As reported earlier in a WrestlingInc exclusive, WWE talent is no longer allowed to engage with third parties, and Vince McMahon issued an edict, giving the Superstars thirty days to cease all existing agreements. The violation of the rule could lead to possible fines, suspensions, and even termination of contracts.
The third parties are said to include Cameo, Twitch Tik Tok, YouTube, and other such platforms. The story has predictably garnered severe backlash from the fans, and the backstage reaction within the company isn't that favourable either.
Fightful confirmed the story to be true in a Figtful Select report. Fightful also revealed the early backstage reactions to Vince McMahon's controversial decree.
It has been revealed that many main roster Superstars didn't even hear about the news as they had only glanced over Vince McMahon's letter.
Other roster members who read the letter were apparently livid regarding the request. It was revealed that one top talent, whose name has not been revealed, wasn't upset. The talent believed that Cameo certainly affected the virtual meet and greet market that has been a crucial aspect of the interactions between the fans and wrestlers.
A longtime Superstar felt that the new rule is only setting up WWE for a very tough situation. The WWE talent are classified as independent contractors, and it was noted that Vince McMahon's latest edict was dealing with a 'very foggy area'.
Word going around backstage was that the WWE management was quite upset with sensitive information getting leaked during live streams.
As reported earlier, Vince McMahon had a call with talent in which he revealed the company's plan to reinvent the product. He even sent a letter to the talent following the call, and an excerpt of it can be read below:
"Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE's discretion."
More backstage reactions to WWE's edict
PWInsider also revealed more updates on the backstage situation following the edict. The vague wording of the latter has reportedly bothered a lot of people backstage as most Superstars aren't sure about what's allowed and what's not.
Some talents have already reacted negatively to WWE's decision as they feel the company is trying to shut down their streaming channels.
Talents have been using platforms such as Cameo and YouTube to earn extra money during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to WWE putting a stop to its tours and live events. The talents didn't make their usual bonuses and merchandise earnings, and Cameo and YouTube helped several Superstars in creating their brands. The new avenue balanced the loss of revenue due to the pandemic.
There are also reportedly grumblings amongst the Superstars about how WWE is preventing them from making money outside the company. PWInsider's report also added that there are Superstars who find working somewhere else more appealing as it would give them more freedom.
The report concluded by stating that there is talk amongst the talents backstage about 'pushing back against' the edict. They want to know whether their streaming channels have to be shut down or not as there has been no confirmation of the same.
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It's a very tricky situation that may or may not end well for the WWE.