TNA Wrestling latest attempt at picking a fight with the WWE will come in the court room. TNA filed a lawsuit last week against the WWE and a former employee on a number of charges related to contract tampering.
I wish I was kidding but this is no joke. The lawsuit contends that the WWE obtained confidential information on TNA talent contracts to be used in an attempt to poach talent. The lawsuit claimed interference with existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition and violation of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Apparently a lot of this surrounds the recent Ric Flair mystery regarding his non-appearances in TNA. Dave Meltzer reports that Flair informed TNA that he wanted to leave and re-sign with the WWE. Flair’s contract is coming due and Meltzer reports that Dixie planned to negotiate a new deal. WWE attorneys dispute any claims that the company was trying to lure Flair away. Meltzer reports that Flair told TNA that he was done a few weeks ago and no-showed the Louisville house shows on his own. This would put into question the report on PWInsider.com last week that reported Flair was pulled from the house shows, as well as the fact that TNA did not want Flair back. This is why nobody is talking regarding Flair and his status with TNA.
I am no lawyer but this lawsuit sounds like a joke. First of all, TNA publicly announce new contracts. While they never give financials, they do announce terms such as one year, three year, etc. In other words if WWE was targeting a TNA talent all they would have to do is search on Google.com and they could find out like I could when someone’s deal is coming due. There is nothing confidential about that.
Two, I may be missing some guys but the WWE has only signed a handful of TNA Wrestling talent in the 10 years that TNA has been around. Monty Brown, Ron Killings, Awesome Kong, Christian, Kid Kash, CM Punk, Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Chris Harris are the only guys that come to mind, although I may be missing someone. This isn’t as if the WWE is frothing at the mouth to steal talent like in the old WCW-WWE wars. I have to think that management in Stamford has a lot more to worry about than when Crimson and Rob Terry’s contracts are due.
If it were about financials I don’t think they would make a difference anyway. I can’t recall reading many stories of the WWE getting into bidding wars with TNA over talent. The only one I can remember is Christian and they got him. Sting stayed with TNA last year but he didn’t appear to be seriously negotiating with the WWE. Heck, would it really be that hard for the WWE to match the Knockouts salaries? Once again, here you have a case where you have the Knockouts publicly stating or complaining about what they make.
Finally, how could these contracts be so confidential when the TNA guys themselves make it public when their contracts are due? Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle are two talents that made public statements about wanting to negotiate with the WWE as their deals were coming due. I don’t blame them, it is smart negotiating. However, for Dixie Carter to believe that her talent isn’t contacting WWE to see if there is interest would be absurd.
Regardless, I don’t think that TNA has a leg to stand on here. Unless more comes out that we are unaware of, this all just seems like a big waste of everyone’s time and resources.