Based on what was said in the response, WWE has requested that the court rule that Lesnar has breached their agreement and in doing so forfeit any money owed to him in royalties, bar him from competing in any sports entertainment or “ultimate fighting” companies and prevent him from further breaching anything else stated in the agreement. Here is a breakdown of some of the major points in WWE’s response:
– Brock Lesnar was never forced out of WWE and voluntarily agreed to the terms of his release when he made the decision to play professional football in the NFL. WWE made clear that Lesnar was very aware of the usage of the term “ultimate fighting” when he asked for his release and that it could also include mixed martial arts competition. The company also claimed that Lesnar was fully aware he wouldn’t be able to work for another sports entertainment company until 6/10/10, which is when their settlement agreement ended. WWE claims they shouldn’t be forced to change this date just because Lesnar was “unsuccessful at football.” It was also pointed out that the settlement allowed WWE to retain all of his licensing rights, with the exception of anything NFL related.
– WWE admitted that they haven’t yet paid Lesnar for his booking contract since he asked for his release to pursure a career in the NFL, but added that he has been paid an estimated $125,000 in royalities since then.
– WWE contended that Lesnar’s appearance at the New Japan Pro Wrestling event in January of 2005 at the Tokyo Dome was in violation of their agreement terms for his release from the company. Both Lesnar’s appearance at ringside and it airing in Japan TV made it in clear violation of his release.
– WWE feels that Lesnar entered into negotiations with New Japan Pro Wrestling to participate in a May 2005 event. The company also claimed to have suffered “irreparable harm” due to Lesnar’s violation of their agreement.
– WWE stated that by Lesnar appearing at the New Japan event in January that he forfeited all due and future royalty payments and that they have yet to pay him since that took place. This appears to be why the lawsuit itself even came about in the first place, causing Lensar to file suit the following month.
– WWE fully admitted to not bringing Lesnar back to the company after he gave up on all NFL aspirations, but made sure to note that Lesnar quote, “has attempted to use the settlement agreement against WWE, and has made exorbitant financial and other demands which would grant Lesnar, as compared to his 2003 Booking Contract, much more favorable terms.”
– WWE also rejected Lesnar’s terms for wanting to make a return as they felt his recent actions have diminished his value as a whole, citing his quote “vulgar, derogatory and disparaging hand gestures” at WrestleMania XX last year in Madison Square Garden. The company claimed that they would need to invest extra money in order to build Lesnar back up as a strong performer after that incident took place and numerous negative comments he made about them while attempting at a career in the NFL.
– WWE claimed they felt the need to enforce the strict terms of their settlement with Lesnar after he made his appearance at the New Japan event and also due in part to a threat by Lesnar to file a lawsuit against the company.
– WWE also shot down Lesnar’s remark that anyone could be in his position as champion because other performers had held the belt since his departure in March of 2004. They made sure to note that they use the championships as a way to help promote their talents and increase overall popularity with the WWE fan base.
From this point on, it’s in the hands of the courts unless both parties settle before stepping into a courtroom. We will be covering this situation as it develops.