MLW’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against WWE Update
As noted before, Major League Wrestling filed an antitrust lawsuit earlier this year against WWE. MLW is claiming that WWE illegally interfered in several of their business deals with television networks causing those deals to be dropped and engaged in contract tampering with several of their contracted talent.
PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that WWE filed a 35-page motion earlier today to the United States District Court, Northern District of California requesting for MLW’s lawsuit against them to be dismissed.
Portion of WWE’s motion of dismissal:
First, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss MLW’s federal antitrust claim because MLW failed to plausibly plead (1) a facially sustainable relevant market, (2) monopoly power or anticompetitive conduct, or (3) antitrust injury. WWE further moves to dismiss MLW’s remaining state law claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over them if the federal antitrust claim is dismissed.
Second, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss all state law claims should this Court exercises jurisdiction over them.
MLW’s claim for intentional interference with contractual relations is unsupported by factual allegations, and what allegations MLW pleads are entirely implausible. MLW’s claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage fails because MLW does not allege that WWE knew about MLW’s negotiations to sell a third party first-run programming, nor does MLW plausibly allege that WWE’s alleged single communication with the third party influenced its decision not to purchase MLW’s content.
Finally, MLW’s unfair competition claim fails because (1) it is not tethered to some other viable antitrust or tort claim, and (2) MLW lacks Article III and statutory standing to assert such a claim.
Finally, WWE moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) to dismiss MLW’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction because neither party is a resident of California, no harm specific to California is alleged, and none of the alleged misconduct took place in California.
Following WWE’s filing, PWInsider held an interview with MLW owner Court Bauer to discuss his thoughts about WWE’s recent legal action. Bauer stated:
“Of course WWE is scrambling to dismiss. They don’t want this thing to go to court. I look forward to that opportunity.”
Candice LeRae Contract Status Update
As noted before, Candice LeRae’s contract with WWE is currently expected to expire in May of 2022. LeRae has been out of action for WWE since this past July due to pregnancy and maternity leave-related reasons.
Fightful Select reported that their sources confirmed that LeRae’s contract is currently set to expire this Spring. It was reported that WWE officials have not frozen her contract although sources spoken to stated that they were not sure if a contract freeze would be legally possibly due to LeRae’s current absence is due to a maternity leave reason and not an injury-based reason.
Those same sources stated that several WWE officials currently do not expect her to return to the company prior to her contract expiring. WWE officials also reportedly have not held any talks regarding a potential contract extension due to not wanting to talk with LeRae while she was recovering from giving birth.
Original WrestleMania 38 Plans for Big E
As noted before, Big E is currently out of action for WWE due to him suffering a neck injury during this past Friday’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown in Birmingham, Alabama.
Big E provided an update on Twitter stating that he was recently discharged from the hospital and is currently recovering at his home in Tampa, Florida.
In regards to WWE’s WrestleMania 38 plans for Big E prior to his injury, FightFul Select reported that their sources stated that WWE officials original plans for Big E was for him to compete in a Six-Man Tag Team match at the event. This match was planned to be New Day vs. Sheamus, Ridge Holland, & Butch.