WWE Issues Statement Regarding Telling Talent to End Third Party Deals, Comments from Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Andrew Yang, Lana, More

There was a story that came out yesterday about WWE’s Vince McMahon contacting all talent in the company and telling them to stop working with third party platforms. This would include things like Twitch channels that superstars have where they play video games with fans watching and they can make a good deal of money doing it. Another service is Cameo, which provides a video message to fans if they pay for it. Plenty of WWE superstars are on that. Apparently, it’s not going to be for much longer because WWE told their talent they had 30 days to stop doing stuff like that. Part of what was included in an email from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to talents 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.”

Here are more details about it that we covered yesterday based on the news reported by WrestlingInc and PWinsider among others.

Today, WWE issued the following statement regarding this issue:

“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.”

We don’t know right now about Youtube because several WWE talents have Youtube channels or shows that they promote. I saw a lot of comments about Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown Youtube channel with fans being concerned about that. Don’t be concerned because WWE owns it and runs it along with the Bella Twins Youtube channel, so those should be safe.

A lot of this has led to others chiming in, like WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Kevin Nash.

Even politician Andrew Yang, who ran for President with the Democratic Party earlier this year, commented on it because he’s a wrestling fan that felt like he had to say something about it.

There was a comment from Dave Meltzer on his Wrestling Observer message board that one of the deals that may have caused WWE to issue this edict is based on Lana having a deal where she was promoting Bang Energy drinks on Instagram.

Apparently WWE’s Lana saw that comment and felt the need to reply to it although she didn’t reply to it directly.

Mike Rome, who is a ring announcer on Raw, commented on it to try to explain it to fans asking about it.

As I noted yesterday, this is an ongoing thing that is going to lead to more comments from people within WWE in the weeks and months ahead. Perhaps WWE’s bosses will be more lenient or understanding, but maybe not.

Will things ever change for WWE superstars being called independent contractors? It probably should change, but we don’t know when or if it will happen.