MLW first filed the lawsuit in January 2022, claiming that WWE attempted to monopolize the industry and undermine its competition by preventing MLW from landing media distribution deals. In the suit, MLW also alleges that WWE tried to poach contracted MLW talent.
PWInsider reports that Judge Edward J. Davila has scheduled a conference for September 7, 2023, which will determine a trial date for the matter. Per the ruling, MLW and WWE will have to submit their amended pleadings no later than February 29. After this deadline, the lawsuit will enter a discovery period.
“Plaintiff anticipates taking discovery with respect to its claims, including, among other information: (1) the relevant antitrust market; (2) documents related to VICE, Tubi and FITE; (3) WWE’s employment agreements, event venue agreements and distribution agreements; (4) WWE’s poaching of talent from MLW, AEW and other competitors; (5) WWE’s interference with booking arenas; (6) the impact of WWE’s conduct on entry into the market for broadcasting of professional wrestling programming and related consumer harm; (7) documents related to Jerry S. McDevitt’s appearance in the Dark Side of the Ring program; and (8) damages. Defendant anticipates taking discovery with respect to its defenses in the case, including but not limited to, Plaintiff’s attempts to obtain broadcasting rights from the hundreds if not thousands of other potential buyers, Plaintiff’s efforts to start its own streaming service (which it acknowledges that WWE and Impact have started), and Plaintiff’s recent successes in obtaining broadcast agreement(s), such as its agreement with Pro Wrestling TV, which demonstrate the frivolous nature of its antitrust claims. The Parties are not proposing to conduct discovery in phases or to limit discovery to particular issues.”
WrestleZone will provide more information as it becomes available.