There’s been a story in the wrestling news world in the last couple of days about WWE reportedly telling their superstars that they can’t use their WWE names on third-party platforms like Twitch for video game or Cameo’s video messages. We still don’t know about Youtube channels and things like that, but the point is that WWE is trying to limit what their superstars can do on their own. Our original report on the story is right here.
Part of what WWE emailed their talent on Thursday said this:
“Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE’s discretion.”
On Saturday, WWE issued this statement about the reports. We included it in this post along with others commenting on it, but here’s that WWE statement again.
“Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”
What caused WWE to take this kind of action?
There are a lot of rumors about that, but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s editor Dave Meltzer seemed to think that WWE superstar Lana promoting Bang Energy drinks was what led to this. This is from the Wrestling Observer’s message board.
— Meltzer Said What? (@MeltzerSaidWhat) September 5, 2020
That led to Lana tweeting about it yesterday without mentioning Meltzer, but you can tell from the words that she used that she was obviously referencing that.
I am not the straw that broke the camel’s back. You know who you are and that is false ……. but thank you for writing about me…. all of you. I am your escape goat
— CJ “Lana” Perry (@TheCJPerry) September 5, 2020
The former WWE superstar Rusev was released back in April shortly before his contract was set to expire. Rusev has not appeared or wrestled with another wrestling company since then. What Rusev does these days is play video games on his Twitch channel (Miro Twitch because his first name is Miroslav) and he’s very open about his WWE career. When a fan brought up his wife Lana (real name CJ Perry Barnyashev), Miro didn’t hold back.
Thanks to NoDQ.com for the transcript of the quotes and for sharing the video below.
“Oh the f***er. The motherf***er. What’s his friggin’ face… Meltzer. Once again, putting out bullshit out there and I’m f***ing tired of this f***ing guy. Like honestly man, like get the F out of here. Like who the F are you to speak things like that? Cause first of all those are not true, those are all bullshit lies. This man, one day he’s gonna burn in hell. Like it’s 100%. Meltzer, go ahead, collect everybody’s money. Collect their 10 dollars, 20 dollars. Whatever the hell you want. But let me tell you, once you die, most likely you are gonna go to hell because of all your lies.”
You can watch the video at this link if you want. I tried to embed it, but embedding Twitch isn’t easy. The link will take you there if you want to see Rusev/Miro’s comments.
TJR Thoughts: Good for Rusev defending his wife. It’s what you would expect a loving husband to do and if he feels like he had to be that strong with his words towards Meltzer, then more power to him. I like and respect Meltzer, but I think sometimes it’s okay to sit out a subject and not try to put somebody on blast unless you are sure of it. By mentioning Lana the way he did, it makes her look bad and if you’re not sure about it, then just keep it to yourself. I think Miro and CJ are justified in their anger if it’s true that she wasn’t the cause of it. Also, it’s not like Lana is the only WWE superstar doing it, so it’s not like it’s just her fault.
There is a whole other issue about WWE being wrong to enforce this policy on their talent. As I have written in the past, hopefully there’s some resolution to this in the days and weeks ahead.