TNA Sues WWE

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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Observer

TNA filed suit against WWE and former employee Brian Wittenstein on a number of charges related to contract tampering.
The story in pwinsider.com lists that the lawsuit claimed interference with existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition and violatoin of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
The suit claims that Wittenstein, who worked for TNA and then moved to WWE, gave WWE inside information on TNA contracts.
Wittenstein was recently let go by WWE after he presented thenm with confidential contractual information about TNA talent. But TNA claims WWE did not let them know about this until weeks late, claiming WWE told them on 5/7 that was why Wittenstein was let go.
TNA claims they used that information and have been in talks with Ric Flair, who approached TNA about getting out of his contract (so the stories of TNA firing Flair are not true, it was Flair who asked out of the deal). They noted Flair is wanting to go to WWE, and said it was Flair no-showing all of his recent dates. That also contradicts stories that TNA pulled him from those dates.
TNA filed for an injunction as well demanding WWE and Wittenstein return all confidential material Wittenstein had from his period working for TNA.
The filing of the lawsuit explains why both TNA and Flair had been quiet when it came to his no longer appearing for TNA over the past two weeks.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
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#3
Either TNA's desperate or Vince went old school.
Well TNA was pissed about Flair but they let him go to HoF knowing he would most likely be pro-WWE

As bad as WWE is now & as rapid as business is falling, Vince is too smart to knowingly get in legal trouble like that. Also Vince is friendly with Flair so I am sure Flair doesn't need to show a contract to him to tell him what he made etc

TNA are not WWE's issues - Vince booking is
Anybody with knowledge & eyesight can see that
Everybody on this board (cept one troll) realize that & numbers back it up
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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#4
Meltzer on his hotline said he thinks the timing of TNA's lawsuit is to prevent Flair from going to WWE.
They waited until Flair asked for his release & now possibly the lawsuit might shy WWE away from signing Ric & this getting them both back for the HoF

Of course TNA agreed to the HoF so it seems like its sour grapes
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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#5
In depth details
The two biggest wrestling promotions in the United States are now adversaries in court, largely stemming from the contractual situation of Richard Fliehr (Ric Flair).

TNA filed a lawsuit against WWE for interference in existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition and a violation of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act. They are also suiting Brian Wittenstein, a former TNA employee who was hired this year by WWE, for breach of duty of loyalty, asking for him to return all money from his severance package agreement because he violated the terms of it, as well as any TNA attorney fees from the lawsuit.

TNA filed and received a temporary restraining order on 5/23 against WWE, alleging WWE with contract tampering in the case of Flair.

While those at TNA have not spoken about the case, what is clear from the lawsuit is that it was Flair, and not TNA who attempted to get out of the relationship. At this point, Flair is still under contract to TNA, but not being used. An article in Pwinsider.com, coming from the TNA side, gave the impression that Flair was fired when the company had decided to no longer cover for his behavior, citing his being banned from the bar at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. One major star in the company quickly rushed to Flair’s defense behind the scenes, saying he was mad at what he called the attempt to bury Flair personally because it was Flair who was attempting to leave.

TNA did get a temporary restraining order against WWE, prohibiting them from negotiating with and signing TNA talent. The restraining order was done without WWE being aware of it happening or being able to argue the merits of the case.

Chancellor Eileen Hobbs Lyle signed the order on 5/24 requiring that WWE and Wittenstein both return, and not destroy, the disc containing the confidential information.

According to Jerry McDevitt, WWE will be arguing against an attempt by TNA to turn that temporary ruling into an injunction on 6/11, at a hearing in Knoxville.

The basics of the case revolves around Brian Wittenstein, a former TNA employee who worked underneath Terry Taylor from 2008 to 2011 when Taylor was the head of talent relations. Wittenstein was let go by TNA in August, 2011, and was hired in February by WWE to work in the live events department under Michael Hayes. As part of his severance package, he was to agree to return all company materials and not disclose any confidential information.

McDevitt said that Wittenstein had given WWE officials a disc with confidential information on TNA contracts. McDevitt said WWE officials didn’t use the information, and after going through proper channels, fired Wittenstein. WWE officials also informed Bruce Prichard at TNA on 5/7 of what had happened after they let Wittenstein go, and lawyers from both sides were also in contact. TNA followed by suing WWE, claiming that information was used in an attempt to raid Flair, and that they had been in possession of the confidential materia for three weeks before contacting TNA.

TNA’s claim against WWE is apparently having Wittenstein turn on them as to way to defend himself. TNA, in the lawsuit, claimed Wittenstein, when contacted by TNA, informed them that he gave the information to WWE at their request.

TNA’s claim is that WWE officials had fired Wittenstein three weeks before Prichard had been contacted and told about the confidential disc he had taken with him and was going to give to WWE. TNA claimed they weren’t aware of “the full breadth of Wittenstein’s theft” and believed he took copioes of TNA policies and procedures, a spread sheet with the terms of all TNA contracts, payment and royalty reports, as well as drafts of one contract and another executed contract, as well as a draft of a promotional agreement with a TNA licensee.

The lawsuit had a memo sent to WWE summarizing all TNA contracts, including an e-mail where Wittenstein wrote to WWE, “Attached, please find a contract status and terms chart for the TNA wrestling roster. I combined a bunch of different documents that I had from there to put it all in one concise spreadsheet that should capture all the relevant information you would be interested in. Here are a few notes for you regarding the TNA deals.”

Either Hayes or John Laurinaitis turned all the material over to the WWE in-house legal department and he was fired in April.

On 5/9, Flair want to TNA officials and asked to be released from his contract, and then missed scheduled house show dates in Louisiana, the Sacrifice PPV, and the television taping on 5/15 that he was booked for. The lawsuit claims the timing of WWE receiving all the TNA contractual information and Flair leaving, and the belief he is headed to WWE is suspect, and they are attempting to depose Flair, Laurinaitis and Paul Levesque regarding any contractual discussions with Flair.

WWE has not signed Flair or any TNA talent in some time.

Flair and TNA have not spoken either officially or unofficially regarding the subject of Flair’s contract, but one person close to the situation said that things will eventually come out that will give Flair a release from the contract. TNA has yet to release Flair, although there are no plans going forward of using him. Virtually everyone from TNA is unaware of any aspects of this and it is a subject that nothing is being said about.

The lawsuit states, “The wrongful disclosure and misappropriation allows WWE to effectively price TNA out of the market and cause irreparable harm to TNA’s business and profitability,” the lawsuit stated. “WWE now knows the confidential details of TNA’s business affairs, including its marketing and business strategy and analysis, which leaves TNA vulnerable to WWE’s unfair position in the market.”

No other talent is listed in the lawsuit. Matt Morgan, whose number of dates has either just come due or is about to, and hasn’t been used of late doing an injury angle, said in a Pro Wrestling Torch interview that he had received feelers from WWE. He said he was happy in TNA, but that he was a business man and would consider if WWE made a better offer.

Patrick Martin, 29 (Alex Shelley), who is leaving TNA when his contract expires, has, according to sources close to Martin, received phone calls from WWE. Reports of him signing with WWE or even agreeing to terms are said by those sources to be premature and had nothing to do with him allowing his contract to expire. His original plans when he decided against renewing his contract with TNA were to work with New Japan in the junior heavyweight division, a deal he had been negotiating for, and maybe Dragon Gate USA. But recently, WWE did show interest. He was not expecting that to happen when he let his contract expire and we’ve had confirmations he was close to a deal with New Japan when the WWE called.

With the temporary restraining order, as well as the ongoing lawsuit, that would likely hold up WWE going after any TNA talent, and hold up any potential deal with Flair, who most expected was trying to get out of his TNA contract to return to an affiliation with WWE.

McDevitt said the company had no indication any legal action was coming, and noted that they were the ones who contacted TNA to let them know about the issue, and that they fired Wittenstein.

The lawsuit also claimed, “In order to injure TNA and gain a competitive advantage, WWE intentionally interfered with TNA’s contractual relationship with Ric Flair and maliciously used the trade secrets and confidential information provided by Wittenstein to approach Ric Flair.”

Flair had been the center of legal issues only a few weeks earlier, as lawyers from both sides had reached an agreement that allowed Flair to appear at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and in the new WrestleMania DVD release. McDevitt said that he believed nothing having to do with that played a part in this lawsuit.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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I'm not dismissing TNA's claims outright, but right now it seems to me like TNA is just grasping at straws to keep Flair and others from signing with WWE.
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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#9
Desperate attempt to get Vince to buy TNA and let the stakeholders cash out?
I'm not dismissing TNA's claims outright, but right now it seems to me like TNA is just grasping at straws to keep Flair and others from signing with WWE.
I think TNA has a right to sue
I would if I found an employee left & took important info with him to the only competitor
Who knows what WWE did with it & how important what they read was though
I doubt WWE will be in trouble since the openly fired him and said that was the reason but TNA is in their right to sue & I would bet Vince would if it was reverse
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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#10
Meltzer:
WWE is trying to get a conference on Monday to defend itself in the lawsuit TNA filed last week. It will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Nashville.
That should be interesting
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
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838
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#11
Meltzer:
WWE and TNA had a conference earlier today regarding the lawsuit TNA filed against WWE since WWE had not been able to defend itself when TNA got a temporary restraining order against them. There is a planned hearing on 6/11 in Knoxville but there are issues because John Laurinaitis is a key part of the suit and the hearing and he would be needed at Raw that night.
 

Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
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Not being sarcastic, but fighting over 60 year old Ric Flair?
 

UCJOE

I have a lot of business with the Chinese
Mar 7, 2009
12,813
838
293
NJ
#15
a byproduct of the lawsuit
Matt Morgan left TNA in hopes of signing to WWE but they might have to put that on hold