It was reported by Bloomberg Law a few days ago that an Oklahoma firefighters pension fund filed a lawsuit on December 26 in Delaware Chancery Court against the WWE. The group claims there is “a credible basis to believe” Vince McMahon and other WWE senior officers are not keeping up with their WWE duties as they focus resources towards the XFL, which is being run under McMahon’s Alpha Entertainment, LLC.
In an investigation by Forbes, via Wrestlenomics Radio posting the full complaint, the plaintiff is the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System. They own 107 shares of WWE stock in its portfolio. The suit lists the following complaints:
* Did Alpha Entertainment, the XFL’s parent company, which is wholly owned by Vince McMahon, pay fair market value to WWE for the intellectual property of the original XFL, which included giving WWE a percentage of the company?
* Is Alpha paying WWE fair market value for the support services that WWE is providing as part of that deal?
* Was the XFL revival announced before the deal was completed?
* In general, did McMahon and WWE, including WWE’s lawyers, act in a way that was not in WWE’s best interests?
The lawsuit goes into further detail that there hasn’t been enough oversight on Vince by company board members as he “engages in transactions that are in conflict with WWE’s interests” and wants a look at WWE’s internal records. Vince has previously said he plans on continuing his role as WWE Chairman and CEO for the foreseeable future. It was reported by ESPN back in 2018 that McMahon had informed insiders that he would spend close to $500 million in the first three years of the XFL’s existence. He’s sold WWE shares ($100 million in 2017, $270 million in 2019) to help fund Alpha Entertainment, LLC.
Additionally, there is a complaint regarding the AAF’s potential role with the XFL. It was reported a while back that the AAF approached the XFL about a merger in December 2018 that Vince McMahon rejected. It was also reported that Vince was going to sell the XFL before reviving it. Robert Vanech sued the AAF and Charlie Ebersol, claiming he came up with the AAF. As a result, he was entitled to 50% ownership. The lawsuit filing reveals that the original plan was for the AAF to bring back the XFL name for their new football league.
Ebersol has since denied any details of these deals in a declaration sent to Forbes.
“My father and I did not offer Vince McMahon $50 million or any other amount of money to acquire the XFL trademark at our meeting on May 18, 2017 or at any other time,” Ebersol stated.
The relaunched XFL season is expected to start in February of 2020, the weekend after the Super Bowl.