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MICHAEL ELGIN FILES BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWSUIT AGAINST IMPACT WRESTLING

By Mike Johnson on 2022-03-03 22:46:00

Former Impact Wrestling star Aaron “Michael Elgin” Frobel, 35, filed a lawsuit against the company on 2/8 before the Circuit Court of Davidson County, TN, seeking “not less than” five million dollars in compensatory damages from a “material breach” of his "Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, Professional Wrestler Booking Agreement", specifically financial incentives to be paid to him for his in ring performances, training, social media, merchandise and royalties.

The lawsuit stems from Impact’s decision to remove Frobel from Impact Wrestling programming in June 2020.  The company suspended him on 6/22/20 in the wake of numerous alleged improprieties against women that came out online as part of the #speakingout movement, citing that he would remain suspended until "further review" into the allegations was completed.   In the end, Impact decided that Elgin won't be seen or utilized at all going forward, confirming to PWInsider.com that he was being eliminated from all future Impact programming. 

At the time, Impact provided the following statement:

"Impact Wrestling announced that Michael Elgin will not be appearing in any further Impact Wrestling programming."

Frobel issued the following statement via his Instagram account several days later, writing on 6/26/20:

"I appreciate the time and opportunities given to me with Impact.  That locker room, the film crew and all the company officials were a pleasure to be associated with.  I hope that in time things get sorted.  For now, I have to look at the bright side, I have more time to spend with my son and reclaim time that has been missed."

In the lawsuit, Frobel explains, "a career in wrestling is not comparable to a normal employment opportunity.  The wrestler's reputation and fame is dependent upon the entertainment and content company to deliver television programming to the mutual benefit of the wrestler and entertainment company."

Frobel then stated that Scott D'Amore, Executive Vice President for Impact Wrestling, announced on 6/22/20 that two wrestlers were terminated and that Frobel was being "suspended, pending an investigation into allegations."  

Frobel alleges, however, that in conversations with D'Amore, "he was told there would be no investigation into allegations."  He also alleges that, on or about December 10, 2010, D'Amore confirmed there was no investigation by email, stating, "the company's decision not to utilize you in further programming was not based on any investigation beyond the public disclosures (and your responses thereto) at the time."  A copy of the email was entered as an exhibit into the lawsuit.

Frobel's lawsuit also alleges that he was requested by Pro Wrestling NOAH to perform at a December 2020 event at Nippon Budokan, but "Defendant unilaterally canceled Plaintiff's appearance, severely damaging Plaintiff's reputation in Japan."

Frobel'a lawsuit stated that as "result of the intentional breach" of his contract by Impact Wrestling, he has "suffered and will continue to suffer grievous harm including, without limitation, monetary damages and damages for mental anguish and humiliation, unless and until this Court grants relief."

Frobel notes in the lawsuit that he is seeking not less than five million dollars for compensatory damages in order to place him "in the financial position he would have been but not for the breach of contract."  The lawsuit does not specify what "financial incentives" were to be paid to him for his "in ring performances, training, social media, merchandise and royalties."

Frobel's lawsuit included a copy of his Anthem Wrestling Booking Agreement (signed April 11th, 2019) - with that filing for some reason also including a medical release Frobel signed for New Japan Pro Wrestling in March 2019, discharging that company for any liability related to an injury suffered in November 2018 in exchange for $4,145,85.

In a 15-minute YouTube video uploaded to his personal channel, Frobel explained that his Impact Wrestling contract recently expired, that he hadn’t wrestled in over a year despite being paid by Impact and was filing the lawsuit in order to force his side of the story to be officially on the record before a court of law so the public could understand both sides of the story.    

In the video, Frobel stated that if Impact never investigated him and paid him until his contract expired, "then he was innocent" but while that he's free and clear of his contract, the impression is still that he was fired.  Frobel said he could explain his side but no one would know if he's telling the truth and could even get himself in legal trouble for posting emails and other details publicly.  So, he's going the legal route and everything can come out via depositions and evidence so he can get back to performing in the ring and providing for his son without promoters being attacked for booking him.

Frobel, as Michael Elgin, has only wrestled a handful of times since his Impact Wrestling suspension.  He last wrestled in February 2021 for IWA Mid-South in Jeffersonville, Indiana, defeating Vincent Nothing.  He has had a number of personal issues over the last year and noted in his YouTube video regarding the lawsuit that at one point, he was contemplating suicide.

Impact Wrestling was officially served with the lawsuit on 2/11, but has not filed a response with the court as of this writing.    They would have 30 days upon being served to respond.

Frobel was contractually free from Impact Wrestling as of 3/1.

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