Earlier today MLW revealed that it has filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE, and in that initial release MLW‘s lawsuit alleges that WWE interfered and pressured third parties to abandon contracts and abandon relationships with MLW, including a streaming deal with Tubi. MLW says that deal would have been a huge deal for the company, and the lawsuit alleges that the person that contacted a Tubi executive about that deal was WWE’s Stephanie McMahon. The lawsuit alleges that McMahon called a Tubi executive once WWE got word of the upcoming deal and asked that they deny MLW a time slot, and then later pressured the Tubi executive and Fox executives to stop the agreement altogether.
Chuck C on Wrestling shared an excerpt from the Lawsuit that refers to McMahon’s alleged involvement in this, and you can read that below. Here’s the full excerpt.
MLW lawsuit against WWE alleges Stephanie McMahon personally derailed @MLW‘s deal with the Tubi streaming service. McMahon threatened that Tubi’s parent company Fox “could lose WWE’s business or preferred content if Tubi did not acquiesce to WWE’s demand,” per the suit. pic.twitter.com/7S00e801Aj
— Chuck C on Wrestling (@WrestleChuck) January 12, 2022
“45. Prior to Tubi and MLW issuing the joint press release, WWE learned about the terms and existence of the License Agreement. On or about August 9, 2021, WWE executive Stephanie McMahon spoke with a Tubi executive located in California about the License Agreement. Ms. McMahon initially pressured the Tubi executive to deny MLW a time slot that would compete head-to-head with WWE’s NXT programs on Tuesday nights. But Ms. McMahon ultimately pressured the Tubi executive and other senior executives at Fox to terminate the agreement in its entirety.
Tubi’s affiliate, Fox, could lose WWE’s business or preferred content if Tubi did not acquiesce to WWE’s demand and terminate its agreement with MLW. On August 9, 2021 — the night before a planned press release about the Tubi-MLW deal — as a result of WWE’s pressure and interference, MLW received a letter purporting to terminate the License Agreement.”
WWE has responded to the lawsuit announcement as well, issuing a statement that reads “WWE believes these claims have no merit and intends to vigorously defend itself against them.”
In the initial press release, MLW CEO Court Bauer said “WWE has been wrongfully depriving its competitors of critical opportunities for many years, but its latest conduct has been even more unconscionable. I think we speak for the rest of the professional wrestling world when we say that this anti-competitive behavior has to stop.”