WWE Head-To-Head Loss Against AEW Cited In Motion To Dismiss MLW Lawsuit
WWE using the head-to-head loss to AEW Rampage as evidence
WWE filed a motion to dismiss the antitrust lawsuit filed by Major League Wrestling against the company on Tuesday in the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
WWE cited several reasons why the lawsuit should be dismissed, including arguing the company did not have a monopoly in professional wrestling.
To argue their point, WWE provided an exhibit of the October 18, 2021, edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter which covered SmackDown's head-to-head loss to AEW Rampage on October 15.
"In the WWE's response to the MLW lawsuit, besides the written response they provided an exhibit. The exhibit was the October 18, 2021 issue of the Observer that covered WWE losing the 30 minutes head-to-head with AEW as evidence they weren't a dominant monopoly," Dave Meltzer tweeted.
October 15 was the first time AEW Rampage and WWE SmackDown had gone head-to-head, with both shows airing against each other for 30 minutes due to a 150-minute episode of SmackDown.
Once the ratings were published, it was revealed Rampage had beaten SmackDown in the key 18-49 demographic, averaging 328,000 viewers to SmackDown's 285,000 during the 30 minutes they were head-to-head.
MLW filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE on January 11, 2022, alleging Vince McMahon's company had made ongoing attempts to "undermine competition and monopolise the professional wrestling market by interfering with MLW's contracts and business prospects."
Specific reference within the lawsuit was made to MLW's scrapped streaming deal with FOX and the promotion's deal with VICE TV.