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WWE says Zelina Vega was released for "breaching" her contract

WWE tells Sports Illustrated that Zelina Vega was released because she breached her contract.
WWE tells Sports Illustrated that Zelina Vega was released because she breached her contract.
Matt Black
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 17 Nov 2020, 01:34 IST
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The WWE Universe was rocked on Friday evening when WWE announced it had released Zelina Vega from her contract, just hours before SmackDown was going on the air with FOX.

Speculation was abuzz all weekend about WWE's reasoning behind the release. Many fans figured it was due to her insistence on being able to continue utilizing her Twitch account. However, word is now coming out that it was more than that.

WWE points to Zelina Vega opening an OnlyFans account as the final straw that led to her release

According to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, WWE informed him that Vega breached her contract in October when she opened up her OnlyFans account.

The former WWE SmackDown women's wrestler was charging $30 a month for photo and video content, featuring things such as β€œcosplays, lingerie, swimsuits and more."

Barrasso was told that WWE owner Vince McMahon, in particular, saw this as a breach of contract, which led to her release on Friday evening.

Utilizing Vega as an example going forward will allow WWE to show to the rest of its roster that this policy is not to be trifled with. The policy will have swift and dire consequences to those who choose to go against it.

A group of wrestlers, including prominent names like AJ Styles and Xavier Woods (Austin Creed of UpUpDownDown), met with Mr. McMahon in October to plead their case to have this new policy changed and lift the ban on Twitch. However, McMahon stood firm with his decision and shut the group of wrestlers down.

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Since Vega's release, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Foundation of Television and Radio Artists) have gotten involved in the discussion of unionization in professional wrestling.

This included a statement from their President Gabrielle Carteris to Spectrum Sports 360's Jon Alba.

"Wrestling is as much about media as it is sports and we are going to directly engage with members of this profession to help find ways for them to protect themselves. As more people reinvest in unions and as more working people are harassed by employers who don't want to protect them, SAG-AFTRA is committed to doing what we can to help professional wrestlers secure the protections they deserve."

It seems like the release of Vega is only the beginning of what WWE fans might see going forward, in regards to independent contractors and unionization. Stay tuned.

Published 17 Nov 2020, 01:34 IST
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