Posted by TNA Wrestling News Staff on May 24, 2012


Partial Source:

TNA has filed a lawsuit against WWE and former TNA and WWE employee Brian Wittenstein. The company filed the lawsuit yesterday in Nashville with charges of interference with existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, and violation of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Wittenstein is also being sued for breach of duty of loyalty.

The suit claims that Wittenstein, who worked for the company for three years from 2008 – 2011, gave WWE inside information on contracts and other details from his time working with the company and that WWE is trying to steal talent from the company via that information. Wittenstein was hired by WWE earlier this year but was let go in April, which TNA claims is after they were presented with the information. However, WWE did not inform TNA that they had been given that information for several weeks.

TNA claims that they were informed of the insider information on May 7th and that several days later, Ric Flair approached TNA trying to get out of his contract so he could go to WWE. The company says Flair hasn’t appeared at events since. Alex Shelley, who is rumored to be heading to WWE, was not mentioned in the lawsuit.

An injunction has been issued demanding that WWE and Wittenstein return whatever confidential material Wittenstein obtained from TNA and were specifically instructed not to destroy any of the material. A hearing is set for next month.

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64 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: TNA Sues WWE”

  1. mattcasdorph says:

    I didn't see that coming, but it is what it is, Go TNA!

  2. ANB says:

    Finally! Ive been waiting. Some real action and news. Vm knew this would happen and never should had advertised someone not on his roster. By vm doing the same shit he bashed wcw doing back in the day. The irony. Esp since you people talk about tna like its wwf98. Finally! Boy how I wish I was representing us.

  3. rtype6 (aka dsd7x) says:

    Now this is getting interesting! Good to see TNA not take anymore b.s.

    • pepsilover2008 says:

      Now if they could start dealing with the bs from the employees with in the company, but it is good to see tna actually starting to be aggressive like they need to be

  4. Kellz_Elite says:

    Damn, its a cold world. Even if wwe return the information im pretty sure they have plenty of copies.

  5. stingerfan92 says:

    its good to c this. stick it to wwe, theyve been pushing tna around 10 years too long.

  6. Bigmike885 says: let me get this straight…this guy worked for TNA..knew stuff about talent contracts..and told his new Employer about what he knew..non of it was secret in anyway as employee contracts are public information…TNA better hope that they have the time and money to spend on this..because Vince will run this through court for YEARS..This has bischoffs fingerprints all over it..and all its going to do is cost TNA tons of money and if there ever in a settlement its not going to be for more than a couple hundred grand…

    • TROOF says:

      You are so damn ignorant. How many times does it need to be established that Bischoff doesn't hold any power in TNA's corporate or business dealings.

    • tnadude says:

      Employee contracts are not public knowledge. Other sports disclose them, but they have unions. TNA is privately held and their contracts likely force the talent to keep their contract details tight lipped. They also won't likely allow the talent to negotiated with the competition until the end (or near the end) of the contract.

    • Triple f says:

      BM885, Two things. 1. We’re not talking about government contracts here. Those are available for public scrutiny. In this case, we’re talking about contracts between individuals and a PRIVATE SECTOR LLC. They are not available for public consumption. Anything that you know about someone’s TNA Contract is only because someone chose to divulge it. They’re not sworn to secrecy, unless it’s stipped in the contract itself. That’s hardly ever done. Try walking into TNA’s office and demanding to see ODB’s Contract. They’ll laugh at you, and tell you to go away. On the other hand, since WWE is a PUBLICLY OWNED CORPORATION their contracts would be accessible, according to SEC regulations. LLC’s enjoy many privileges that corporations do not.

      2. And even more importantly, TNA is backed by Panda Energy, whom I have no doubt EMPLOY An army of attorneys. I would guess that McMahon RETAINS a team of lawyers. Attorneys on retainer are not going to stretch a case out over years, with out a mountain of additional compensation. It could end up costing them a whole lot more than TNA.

      • Bigmike885 says:

        you guys are all misreading what im saying..Triple're right..TNA's contracts are not public knowledge per say, but WWE did hire this ex TNA employee..and he did have information..which he was contratually bound NOT to tell it sleezy on WWE's part..yes..but TNA would do the same thing. As for the timeframe of the lawsuits thing..WWE and WCW battled in court for YEARS over all sorts of things. WWE is a high multi-million dollar corporation and to think they dont have laywers working for them is laughable. The real question is, is it going to be worth VKM's time to allow that to happen. Like i said in my original post, how much can TNA really get from this? A few hundred thousand..a million maybe?..

        • Triple f says:

          BM885, As to your first point (WCW vs. WWE multi-year litigation), I’m not familiar with the situation, so I won’t comment. My point was that generally multi-million dollar corporations (WWE) GENERALLY retain an outside law firm. Their obligations are limited. Anything that they do outside of the scope of that obligation requires additional payment. Multi-billion dollar corporations (Panda Energy) GENERALLY employ their attorneys. They are on the company payroll, and there obligations are not nearly as limited. That’s why it could cost WWE more than TNA, if this case were drawn out.

          It appears to me that the real “victim” in this case is Wittenstein. It looks like the WWE employed him, got the info they wanted, and kissed his butt goodbye. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him dropped as a defendent, in exchange for his testimony. That would open this wide to an OOC settlement.

          Whether TNA would do the same thing is irrelevant, both in this discussion and in court. They are not the defendants.

          Aside from all of this, isn’t it great to have something to discuss that is more relevant than Chyna passing out yet again?

          • Bigmike885 says:

            Good call on the last part…but i did read today that WWE was acctually the one who brought this to TNA's attention and released the guy (did the do it to save face, probobly, but still) I dont know..this all just seems for nothing..I hope TNA gets something good out of this.

          • Triple f says:

            BM885, Yeah, I read that too. But, those were the words of the WWE attorney. And, we all know that lawyers never lie!

          • Bigmike885 says:

            true man..true..haha

  7. __Franke__ says:

    You're all missing the implications of this. WWE haven't ever really acknowledged TNA publicly in any real sense.

    TNA doing this is going to piss off VKM, especially if TNA win. Just wait for it… before this is over WWE and its vanguard of lawyers is going to come back with numerous counter lawsuits.

    • THISISASHOOT247 says:

      Agreed. By the end of this, I foresee a lot more talent than just Shelley and Flair jumping ship to the E. I'm talkin Aries (in another year or so), RVD, and even Kurt Angle (for one more WM match at Mania 30)

      • __Franke__ says:

        It's definitely worrying.

        Looking at the details so far I'm wondering too how TNA are even going to present this in court. What kind of evidence are they going to be able to bring forward that would be admissible? Unless they've got something solid that I doubt, then it'll be their word against WWE's word.

        • Triple f says:

          Franke, This case it isn’t going to be decided by what TNA or WWE says. It’ll be decided on what Wittenstein says.

          • __Franke__ says:

            Hmm yeah, I dunno why but I instantly assumed he'd be on side with WWE.

            That isn't guaranteed though you're right.

          • Triple f says:

            Franke, If Wittenstein feels that he was “used” by the WWE, he could cut a deal. TNA drops their suit against him, he testifies for them. It’s a possibility.

  8. JeffandJoker says:

    Hello Everyone,

    This is going to cost TNA more money in lawyer fees then what it is really worth.

    ANYONE that knows anything about legal issues should know that its not the WWE that is at fault. It would be Brian Wittenstein that TNA should be going after. The WWE isn't the one who signed a non-discloser contract. They were given information from an employee and TNA will not win anything from the WWE.

    From the sounds of it, the WWE took information from someone and used it. They are NOT doing anything wrong. The person giving out information is the one at fault.

    Its just that simple !!!!!

    • JeffandJoker says:

      Keep giving me Thumbs Down. . . .

      The only reason you don't like my post is because its 100% true !!!!

      The only reason TNA is doing this is because they are sinking and they need money so they are hoping to get some from the WWE !!! They are pissed off that all their talent is leaving to go to the WWE.

    • tnadude says:

      Actually, WWE took it willfully, and they are liable. Your point about the cost is insightful. However, in this case, I'll side with Dixie. If TNA allows it, they set a precedence that can be used against them in case they decide to sue in the future.

      In essence, they actually HAVE to spend the money, even though they won't get much benefit as you already said.

      • JeffandJoker says:

        I just don't want to see TNA sue and get nothing. . . .

        I just find it funny that Eric Bischoff used information when he was running WCW to hire guys with contracts that were up. He bragged about it in the dvd " Monday Night Wars ".

        So please tell me the difference from then and now.

        • Bigmike885 says:

          The part of this that gets me the most is it's petty. All the guys in TNA know guys in WWE, they talk regualarly and all the boys know when each other contracts are up anyway..It's TNA playing the "poor little rich girl" card..just like WWE did when WCW raided them in the mid 90's…

    • Pipboy86 says:

      Agreed. It isn't worth it. Although if there were some collusion and a breach of a security clause, WWE could be liable, but it is like David and Goliath and not a bible myth but real life or suing the US government. In other words GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! Almost more trouble than it is worth and could end up costing more and being delayed until virtually the end of TNA to begin with. Ask WCW about their counter suits against WWF and how it ultimately ended. We are essentially talking about a billion dollar corporation with long standing political ties that they have used in the past, which is almost solely invested in professional wrestling vs a small million dollar professional wrestling company with a billion dollar backer who's primary concern is energy. Anyone who can even add two and two shouldn't have trouble with this one. Sad but true, but that is the way the civil justice system works and why corporations are and want to be so powerful to begin with. It is extremely rare for the little guys to win. Let alone actually profit by the time the lawyers get through with it.

      At the very most all you could accomplish with it is to prove that WWE was in violation. Ok so what? You just aren't going to break him over something like that or even make a dent. Vince has proven he is willing to spend more money to break up promotions. Even to the point of jeopardizing his operation and bottom line. That is how he built his empire. I think if the rest of the wrestling world were smart they would fight Vince by product and ignoring the WWE. Just put on a consistently better product and don't be entrapped by relying on "star value". Realistically the rest of the wrestling world has none. Vince has it all. TNA has proven this to be true. Nobody draws in TNA therefore everyone is expendable. I love ROH's approach. Just keep churning out new talent. There is no reason with better booking why TNA couldn't do the same, and with their money keep enough of their talent out of Vince's hands to limit the damage in ways that ECW never could or ROH can't.

      • Triple f says:

        Pipboy86, Your analogy about David & Goliath is apt. However, you got it backwards. David is the WWE and Goliath is Panda Energy. Isn’t it possible that Panda Energy has FINALLY gotten serious about their investment?

        • Pipboy86 says:

          I think Panda has proven recently that TNA is on a short leash financially in many ways. Panda is a huge corporation, but the subsidiary TNA is still relatively small and financially unstable comparatively to them as well as WWE. Basically since there is no NWA board or president or no league commissioner as in professional sports, the only way to combat WWE in this regard would be to keep suing them every time you suspect them of some kind of wrongdoing. It would certainly make the lawyers happy, but I think the fans would come out on the short end of the stick. More money tied up in lawsuits means less for things like ppvs and tv outside Orlando, or more booking dates and paying many talent a respectable wage so they don't immediately drool over WWE every time their contract is set to expire or they become a little bit disappointed with their creative direction or position on the card. Money makes the world go round as they say. People will put up with a lot more crap if they are being reasonably compensated at a job as opposed to if they aren't.

          • Triple f says:

            All valid points! But, as I said, MAYBE. Panda Energy Is getting serious about it investment. Bob Carter lives in Dallas. He knows the potential that a wrestling company has (WCCW). It was a highly successful multi-million dollar Dallas based company, until its top stars started dropping dead one after another.

  9. DJBIGCG says:

    I bet part of the reason tna is really doing this is because flair morgan shelly all chose to leave tna for wwe. Also more tna wrestlers might end up jumping ship to wwe and tna doesn't like that

  10. JoshuaTNA says:

    This is actually a serious case when you think about it, The inside information WWE had most likely gave them exclusive knowledge about when TNA's talents contracts are up, giving the first dibs on certain talents.

    • JeffandJoker says:

      What you are saying might be true, BUT the talent has the right to sign with ANY company they want. So even if the WWE is the first to make an offer, it doesn't mean that the talent has to take that offer.

      • KeizerGodzilla says:

        But they do not have the right to collect personal contract information.

        • Bigmike885 says:

          are you serious?!…the guys in TNA know guys in WWE, so they can get their "personal contact info" at any time..90% of them have at least tried out for WWE if not worked there before so they probobly have it on file anyway. The same goes for WWE talents..TNA can get their numbers from any number of their friends that work there.

  11. KeizerGodzilla says:

    Good god this is ECW all over again. Remember when Todd Gordon and Bill Alphonso were giving away talent information (contract expirations) to WWE(F back then) and getting paid for it? I really hope TNA has enough to kick the crap out of that second rate organization called WWE because its product anymore sucks.


  12. Nova_numb says:

    Speaking as someone with some legal knowledge. This could actually pay off for TNA, IF they can prove that WWE was contacting employees under contract with TNA and inquiring about if they wanted jobs. It is the same with sports teams, you aren't allowed to contact someone about a job if they are still under contract with a team unless that team has given permission. That's why you see NFL teams asking permission to talk to even coaches about jobs as the off-season comes around. If TNA can prove WWE were using the insider info to know what people were being paid and contacting them offering them bigger deals while they were still under TNA contracts. WWE could be paying TNA some money and even if it isn't a ton of money it would be humorous to see Dixie taking some of Vince's coin.

    • Bigmike885 says:

      just hope they can prove that they've never done it themselves..I always thought Kurts just to TNA was really quick..and he lied to get out of his WWE contract…

    • JeffandJoker says:

      Isn't it up to the wrestler to say that he is under contract and can't speak with another company???

      You are talking about the NFL compared to Wrestling. I don't think they are the same. In the NFL all the owners are linked by the NFL, But in the wrestling world the owners are not linked. How is the WWE to know who is under contract???

  13. 2blackbelts says:

    LEGALITIES ASIDE. I reallly don't think it is going to matter to WWE one way or the other if they sign ex TNA talents. These few wrestlers will not affect their bottom line at all. It is much more important for TNA to lose wrestlers to WWE, than it is for WWE to sign TNA wrestlers

  14. THISISASHOOT247 says:

    If it hasnt already been clear that TNA is going down WCW's path, then I dont know what else is more clear. Alot of TNA's bigger talent starting to jump ship? hmmm all this sounds very familiar

  15. locktite says:

    TNA is going to be bought by Vince, he will take the few wrestlers he wants, and shut it down. It's happened before and it will happen again.

    • ANB says:

      Why is it assumed vince would be the only one interested in buying it. I would love to! Jamie kellner (executive) handed wcw to vm and vm killed wcw learn your shit! Why does everybody talk about tna like its wwf98? #weknowhowthatended 😉

      • locktite says:

        I really don't care who handed what to Vince. I just remember Vince got control of more than 1 company and he picked them clean, and flushed them. Simple business, easy profits. That is all I want to learn. It was fun, sorry I upset your world, as far as what happened in 98, I don't know how that ended.

      • Bigmike885 says:

        so you'd love to? got the money to do it?…if noone wanted to buy WCW, which got 3x the ratings at one point and was the number 1 company in the world for 2 years…im sure the market is small into who would want to buy TNA…

  16. Xris says:

    H dnt think there’s rily any cause for alarm or lawsuits…tna shuld rily be careful if they dnt wanna be shut down…they’ve always been playing 2nd fiddle to wwe nd mst of their talents are frm the wwe anyway!

  17. gmanmattyg says:

    When you work at a private company you sign a confidentially agreement….hence why the lawsuit. This guy was not allowed to show wwe contract statuses and he did…yes wwe told them…but they saw and read the document. The proof is in ric flair trying to get out of his deal. And u know flair by no means covered his tracks.

  18. destroyer_v39 says:

    If I was TNA I would make this into a storyline, since there doing this TMZ like angle. If not I hope TNA loses this court battle against the WWE.

  19. JeffandJoker says:

    Hello Everyone Again !!!

    What I don't understand is why EVERYONE gave me a thumbs down on my prior post????

    I think it is very true that it is going to cost TNA more in the long run then what it is really worth.

    Plus Dixie Carter was very happy with the deal she made with the WWE for letting Ric Flair go to the Hall Of Fame show. I am sure that deal will no longer work out because of all of this.

    Also what I don't understand is what did the WWE do wrong ? They found out when a wrestler's contract was going to be up and they made offers to them. If TNA has such a problem with talent leaving maybe they should re-sign them before the contract is up.

    This move makes TNA look desperate. Everyone sees that their talent is leaving and since they can't do anything about it they go and sue the WWE.

    Why didn't TNA sue the WWE when Booker T, Christian, Ron Killings, Chris Harris and others all left to go to the WWE???

    When a contract is up, and a wrestler is looking for work they can go ANYWHERE they want !!!!

  20. litweav says:

    If you read what was wrote right.The info was more then when the wrestliers contracts are up.Besides if VM thinks TNA is a joke,why would he want any of thier wrestliers.TNA will will this court battle,WWE(worst,wrestling,ever) waited weeks before saying anything about having the info,what a bunch of dumasses.

  21. TNA_fan says:

    Honesty this sucks, but if TNA (Dixie) knew how to keep her talents happy they will decided to stay with TNA no matter what, but no she spending money on people that knows nothing about wrestling, or people like Ric.

    Just my two cents

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