As noted earlier, first exclusively here on Wrestling Inc., WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon issued an edict this week that says all WWE talents have 30 days to quit using third party platforms. This apparently goes for platforms such as Cameo or Twitch, but details are still sketchy as more information was expected to be revealed to the roster at the next WWE TV tapings. The ruling was met with a significant amount of criticism from fans online, for several reasons but mainly how WWE has pointed to how they own the real names of talent, not just their character names, and how continued violations can result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE’s discretion. You can click here and click here for full details on the story, including what Vince’s letter to talents said, various backstage reactions, and more
The new edict is also being discussed among many wrestlers on social media, not just fans. Earlier at this link we covered the multiple comments that CM Punk and Renee Young made on the ruling, some just joking around and some not. One of the biggest people to comment on the edict from McMahon is former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Yang, who has given social media support to AEW in the past, called Vince out and accused him of taking advantage of the wrestlers with their independent contractor classification, and called on him to “at least let them make a living off their own names.”
“If I’m not the Secretary of Labor I’m pretty confident I’ll have his or her number to talk about the ridiculous classification of WWE wrestlers as independent contractors while controlling their name and likeness for years, even for something as benign as Cameo,” Yang wrote. He continued, “Come on Vince – you’ve already deprived the folks breaking their backs for you of healthcare, security, recovery time, retirement benefits and fair treatment re: licenses and royalties. At least let them make a living off their own names. Many of them need it.”
Yang, who noted that he grew up a fan of pro wrestling, warned Vince that he “better hope” that President Donald Trump is re-elected for 4 more years because “change is in the air” and they will impact Vince’s so-called “corrupt labor practices.” Yang ended his threat by saying it would give him great pleasure in taking action against Vince, and saying the people already know what he’s up to.
“I grew up a wrestling fan and it’s been sad to see so many of my childhood heroes pass away early,” he wrote. “I’d feel better knowing that they and their families were being fairly treated – I look forward to doing what I can for the next generation of performers. I know how tough it is.
“Vince you’d better hope your old friend Donald wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned. It would give me great pleasure. The people know.”
Another interesting response came from WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. Foley said it’s “crummy” to prevent wrestlers from making extra revenue on third party deals.
“Banning wrestlers from making extra money on third party deals – twitch, YouTube, cameo – strikes me as a crummy thing to do. Just my opinion,” Foley tweeted. He added in a follow-up tweet, “Don’t worry, I’m still able to do @BookCameo videos. Go ahead and book one at https://cameo.com/mickfoley”
Paige, who is retired from in-ring action but still on the SmackDown roster as an on-air talent, also reacted to the edict by changing her Twitch account name from OfficialPaigeWWE to SarayaOfficial. She issued a message to her Twitch followers to inform them of the change.
“Hey guys, Just a quick announcement, my twitch name has been changed to my real name not my stage name! Its now SarayaOfficial! Thank you all and ill see you sunday for the last chance to be in the biggest giveaways ive ever done! Paige/Saraya xox,” she wrote.
On a related note, online gamer Chris Denker, who is close to Xavier Woods and the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel, did an educated estimate at how much money someone like Paige may be losing from Twitch, if that revenue is taken away. He noted that Paige has around 15,000 concurrent subscribers to her Twitch account. Presuming that those are all Tier 1 subscribers and Paige has a 3/5 split, then the former WWE Women’s Champion is bringing in a minimum of $45,000 per month from just Twitch.
Stay tuned for more. You can see the full posts from Yang, Foley and Denker below:
Come on Vince – you’ve already deprived the folks breaking their backs for you of healthcare, security, recovery time, retirement benefits and fair treatment re: licenses and royalties. At least let them make a living off their own names. Many of them need it.
? Andrew Yang?????? (@AndrewYang) September 5, 2020
Vince you’d better hope your old friend Donald wins because change is in the air and changes are long overdue where your corrupt labor practices are concerned. It would give me great pleasure. The people know.
? Andrew Yang?????? (@AndrewYang) September 5, 2020
Don’t worry, I’m still able to do @BookCameo videos.
? Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) September 5, 2020
Just a little reference on how lucrative Twitch is for some of them: Paige had about 15K concurrent subscribers. For sake of argument let’s presume they’re all Tier 1. That means she is pulling minimum $45,000 a month if she had a 3/5 split. Imagine that just disappearing.
? Chris Denker (DenkOps) (@thechrisdenker) September 4, 2020
Gavin Horne and Michael Burmy contributed to this article.