MLW Calls Out WWE’s “Predatory Conduct” In Amended Lawsuit

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Major League Wrestling has filed an amended lawsuit against WWE as the sports entertainment giant’s legal woes continue.

MLW had filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE and alleged that the sports entertainment giant had pressured media partners of MLW to abandon their contracts or prospective relationship with the promotion.

WWE had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and that motion was granted in February by the Northern District of California’s US District Court. The dismissal states that “The Court finds that MLW has not included sufficient facts to plausibly allege a relevant antitrust product market.”

Now MLW has amended the lawsuit and included information regarding the promotion’s recent deal with REELZ. MLW debuted on REELZ in February 2023 but by the end of the month, the network announced a deal with Peacock – the US home of the WWE Network. Due to an exclusivity clause between WWE and Peacock, MLW content is blacked out on the service.

With the amended suit focusing on the U.S. market for pro wrestling media content, MLW’s analysis places WWE’s share of that market at 92% with AEW taking up 6%, leaving just 2% for all other promotions to fight over.

The court filing also draws attention to the actions of Triple H [Paul Levesque] in relation to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s decision to run the G1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden in 2018:

“In a naked attempt to restrain competition through the abuse of its market power, WWE, through Paul Levesque, its then-Executive Vice President, called MSG to insist that MSG cancel the show with ROH and NJPW. Unable to resist the pressure from the industry behemoth, MSG succumbed, and withdrew from the ROH agreement and cancelled the ROH show.

“While Sinclair threatened to sue MSG over their agreement, and the show was rescheduled, ROH and NJPW were forced to incur significant legal expense to vindicate their legal rights and to defend against WWE’s anti-competitive behavior. A smaller nascent competitor, without the support of Sinclair, may not have been able to resist such pressure and incur the necessary legal expenses to vindicate its rights.”

The original lawsuit took over a year from filing to being dismissed so it is not known how long this issue will take to be resolved between the two parties.