As previously documented by The Inquisitr, WWE chairman Vince McMahon reminded his company’s talents via email earlier this week that they should end their agreements with Cameo, Twitch, and other third-party platforms by Friday, October 2. According to a new report, this hasn’t sat well with these wrestlers, though they aren’t likely to go public about their frustration over the matter.
Citing this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Ringside News wrote Friday that an unnamed WWE superstar commented on the issue, telling the former publication that McMahon’s move has the potential to “open up the independent contractor issue.” This echoes previous comments from former Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, who recently said that the chairman has been, for “years and years,” exploiting wrestlers by using such a designation so he could have control over their activities away from the ring.
“A lot of talent is livid, but as is usually the case in these situations, nobody would speak up about it,” the wrestler added.
In a separate story that cited the same Wrestling Observer article, Cultaholic wrote that superstars appear to be upset because the platforms help them earn extra income while house shows remain out of the question and merchandise sales are down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reportedly, many of these talents believe they will merely get their downside guarantee once the edict takes effect.
According to Ringside News, WWE’s takeover of its performers’ Twitch accounts, in particular, came at the same time certain wrestlers thought the platform would “at least…be okay.” This, as noted, was because they could freely publish content on it as long as they use their real first names. But with the promotion reportedly taking control of these accounts within the next four weeks, that doesn’t appear to be the case after all.
Apparently, Friday Night SmackDown star AJ Styles’ activity on Twitch was among the catalysts for WWE’s edict on third-party platform accounts. The former world champion has been very candid about his experiences in the company in the videos he’s posted on the livestreaming service. These include the time he revealed he had previously tested positive for COVID-19, as well as his admission that his son doesn’t watch WWE programming.
In addition, Raw superstar Lana was also accused last month of being the “straw that broke the camel’s back” when it came to WWE’s crackdown on third-party platform activities. At that time, it was speculated that the nature of her Bang Energy advertisement videos caused concern among company officials, who might have felt they were too racy for a promotion that is supposed to be family-friendly.