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TNA FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST WWE FOR CONTRACT INTERFERENCE, UNFAIR COMPETITION AND OTHERS ISSUES STEMMING FROM INSIDER INFORMATION GIVEN TO WWE

By Mike Johnson on 2012-05-24 17:12:00
TNA filed a lawsuit yesterday in court in Nashville against WWE and former TNA and WWE office worker Brian Wittenstein for interference with existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, and violation of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act. They are also suing Wittenstein for breach of duty of loyalty.

TNA's lawsuit alleges that that Wittenstein, who worked for the company for three years before departing in 2011, provided WWE with inside information on TNA contracts and other matters from his time working in TNA's talent relations and live events departments.

While working for TNA, Wittenstein handled third party bookings for TNA contracts to work independents, scheduling and lots of talent related grunt work. TNA sources at the time of Wittenstein's departure stated he was let go. Wittenstein told PWInsider several months later he had quit.

Wittenstein was hired by WWE earlier this year and worked briefly under Michael Hayes as an assistant before being let go. According to the suit, WWE fired Wittenstein after he presented them with insider TNA information. However, TNA claims that WWE did not approach them with that information until 5/7, several weeks after they let Wittenstein go.

TNA's lawsuit claimed that WWE is now trying to poach contracted talent from TNA, using inside information from TNA contracts to their advantage. Several days later after being contacted by WWE about the Wittenstein issue, Ric Flair (who, as we've reported here, TNA has been having issues with) approached TNA trying to get out of his contract.

TNA is alleging that Flair was trying to get out of his contract in order to go to WWE and that since telling TNA he wanted out of his deal, has not appeared at live events, including the Sacrifice PPV.

In the last week, there have also been rumors that Alex Shelley had turned down a new TNA contract and was looking to go to WWE as well. While those stories have been making the rounds, PWInsider.com has not been able to independently confirm them. Shelley was not specifically mentioned in the lawsuit filing.

An injunction was issued earlier today demanding that WWE and Wittenstein each return whatever confidential material Wittenstein retained from his time working for TNA. They were specifically instructed not to "destroy" any of the material.

I am told a hearing regarding the case is already slated for next month.

We'll have more information as we confirm it.

Note: Flair requesting he wanted out would go against the stories we heard about him being pulled from shows, so if that is indeed the case, we apologize for the error in our Flair story earlier this week.