Ex-WWE Staffer Describes “Culture Of Fear”

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A former WWE staff member has discussed the company’s “culture of fear” and says that the sports entertainment behemoth was “not doing right by talent.”

Dan Ryckert previously worked for WWE as a producer for The New Day’s short-lived Feel The Power podcast. Ryckert spent just over two years with the company beginning in 2020 before leaving in 2022.

Speaking with MinnMax Ryckert gave his thoughts on the culture in WWE and says people are constantly fired “on whims”:

“There’s a culture of fear there. Everyone is afraid to rock the boat because there is a long history of that company of certain people up top, I bet you won’t know who I’m talking about. People get fired, people get fired on whims all of the time. I survived a bunch of waves of massive layoffs, I had several waves of bosses and bosses above bosses get laid off for two and a half years.”

Dan Ryckert then elaborated on the situation with The New Day’s podcast which hasn’t produced any new episodes since Big E won the WWE Title back in September 2021. Ryckert also alludes to the issues with pay that led to Xavier Woods stopping producing Up Up Down Down content for a prolonged spell:

“There were business deals in place where we were required to do a certain amount of podcasts. WWE was on the hook to make a certain amount of podcasts, so they have to make it. Otherwise, deals go bad if you don’t hold up on your end, so they kinda had to have [them].”

“For instance, New Day was one of the podcasts. There were three podcasts that I worked on that saw the light of the day. The New Day podcast was the most successful one we had, and I’m not gonna go into specific issues or anything but I’m sure a lot of people know the issues with downside guarantees or talent not getting paid for stuff.”

“There’s a lot of headlines that have gotten out in the past year or so about wrestlers with Twitch channels or Up Up Down Down. The company was not doing right by talent.”

“The New Day podcast, we stopped doing that because you’re on the hook to do a certain amount of podcasts with the business partner so it’s just like we’re just putting out Best Of’s. Indefinitely, we’re just playing all of the old episodes. It sucks seeing all the comments and stuff saying ‘When are you guys coming back?’ and none of us can say anything.”

“Well there hasn’t been a new episode since September, or since Big E won the title or something. I’m always so transparent, I feel like you should always be transparent with the audience and to not even be able to tell them like ‘Hey look, there is no plans for this thing to come back.’ I don’t know if they’re gonna bring it back or I don’t know their plans going forward or anything but as far as we know, we technically have to put out x amount of podcasts so keep cranking out the Best Of’s.”

h/t Fightful