News broke back on Jan. 11 that Major League Wrestling (MLW) filed an antitrust lawsuit against the WWE, accusing the company and its officials — specifically naming Vince and Stephanie McMahon — in interfering with its business deals with both the VICE TV network and the Tubi streaming service. It was confirmed on Wednesday that WWE was officially served the lawsuit on Jan. 14 and is required to respond within 21 days. A case management meeting has reportedly been scheduled for April 12.
MLW's initial statement on the lawsuit partially read, "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," it continued.
WWE quickly responded by claiming there was no validity to the claims. Jerry McDevitt, WWE's long-time attorney, then released a statement to the Wrestling Observer regarding the accusations — " I have not seen the full lawsuit since WWE has not been served. 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. They put a show on Vice, if my memory serves me correctly after one of the Dark Side shows and lost most of the audience. I think I read they got 40,000 viewers. No wonder Vice did no further deal."0comments