Major League Wrestling submitted an amended lawsuit against WWE and added a number of new details.
A judge dismissed the original complaint, which MLW filed in January 2022, and gave the company 21 days to submit an amended claim.
On March 6, MLW filed an amended complaint, which added a number of new details o the company’s initial argument that WWE attempted to undermine the competition, monopolize the market, and prevent MLW from landing distribution deals . The company claimed that WWE’s exclusive streaming deal with Peacock, which prevents the platform from airing other wrestling shows, contributed to its antitrust case. Peacock recently announced that it would stream REELZ, the home of MLW Underground, but it would not air the show due to its deal with WWE.
MLW used this an example of WWE’s “predatory product” that hindered the company’s ability to land distribution deals for its product and license its programming. In the claim, MLW alleged that they are at risk of losing their deal with REELZ as a result of Peacock’s relationship with WWE. They also claimed that they are “at risk of its business being irreparably destroyed.”
Among other examples, MLW also alleged that WWE executive Paul Levesque tried to pressure Madison Square Garden to cancel ROH’s 2018 event during WrestleMania weekend. The event was later run as the ROH/G1 Supercard show in 2019.
MLW also provided more information about its claim that WWE attempted to poach talent; the company alleged that then-WWE executive Canyon Ceman encouraged Shane Strickland to opt out of his contract. MLW also pointed to WWE signing Davey Boy Smith Jr. and only using him in one dark match to illustrate their view that WWE aimed to “impair MLW’s ability to build its brand and viewership.”
The complaint also cites AEW on a number of occasions; MLW claims that AEW has yet to be profitable since its 2019 launch, which shows how hard it is to compete with WWE. MLW also alleged that WWE prevented AEW from running the Heritage Bank Center in 2019 and early 2020. Additionally, MLW cited WWE booking two major events around AEW All Out 2022 as an example of another predatory practice.
Furthermore, MLW also claimed that AEW demanded WWE stop contacting signed talent and trying to sign them away, something that Tony Khan has commented on previously.
MLW also alleged that WWE’s actions have “harmed” fans by limiting their choices and imposing high prices. Plus, MLW again claimed that WWE blocked the company from landing deals with Tubi, VUCE, and FITE. MLW also provided an analysis of the market and claimed that WWE has 92% of the revenue, and AEW has 6%, so other companies only have 2% of that revenue.
WrestleZone will provide more information as it becomes available.