WWE News: Former Superstar Accuses Company Of ‘Lying’ About Profits To Fire Hundreds Of People
AEW wrestler Jake Hager, who competed for several years in WWE under the ring name Jack Swagger, recently took to social media to call out his former employer for allegedly lying about its financial figures to justify the firing of hundreds of employees earlier this year.
On Tuesday, Hager replied to a tweet from WWE chief brand officer and on-air authority figure Stephanie McMahon, in which she announced that the company won PR News‘ CSR and Nonprofit Awards’ Corporation of the Year honor for 2020. McMahon stressed in her post that WWE’s mission is “to put smiles on faces” and also noted that the promotion wouldn’t have won the award had it not been for its hard-working and passionate employees.
In response, Hager seemed to reference WWE’s decision in April to let go of numerous wrestlers, on-air personalities, and backstage workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He also tagged former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who has been quite critical of the company’s business practices and decisions in recent months.
You can view Hager’s post here.
“Lmao. I guess lying about over 37 million in quarterly profits, so you can fire over 300 people, during a worldwide pandemic is a category for an award?”
Yang would later reply to Hager, tweeting that things will likely change in WWE “under new leadership.”
As noted by Sportskeeda, WWE drew controversy following the first wave of mass releases, as the promotion’s quarterly profits noticeably increased despite how the job cuts were seemingly necessitated by financial concerns. In contrast, AEW “earned goodwill” with fans as the pandemic continued to affect businesses around the world, including the wrestling industry. According to the publication, Hager’s current employer was lauded for taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions, only releasing a few individuals, and generally “keeping a lid on things.”
Months after the initial releases, WWE cut about 70 more workers in September, though unlike the first batch, no in-ring performers lost their jobs. Some of the released employees, however, were longtime backstage fixtures who had been with the company for well over a decade.
This isn’t the first time that Hager has blasted WWE since leaving the promotion after a 12-year stint. As quoted by 411 Mania, he said during a May 2019 podcast appearance that it wasn’t a shock for him to learn that several of his former colleagues were planning to leave. He suggested that there are several reasons why certain superstars want to quit, including backstage politics, unreasonable travel schedules, and poorly written storylines.