WWE has done a lot of things over the years that made us scratch our heads. So it should come as no surprise that they plan to do it again by changing the way they word their WWE talent contracts. We heard a while back that WWE would be changing the wording a bit, but there was not a lot of information to go on. The main addition to the talent contract reportedly involves MMA.
According to the Wrestling Observer, after the CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio incidents, WWE added a new stipulation that states if the talent is fired for disciplinary reasons, they will forfeit all merchandise rights and will be unable to work in either pro wrestling or MMA for one year. This affected Del Rio because he was fired for slapping a social media employee and Punk because he refused to work.
While Punk says differently these days, he was suspended shortly after he left in January. He claims WWE didn’t ask or force him to come back at that point. He later got his release papers on his wedding day, which was a huge story and black eye on WWE.
When he was released, Del Rio was told to just keep his nose clean, and once the ordeal had settled down, he would probably be re-hired. They did something similar to him that they did with Daniel Bryan. Bryan was let go for a few months after the initial Nexus angle, because he choked WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie. It was known as “tiegate.”
Bryan was signed again, and he has been with WWE ever since. He is now one WWE’s biggest stars.
Del Rio was already considering the idea of leaving WWE once his contract was up, so he was simply let out early. Both men fought their no compete clauses, and both eventually had them thrown out.
Many think that if anyone contested their no-compete in court after a release from WWE, they would have it thrown out. Still, WWE put it in their contracts as a tactic to keep their talent away from competitors. Although WWE claims to not consider TNA or UFC as competition, they are not showing such in their talent contracts. A year-long no-compete clause is higher than it was in the Attitude Era; when it was first put in, talent was only barred from going to another top promotion for 90 days. While this was a tactic to help WWE, the wording in this new talent contract may cause more harm than WWE originally intended.
[IMG Credit: backofthenetblog.com]