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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cases—Interpetation—Wrestler sues over change in script

A professional wrestler who claims that a wrestling promoter improperly changed the scripted outcome of a match can go forward on his breach of contract claims, says the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Wrestler Terry Bollea, a/k/a "Hulk Hogan" and "Hollywood Hogan," had a deal with Universal Wrestling Corp. (formerly World Championship Wrestling), for a pay-per-view program called "Bash at the Beach."  Under the contract, the script called for Hogan to wrestle "champion" Jeff Jarrett.  Hogan says that UWC changed the script by having Jarrett lie down and forfeit the match.  This and other things, said Hogan, violated a clause in his contract that provided that Hogan "shall have approval over the outcome of all wrestling matches in which he appears, wrestles and performs, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld."

UWC argued that "outcome" meant whether Hogan won or lost; Hogan argued that it meant the "outcome" of the "story line"—the total result that would affect his character. The court found that summary judgment was properly denied since a jury trial would be required to sort out such questions.

Bollea v. World Championship Wrestling, Inc., 2005 Ga. App. LEXIS 33 (Jan. 21, 2005).

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