Fightful was the first to report this and have MLW’s statement on January 11th. It’s interesting to me that MLW is going after them especially with AEW having the success that it is. MLW is suing the WWE over alleged attempts to monopolize the wrestling market. MLW says that WWE is undermining the competition by interferring with MLW’s contracts and business prospects.
WWE was served on January 14th according to the court records. They have 21 days to respond. This puts it at the first week of February. A case management meeting is scheduled for April 12th. Sounds to me like this will be dragged out, so I think the question could be…does MLW really have the money to do this or are they looking for a settlement?
The First Complaint
MLW put out a statement on January that detailed their complaints. The first one was when MLW announced in early 2021 that they were in talks with VICE to air MLW programs. A then-WWE executive warned VICE that Vince McMahon was “pissed” that VICE would air MLW programs. They stated that VICE should stop working with MLW. The VICE executive said that WWE’s conduct was illegal and an antitrust violation. So the WWE executive stated that she couldn’t control Vince McMahon.
“I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop,” stated MLW CEO Court Bauer. I totally agree with him. WWE for years has hurt professional wrestling fans. We all want to see what we want and sometimes it’s not WWE. Sometimes it is. You all know that I love WWE some of the time. But some of the time they make me extremely upset with their creative and how they run their shows. However, more recently their policies have really upset me. They just don’t want competition.
The Second Complaint
WWE also stepped in and got a major streaming deal for MLW that they say could have been transformative for them canceled. Tubi was in talks with MLW to work with them, but through WWE’s business relationship with FOX put a stop to it. With this lawsuit, MLW wants the money it would have gotten without WWE stepping in and interfering. Plus they want a court order to stop WWE from interfering in the future with them. Of course, WWE stated “that they believed these claims have no merit and intends to vigorously defend itself against them.”
Really? WWE was scared of MLW programs? Why? Has AEW scared them so bad that they can’t allow any wrestling promotion to get on another network? I truly believe WWE doesn’t think any company can have any claim against them and that they can’t be touched. I’m interested in seeing if MLW can touch them. I enjoy MLW and speak of it on my podcast, Pro Wrestling Overtime all the time, but even I’m not thinking MLW would cause overnight problems for WWE. What I would like to know is who explained what MLW was doing to Vince and what did they say?
Also, I guess what I would really have liked was to have saw what MLW would have wanted to put on VICE. If you look at their YouTube channel then you can see their weekly program, but you also see interviews with Alicia Atout and statements of upcoming programs. There isn’t tremendous amount of programming that is put up weekly, so why would WWE be afraid of a 60 minute program? Granted, they have some up and coming wrestlers, but many of the wrestlers have already left like “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Kevin Ku, Jordan Oliver and TJP, etc. I can’t stand MLW Azteca, so I sure hope they get better soon or WWE shouldn’t even worry.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions, comments, problems or protests. Write to me at ProWrestlingOT@gmail.com or on Twitter @ProOvertime I’ll talk to you soon and hopefully I’ll see you down the road.