of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, alleging that WWE interfered in its media deals with Tubi, VICE, and most recently, Reelz. However, WWE argued that MLW still “failed to allege antitrust claims for monopolization or attempted monopolization” under the conditions defined by the law.
MLW has also claimed that WWE has prevented competitors from gaining access to arenas and wrestling talent. But according to WWE, MLW has not sufficiently argued that pro wrestling content cannot be substituted for any range of non-wrestling media content.
The motion comes after Reelz made a deal to stream on Peacock, causing MLW Underground to be removed from the streaming service’s Tuesday 10 pm slot. MLW took issue with this, but WWE claims that MLW could still try to make deals with any other streaming platform, including Amazon Prime, Roku, Pluto, Apple TV, or others.
In response to MLW’s claim that WWE blacklists talent who work for MLW, WWE cited Davey Boy Smith Jr. as an example, saying that he was previously contracted by MLW before being hired by WWE.
WWE also cited the 1997 case between WWE and TBS, in which WWE sued World Championship Wrestling’s parent company over the nature of the WCW debuts of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. WWE’s lawyers claimed that a federal district court had already ruled that WWE’s ownership interest in the characters delineated on its television product were as legitimate as DC’s ownership interest in Superman.
The motion also included a copy of a cease and desist letter from WWE to MLW dated June 3, 2022, which demanded that MLW stop using the Enzo Amore and nWo marks. WWE cited that Eric Arndt, known as Enzo Amore in WWE, used the name Real1 in MLW, but before that, he used the name nZo, which sounds identical to “Enzo” when spoken.
It remains to be seen how the court will rule on WWE’s motion to dismiss MLW’s amended complaint. The lawsuit has been ongoing since January 2022.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing legal battle between WWE and Major League Wrestling? Do you think MLW has a case against WWE for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, or do you believe WWE’s argument that MLW has not sufficiently alleged antitrust claims for monopolization or attempted monopolization? Leave a comment below.