The WWE talent Twitch accounts drama has taken another turn as Vince McMahon sent out an email to talent telling them that WWE will be taking control of their Twitch accounts in four weeks. This followed an edict which originally instructed talent that they couldn't engage with third parties before WWE later clarified that edict and said they could maintain third-party accounts, but had to do so under their real names and not their WWE personas.
Now WWE has decided that they will have ownership over their talent's Twitch accounts which isn't sitting well with Ryback. He's had his own battles with WWE regarding contracts and IP and he weighed in on WWE's new edict on "Ryback TV Shooting Blanks Wrestling Report With Raj Giri."
"I would be really curious to know what that cut is gonna be because we know the percentages in WWE are often times heavily favorited to the promoter, to Vince," said Ryback. "Now you're dealing with social media – a lot of these guys have built up their followings on there – and you're gonna count it against their downside. My thing is then their contract should be restructured and everyone should get a raise then based off of this. Now they're taking their revenue on that and they're counting it towards their downside, which they're gonna pay them less on other things now and they're gonna increase their bottomline. This is greed at its finest."
Ryback said if all of the talent refused to go along with WWE's order, then WWE wouldn't be able to do anything about it. But he added most of the talent has no power and they're going to just do whatever they're told.
"It's a frustrating thing and I'm glad I'm not involved with it. That just goes to show you how screwed up everything is. I think if you're gonna do this, then their contracts should be re-negotiated to incorporate this new addition into it. They're not doing that; I promise," stated Ryback.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has said that if Joe Biden becomes president and Yang joins his Cabinet, then he will look into WWE's business practices. Ryback agreed it will be interesting to see what happens with WWE if that does come into fruition.
With WWE now taking over talent's Twitch accounts, they said that whoever doesn't comply will be disciplined including possibly terminated. Ryback recalled when WWE tried to get him to turn over his social media accounts when he worked there
"WWE when I was there, they brought us all into a room and tried to force everybody to sign over their social media accounts. I got up and I left. They tried to track me down multiple times and forced me to sign it and I never did. I knew I was leaving already," said Ryback.
"I don't know the exact specifics on what control it gave them, but it essentially allowed them to go into anybody's accounts at any time and have full control over the account which I thought was completely ridiculous. Now this is a further step and you're dealing directly with money. I would love to see the percentages [of revenue WWE will give talent]. I think the contracts - that's gonna be a real talk that needs to happen in re-negotiating contracts to incorporate social media into revenue."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Ryback TV Shooting Blanks Wrestling Report With Raj Giri" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.