WWE Hit With Lawsuit From Rival Pro Wrestling Promotion

A rival pro wrestling promotion is going after WWE. As mentioned by ComicBook.com, Major League Wrestling served WWE with a lawsuit on Jan. 14, and WWE is required to respond in 21 days. There is a case management meeting scheduled for April 12, and this comes after MLW filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE with Vince and Stephanie McMahon named in the lawsuit. 

"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," MLW's statement on the lawsuit says. "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 alleges 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."

Longtime WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt responded to the accusations by MLW. "I have not seen the full lawsuit since WWE has not been served," he said to Wrestling Observer, per ComicBook.com. "If Tubi breached, then sue Tubi. As to Vice, WWE has no commercial relationship with them or for that matter any of the other dozens of content distribution entities with whom MLW could do a deal with if they had a commercially viable product."

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MLW launched in 2002 and lasted for two years. The promotion returned in 2017 and launched a weekly show called MLW Fusion in 2018. In April 2021, MLW announced a TV deal with Vice TV. The channel aired its first pro wrestling event, MLW Fightland, in September. Some notable stars who have competed in MLW are Chris Candido, Rey Fenix, Terry Funk, John Morrison, Jerry Lawler, Bryan Danielson, Dusty Rhodes and MJF. It was founded by former WWE writer Court Bauer and is based in New Rochelle New York.