WWE's 'Big Show' turns into Big Lawsuit

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WWE's 'Big Show' turns into Big Lawsuit

Tue Jun 16, 2009 @ 12:03PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

The-big-show World Wrestling Entertainment resembles Hollywood in more ways than one. There's the scripted stagecraft, of course. And there's the unscripted drama behind the scenes involving contract disputes and performance agreements.

Take Paul Wright, a hulking WWE superstar known as "The Big Show." 

According to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Florida circuit court, SoBe Entertainment claims to have been promised exclusive management when Wright decided to become a boxer. A meeting was arranged by none other than Hulk Hogan, and in 2007, Wright allegedly signed a five-year agreement with SoBe, allegedly fronting him $2 million in salary and another $1 million advance to purchase a Miami home.

That's when the WWE stepped in, claims SoBe in its complaint, arranging for Wright to fight former undefeated welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Wrestlemania. 

SoBe says that the WWE was aware of its arrangement with Wright and tortuously interfered with the contract. The company is claiming millions of dollars in lost profits, compensatory, and punitive damages.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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