The WWE has filed its reply brief (download here) in further support of its motion to dismiss yesterday contending that three former wrestlers "cannot escape the clear language of the booking contracts". For background on the case involving "Raven" and two other former wrestlers, click here.
The brief is filled with lots of "smackdowns" (to borrow a wrestling phrase) chiding the wrestlers about not doing their research before filing their claims (p2, footnote 1), about conducting a "fishing expedition" (p2, footnote 2), about pursuing futile claims (p3), about using "sleight-of-hand tactics" (p7, footnote 5), and, well, just about everything else.
The brief is a lawyers’ dream — and a wrestling fan’s cure for insomnia. (The new movie, "The Wrestler" may be a better entertainment choice.) The arguments are thick with legal analysis that frankly will only excite those with an interest in this arcane area of law. But the gist of the argument is that the claims are filed too late and are barred by various legal theories. And even when there might be viable claim under ERISA, the wrestlers never amended their complaint to add it (and WWE contends that it is too late to do so now).
Is there anything all that new or revealing? No, not really, At the end of the day, the plain language of the booking contracts is what should control the outcome of the case, argues the WWE. It’s not very different from the argument it made in its first brief.
Zach Lowe, of the AmLaw Daily blog, provided this delicious update on the case (and welcome to readers of the blog as well).
I would expect that a decision on the matter will not be forthcoming for several more months. Until then, the matter is likely to remain fairly quiet.