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2019 Pro Wrestling thread

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Baron Scicluna, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

  2. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with the intricacies of the law, but a touring entertainment company like WWE that is not headquartered in California seems like the kind of thing that might qualify for an exemption of some sort. On this issue, wrestlers probably aren't much different from a lot of people in the entertainment industry that work on a contract or gig basis -- all kinds of people on the production side, musicians, even actors -- who can make a decent living working for three or four different companies at once.
  3. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    The E is the textbook example of employing "independent contractors" who aren't actually IC, since their contracts usually preclude them from working with other companies, and because they have a set schedule and other regular duties that are far more indicative of being an employee. The issue in the past though has been that wrestlers who want to change that are usually the ones who aren't active or aren't employed by the WWE - it's hard to force change for a company you don't work for, as a worker - and federally, there's no chance in hell anything happens with this with Linda McMahon involved in the Trump re-election campaign.
    Baron Scicluna likes this.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    This attorney in California did an interesting Twitter thread to address your points.
  5. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Politically, I think IC status is ridiculous and should be banned. Looking at our industry, its abused. It feels like it won’t be long before every paper is nothing but stringers. What compels any business to give insurance then? Non-employee and non-full-time need to be clamped down on.

    As a wrestling fan, I don’t think it changes until active wrestlers decide they’ve had it. Or unless Tony Khan has employees for business reasons, forcing the WWE hand if they want to retain talent.

    If it hits the news again I expect we’ll hear from Seth Rollins or someone else about how great being independent is. I’m sure some wrestler believe there are some benefits in frugal traveling, merch pay or maybe tax writeoffs. If you’re not an idiot with your money and you make WWE in 2019, you’re doing pretty well.
  6. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Well, if you're not an idiot and you're a man. I'm sure $80,000 for a women's wrestler seems like a lot until you take out their travel expenses, which have to be huge.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The thing with independent contractor status and wrestling is that WWE is both the industry leader and an oddity. It's really the only major promotion whose wrestlers are considered contractors when they're not really that.
    If you look at the rest of the wrestling landscape, you've got guys and gals regularly bouncing around to different promotions and countries. They'll do a tour of Japan in April, a few dates with Ring of Honor in May, an AEW show in June, and some bookings in Mexico in July. That's normal and, for some of them, part of the appeal. They have more freedom to do what they want, when and where they want to. They genuinely are independent contractors who might work for a dozen different companies in any given year.
    There are even a handful of people in WWE that probably fall into that category. Old-timers brought in for limited runs, or jobbers for one-off matches, or whatever.

    So how do you apply this law to an industry that is built on vagabond employees? And does it wind up hurting the employees/wrestlers more than helping them? Benefits are always nice, but if it winds up limiting a promotion's roster size or forcing wrestlers to take exclusive deals for less money than they could make going to several different promotions, it might not be so rosy. I have to imagine if AEW is suddenly forced to make their entire roster full-time employees that it will suddenly want a lot more control over when and where they work to get the most for their money.

    Bottom line, this seems like a well-intended law that is going to have a lot of bad unforeseen consequences and complications. You can apply the same things I said about wrestling to any number of industries.
    JimmyHoward33 likes this.
  8. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Just off the top of my head, what if the Broken Hardys werent independent to bounce from TNA to do their ROH program with the Bucks?

    Given what the Bucks, Page and Cody gained from doubling with Japan and ROH, its not a stretch to say the entire business is different if that had been a no go on employee status.

    Not right or wrong but food for thought
    Batman likes this.
  9. nietsroob17

    nietsroob17 Well-Known Member

    Imagine if John Cone or Mike Chioda were packing heat like that ref.

    Baron Scicluna and Batman like this.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    “You the Po-Po and a referee?” Awesome.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I would think exclusivity would matter greatly. If AEW allowed wrestlers to work other places as long as it wasn’t the WWE, they could possibly make the point that the wrestlers are contractors, just with one restriction of a competitor. (I’m not a lawyer, though)

    I’d also think the wrestlers themselves would have more choices and power. They can decide if they want the stability of being an employee with benefits, but be exclusive to one company, or earn more money, but be a contractor. Kinda like, in a way, someone deciding they want to be a government employee with less pay, but better benefits and stability, or a private sector employee with higher earning potential.

    WWE, on the other hand, with the exceptions of the legends and the occasional local talent, insists on exclusive contracts. They’re going to have a difficult argument to make.

    Now, will it hurt the E’s talent? The E currently has a host of talented guys and gals sitting in catering because they can’t figure out what to do with them, and they’re afraid of them jumping to AEW. Something like this gives them more power. The E has to decide if they are valuable enough to have them as employees. If not, then they can be contractors and free to make their own deals.
  12. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

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