AJ Styles was recently streaming on his Twitch channel and took the time discuss his thoughts on the third party edict update that Wrestling Inc. exclusively reported last week. WWE stated that they will officially be taking ownership of the talent’s third party accounts in four weeks and the talent themselves would “receive a portion” of the revenue. The portion that they receive will also be counted against the talent’s downside guarantee in their individual contracts.
Styles relayed his disappointment in how he found out the news. Styles revealed that he learned of the news from the internet and he is disappointed in the fact that there has been no clear direction given on what can and can’t be done.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Styles said. “I don’t know what they expect from us when it comes to our channel. I don’t know if it’s something that they’re like, ‘We just want you guys under an umbrella like a WWE Twitch and have a set lineup and here is who is on when’. If that’s the case – great! Then fans would know where and when to find us. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I literally don’t know and unfortunately I found out the same way a lot of you did – through the internet, which is a shame.
“You’d think it’d be better than that,” Styles added. “For guys who are on here trying to, not only work for WWE, but get on here and Twitch and stuff like that, you’d think it’d be a lot easier to communicate with us and us alone instead of whoever it is behind the scenes and them going to Joe Blow and them having more information than us. Is anything set in stone? I don’t think anything is. I think it’s going to come down to communication.”
Styles added that they are not making millions on Twitch and they are not professional gamers. He said the Superstars feel like it’s simply an opportunity to interact with fans, especially in a time where they haven’t been able to see the fans in several months due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Nobody is on here making millions on Twitch,” Styles said. “We are not pro gamers. That’s not what is happening. I feel like, for us, it’s an opportunity to do what we love – play video games and interact with our fans. It’s a chance to appreciate you guys appreciating us – that’s basically what’s going on. Especially with what’s going on in the world. We don’t get to see you guys anymore unless you’re on the video screen in the ThunderDome.
“We don’t get to see you; we don’t get to talk to you; we don’t get to do much,” Styles continued. “This is the next best thing. I don’t know what they’re hoping to get out of this. The communication has not been as great as we’d like. There’s a lot of us who are all on the same page – we’ve talked to each other. We’re facing the same thing. It’s all doom and gloom or, ‘Oh, that’s all they want.’ I feel like this is an opportunity for me and my channel to say, ‘This is what’s really going on’ and debunk some stupid rumors that are going on.”
He went on to say that, despite what’s going on, WWE is a great place to work and the talent just needs to have clear direction and understanding of what is expected. He also briefly touched on the “misclassification” issue that has been brought back to light recently by Andrew Yang and said it’s a whole issue that he hopes doesn’t get opened up.
“WWE is a great place to work,” Styles said. “Despite what you may think and despite what’s going on with the Twitch and stuff like that. There just needs to be better communication and direction – lines in the sand, I guess you could say. Like, ‘You don’t cross this; You can’t do this’ because there is that crazy thing about us being an independent contractor.
“It sounds crazy, I know,” Styles added. “Yes, we are [independent contractors]. Although, we have all these rules that we have to follow as if we are not independent contractors. That’s a whole other can that you don’t even want to open up, trust me. I don’t want anyone else to open it up, to be honest with you. I know what’s expected of me and I’d rather keep it that way. We just need to know exactly what they want when it comes to – we need to figure out what is needed of us when it comes to our platforms. It seems like a roundabout way to tell you I don’t know what’s going on.”
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