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ULTIMATE WARRIOR CANNOT RECOVER DAMAGES FROM WWE'S SELF-DESTRUCTION DVD, COURT RULES

By Mike Johnson on 2009-09-18 11:19:13
Former WWF champion Ultimate Warrior's lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment looks to be over, as Judge Douglas L. Rayes ruled that Warrior could not sue for damages over WWE's comments about him in their Self-Destruction of Ultimate Warrior DVD could be sued over.

Warrior filed a lawsuit against WWE on 1/9/2006 in The Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County over his depiction in WWE's Self-Destruction DVD.  Warrior claimed at that time that the content of the DVD violated a March 2000 Settlement Agreement between WWE and Ultimate Creations Inc, Warrior’s Arizona corporation. That agreement granted WWE the rights to own any existing footage from the Warrior’s WWE runs and the ability to “exploit” them, but decreed that Warrior actually owned the rights and trademarks to the Ultimate Warrior character and could use them in any future venue as he decreed. The 2000 Agreement also noted that both parties agreed not to disparage each other and that WWE also agreed to pay $890,000 to Warrior’s Ultimate Creations as part of the settlement agreement.

The lawsuit started in federal jurisdiction before aspects involving the Settlement were sent back to Arizona State Court, since that was where the March 2000 Settlement was drafted.

The lawsuit dragged on for several years until 9/10, when Rayes agreed with WWE's claims that Warrior himself had made publicly disparaging claims against WWE in his own public appearances and statements. Rayes ruled that Warrior himself had breached the contract, therefore he wasn't legally able to recover damages for WWE doing the same thing.

WWE's Warrior DVD featured comments by Vince McMahon, Edge, Christian, Bobby Heenan, Triple H, Steve Lombardi, Eric Bischoff, Gene Okerlund, and Hulk Hogan, among others discussing Warrior’s WWF and WCW runs and legacy. HHH noted that Warrior was among the “least professional” wrestlers he had ever had to deal with, while Heenan stated that Warrior was dangerous and that “Nobody wanted to be around the guy.” McMahon noted that at one point, he couldn’t “wait to fire” Warrior.

In a statement posted on his official website yesterday, Warrior acknowledged he had pretty much lost the case, writing, "It is what it is. There are no guarantees in litigation. None.  Of course, when you pursue these things, you want things to turn out in your favor. So does the other side. Cases are made and cards fall where they will.  What helps me handle it is that I am realist about things I cannot control and an optimist about all the incredible opportunity that always lies ahead, every day, every hour, every minute. I mean, from the moment you decide in your head that the past is done and gone, that it is a fact of reality you can’t change, and you put your time and energy into moving forward, right then and there positive things begin to happen. Only when you change the world of your mind will things in world outside of you change.  There is no reason for hesitation except that you choose to stay stuck. The only force is your mind. I don’t choose to remain stuck. I’m not good at whining and complaining about what I, myself, can, will and must do. I still have the rest of today to make the most out of myself and my life. I’m going to get at it."

While there will still be some additional back and forth maneuvering between the two sides, for the most part, the bulk of Warrior's claims were tossed and it certainly appears the matter will be wrapped up shortly.