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WWE files motion to dismiss MLW lawsuit

MLW filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE in January.
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WWE has filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit from MLW.

MLW filed suit against WWE in January, alleging they put pressure on third parties to abandon relationships with them. The suit specifically mentions a deal with the Fox-owned streaming service Tubi TV as MLW's lawsuit says a deal with them fell apart after WWE interfered.

"MLW's claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage fails because MLW does not allege that WWE knew about MLW's negotiations to sell a third party first-run programming," WWE's motion to dismiss reads. 

The lawsuit also claims that in early 2021, a WWE executive contacted Vice TV and put pressure on them to stop working with MLW. Vice TV did air one MLW special on October 7 featuring Alexander Hammerstone defeating Jacob Fatu to win the MLW World Heavyweight Championship. 

“WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable," MLW CEO Court Bauer said in the press release. "I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop.”

WWE lawyer Jerry McDevitt was quoted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter regarding the lawsuit. 

“If Tubi breached, then sue Tubi. As to Vice, WWE has no commercial relationship with them or for that matter any of the other dozens of content distribution entities with whom MLW could do a deal with if they had a commercially viable product. They put a show on Vice, if my memory serves me correctly after one of the Dark Side shows and lost most of the audience. I think I read they got 40,000 viewers. No wonder Vice did no further deal.”

In a statement to PWInsider, MLW owner Court Bauer said, "Of course WWE is scrambling to dismiss. They don’t want this thing to go to court. I look forward to that opportunity.”