Former WCW star Marcus Bagwell (Buff Bagwell) filed a lawsuit on August 9 against WWE in the United States District Court of Connecticut claiming he is owed royalties from the usage of material featuring his likeness in content featured on the WWE Network.
Bagwell claims he was under contract to WWE from 1991 to 2001 “by virtue” of his contracts with WCW rolling over when WWE purchased all rights regarding the company in March of 2011 according to a report by PWInsider.com.
He noted that he is contract with WCW expired four days after WWE’s purchase of the company. Bagwell signed a deal with WWE in June of 2001 and was later released in August after a lackluster debut on RAW in a match with Booker T. Bagwell is arguing that WWE is bound by his June 2001 contract agreement in regards to payment in the form of royalties for PPV events and home video material.
Former WWE star Rene Dupree filed a similar lawsuit against WWE earlier this year in April that was thrown out after a signed contract back in 2011 “destroys his ability to bring these types of claims.” Bagwell signed a similar contract upon his release from the company in August 2001, although Bagwell claims WWE breached the agreement by not paying him royalties in the first place. He has requested a trial by jury.
WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt issued the following statement to PWInsider.
“Since the first purported class action case was brought on behalf of Billy Jack Haynes almost two years ago, this pack of class action lawyers have filed by my count 14 different complaints or amended complaints. All of them have been full of patently false allegations, and none of them have gone anywhere. They haven’t got a penny, and the judge is in the process of deciding whether to throw other ones out. Bagwell’s lawsuit is much the same. It is based on clearly false facts, and would embarrass a first year law student because of the ignorance of basic contract law principles. Bagwell was never promised a penny by anybody for the use of WCW archival footage. Not by Turner and not by WWE, and he knows it. Like I did before with [Rene] Dupree’s bad faith lawsuit, I will be demanding they withdraw this latest suit next week. If they don’t, we will move to dismiss, ask for sanctions, and seek to recover counsel fees from Bagwell.”