TNA Suing WWE Over Contract Tampering; Ric Flair Caught In The Middle As He Tries To Return To His Former Employer

TNA Wrestling filed an injunction request Wednesday in Davidson County Chancery Court alleging that former office employee Brian Wittenstein provided WWE with confidential information and trade secrets. TNA alleges WWE is now using the insider information provided by Wittenstein to poach talent.

According to the suit, a WWE official notified TNA on May 7, 2012 that Wittenstein, who was hired earlier this year as a creative assistant, had provided them with confidential information. While the lawsuit notes Wittenstein was fired from WWE when it was learned what he did, TNA claims WWE waited three weeks before notifying them of the breach.

TNA now believes WWE is using the insider information regarding TNA contracts provided by Wittenstein to poach talent. One of the names at the center of the lawsuit is none other than Ric Flair. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on Monday, Flair has been trying to get out of his TNA contract in order to return to WWE.

According to the suit, Flair approached TNA about getting out of his deal on May 9th and has no-showed every scheduled appearance since.

Today, a judge signed a temporary restraining order requiring WWE and Wittenstein to return and not destroy the confidential information. A hearing has been set for June 11, 2012.

You can read much more on the suit, including comments from WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, at this link.

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  • Matt

    This is TNA trying to jump up and down to get Vince to recognize them haha

  • urnemystic

    With the amount of money wwe has to throw around and the fact that Tna is struggling, these underhanded tactics just make wwe look bad.

    • search4theyeti

      Worse then TNA and remember these are alleged accusations.

  • Scottyo614

    So how long till Vince smashes TNA… They might have just wrote their death.

    • Guy Landau

      Exactly – after seeing this I half expected a news story that read "WWE Purchases TNA from Panda Energy". Really, this is a very stupid move on TNA's behalf. You don't face the bear after you lost two legs – especially since you ran from a fight when you had all 4 limbs (It's a bad metaphor, but I think it gets the point across)

  • Code

    When Vince eventually acquires TNA everybody already knows that Vince is gonna wanna stroke his ego and he's probably gonna try to get Dixie Carter to work for him just like he did with Eric Bischoff and WCW

  • jeb

    The only way tna can make money…

  • Dangerous Lee

    There better be some “woooo”‘s in the courtroom that day.

  • Robert olley

    Wwe have no reason to be using info from a former employer I think this is just tna making stuff up to try and get noticed by any type of media. Every talent in tna would take a wwe contract as soon as the chance arose why stay in the minors if the majors are calling?

    • PenguinD

      I would say I agree it’s blown up, except that the employee had a bad reputation in both TNA and WWE where this wouldn’t be surprising.

  • Aldin94

    Wwe is trying to use TNA for talent just like WCW did with ECW

    • Alex

      WCW wasn't the only company to poach from ECW. WWF use to do it too.

  • search4theyeti

    Pay them double what they want and then move smackdown to thursday nights.

    • XKonn247

      Wait… What the hell? What’s moving SmackDown got to do with it?

      • JamieSNZ

        Smackdown vs TNA. Who will win that ratings war? Not TNA

        • Alex

          tna couldn't even beat NXT in the ratings.

  • dave c

    I don't get it, what kind of insider information are they talking about. First of all every wrestler should know what they are getting themselves into when they sign a contract, if they insider information TNA are claiming that WWE used was some sort of legal loophole in the wrestlers contract then shame on TNA for duping their talent into signing some back ally deal that was in guise of a contract, i study contract law and every stipulation in a contract must be discussed and agreed upon by both parties before the wrestler signs, so if their were some "key" elements TNA contracts that were forgotten about in the contract negotiations then the wrestler is not legally bound to it

  • Joe

    TNA just wrote their own death warrant, you don’t poke the sleeping dragon in the eye like this

  • Latino

    Ok so, TNA because they think some guy they hired provided them secrets to TNA contracts and in a way kind of get their superstars back(majority of top stars in TNA with the exception of sting, aj, Daniels etc… Were top wwe guys before) and because ric flair is tired of TNA and wants to go back? Not to mention TNA is struggling both financially and product wise and they want to go in a lawsuit with WWE who is fully established with money, lawyers, resources, and did the right thing when this guy supposedly had those secrets….

    Ok, TNA should either drop this suit and keep what little money they have to improve the product, because if they do go down this path, then chances are like others have said before me, TNA has just signed their own death warrant and WWE have just gotten their guys plus a few back and a new classics program for their on demand and upcoming WWE network.

  • Darla

    OK, just suppose for a moment that they (TNA) are corrrect. I know no one on this site likes to ever say anything good about TNA or anything bad about WWE no matter what the circumstance, but honestly, does that mean that VKM should be able to do anything he wants without consequence? I hate seeing him portrayed as the OJ Simpson of wrestling – completely above the law no matter what. How about let's wait and see if the suit has any legal merit before we bash TNA for it? Just this once, give them a fair shake and try to be objective.

  • Kevin

    Actually, if I'm not mistaken, TNA has no FINANCIAL worries. They've got Panda Energy backing them up, one of the WORLD'S largest energy companies. They do, however, have a talent issue, and if a former employee is giving the WWE confidential information about TNA, no matter what that info is, then they have a right to sue. If that info is giving WWE the upper hand in acquiring TNA talent (even if said talent is a former WWE talent), it is unfair business practices, and can mean big trouble for the WWE. Of course, PROVING the accusations lies in the laps of the TNA legal team, and that can make or break a case rather quickly. Not only do they have to prove that Wittenstein divulged confidential info, they then have to prove that the WWE used that info in its dealings with TNA talent. I for one can't wait to see where this all ends.

  • drakedasnake

    Lmao How stupid can TNA get? i hope they go out of business

  • Erik Draven

    This is almost comical, in my opinion. (Which may not mean a whole lot, but I digress…) I am wracking my brain trying to figure out the last TNA talent that WWE supposedly poached. Everyone I can remember, who has come from TNA was at one point, WWE, so they really don't need to use any dirty tricks. I'm sure the office gets calls on a daily basis from guys inquiring about moving on and one of the first questions would probably be "when does your contract expire?" Maybe they are just trying to figure out a way to keep Alex Shelley from leaving???
    In short, if this is proven true, then it would really surprise me. While some of VKM's dealing might have seen a little shady at times, this is not something WWE needs to do. Heck, half their mid-card has gone over and it hasn't hurt them. My feelings are that this is just a stunt to get TNA noticed. But of course, I could be wrong.

  • Mark

    WWE doent need to steal from TNA even shoot SMACKDOWN gets better ratings than TNA hogan thinks he gots balls now

    • Captain Cave-Man!!!!

      Hogan has nothing to do with it, he's just an actor on a really bad tv show (Impact Wrestling.)

      The simple fact here is this is just TNA trying to get WWE to recognize them as real competition (which, of course, we all know they are not.)

      I see a change of ownership in TNA's future (if they have much more of a future.) McMahon would rather spend a little pocket change to buy TNA than have to bother dealing with the little mice nibbling on his shoe. Once he purchases TNA, Vince will probably keep it running in the same capacity in which in runs today; as a home for those not good enough for WWE and a WWE retirement home.