TV ratings: WWE Raw, May 8 (plus legal news updates)

Another news update today. Coincidentally, they’re all legal stories. Again, considering whether I’ll do this regularly. The charts are also somewhat different than usual, which I hope is more effective. Feedback welcome in comments, DM, or email (

  • U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman today dismissed with prejudice the Jackson v. WWE case, ruling that the plaintiff’s claim should go to arbitration due to the terms and conditions agreed to as part of admission to the 2022 Wrestlemania event. The plaintiff, Marvin Jackson claims while he was seated near the stage, he suffered loss of hearing because of pyrotechnics at Wrestlemania at AT&T Stadium on April 3, 2022. Jackson attended the show with his nephew, Ashton Mott, who purchased tickets for Jackson as a surprise birthday gift. Mott bought the tickets using his phone and accepted multiple acknowledgments that agreed certain disputes with released parties, including WWE, must be settled through arbitration. Judge Pittman ruled that Mott’s consent to those agreements can indeed bind Jackson, despite Jackson having no notice of those agreements. “[T]he answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’” Pittman wrote, referring to his answer on whether Jackson could be bound to the terms of admission. The judge cited case law, including one case that stated, “[i]t is not necessary that [a ticket user] have actual knowledge of such conditions or limitations or that [their] attention be called to them. Moreover, it is well established that [a ticket user] has accepted a ticket and received notice of its contents even though a [ ] companion receives and holds the [user’s] ticket.”
  • MLW responded yesterday to WWE’s motion to dismiss MLW’s amended antitrust lawsuit against WWE. One issue at contention is MLW’s assertion that the relevant product market at issue is the sale or licensing of media rights for professional wrestling programming in the U.S. WWE has argued there is no such market because other programs may be a substitute for wrestling programs. MLW attempts to counter, saying wrestling attracts a unique audience (MLW earlier pointed to specific demographics), and says WWE’s own media agreements with networks support the existence of such a market because those contracts prohibit the given networks from broadcasting other wrestling promotions’ programs. Our previous coverage of WWE’s response in April is here.
  • Austin Matelson (Luchasaurus) filed a proposed reply today in the lawsuit against him and AEW from Composite Effects (CFX) over the wrestler’s mask design. CFX responded on May 1, citing the similarity between the various modifications of the Luchasaurus mask used and merchandised in AEW, and case law CFX says supports its claim that its copyrighted work (“Viper Silicone Mask”) has been violated without license. Matelson claims the merchandise (a T-shirt featuring a Luchasaurus mask is an exhibit to the filing) and the “Ojala Mask” (a mask Matelson commissioned) are not “substantially similar”. That phrase is defined, according to the defendants’ citing of case law, as, “whether an ordinary observer, unless he set out to detect disparities, would be disposed to overlook them, and regard [the] aesthetic appeal as the same.” Matelson’s proposed reply says his lawyers conferred with lawyers for AEW and the wrestling company joins the arguments in the reply. Our previous coverage of this lawsuit is here.
  • A bill has been active in the New York State legislature since March 23, proposing a review of regulation of pro wrestling in the state. The bill hasn’t been voted on by the State Senate or State Assembly yet. If approved, the review would be due by November 1, 2023. The bill is sponsored by State Senator Tim Kennedy. New York has one of the more restrictive athletic commissions in the U.S. when it comes to pro wrestling. For disclosure, I wrestled primarily in New York and I’ve previously been critical about the expenses the commission puts on independent promotions.

WWE Raw last night on USA Network, was watched by 1,785,000 viewers on average, including about 670,000 aged 18 to 49, for a 0.51 P18-49 rating.

From last week, there was virtually no difference for Raw in total viewership. Among viewers 18 to 49, viewership was down 5% from last week’s 704,000.

Raw ranked #4 in P18-49 among cable originals for the day, according to Showbuzz Daily. Including broadcast primetime, it ranked #5.

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