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INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR STATUS, ARE WRESTLERS ACTORS, WORKING STIFF AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2017-08-09 10:00:00

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For years I have heard of workers being stiff . Has this ever been a problem? Can they not adjust?  Also why do guys color the hard way?

Sure, it has been a problem.  For example, back in ECW Mick Foley thought that The Sandman wasn’t careful using the cane and wouldn’t work with him.  In other cases, some guys just don’t have the athletic ability to work moves properly and they hurt people.  Those that can’t adjust mostly find themselves gone. Mostly it’s just that they make mistakes.  Some people get overly amped up, like Goldberg, and get caught in the moment, but it’s mostly just accidental.

I understand it with smaller companies like ROH, and GFW since they are basically part time promotions, but how on Earth can WWE claim their wrestlers are “independent contractors”?  And how is it possible that NO government entity has looked into that, such as the IRS, or some government labor group?  I’ve never seen any Cena interview on TV where he clarifies that he doesn’t actually work FOR WWE, but is instead an independent contractor.

That is a question for a bigger legal mind than I.  Certainly the schedule that they are forced to keep and the exclusivity would seem to make them employees.  I know it’s a bridge WWE never wants to cross but your question is legitimate from where I stand.

Follow up to that, is if Vince considers them “the longest running episodic TV show in history”, or whatever, and they even show a disclaimer on the WWE network that mentions “actors”, how is it the SAG isn’t on them?

Vince calls them “Sports Entertainers” and I think a good case can be made that they are not actors, per se.  I think if SAG tried to organize them, it wouldn’t go well.  Everyone in the locker room knows how Vince McMahon feels about unions and with limited places to work and earn what they make in WWE, I don’t see anyone rocking the boat and starting the case to become a union shop.

What is it with Vince and hating last names? Rusev, Cesaro, Big E and now Elias. It might be just me but I hate it when they just take away peoples names as I think having both first and last names actually add's a bit of realism. What is your take?

I think that one named performers should be the exception, not the rule.  It’s fine for say Sting.  It makes sense.  But just using last names has always been goofy to me.  No other sport does that.  

Regarding the recent questions about WWE removing pyro from entrances to cut costs, do you know how expensive the pyro is, ie. how much does pyro for all entrances cost for one episode of RAW or Smackdown?  Do you think they should bring it back for their main event guys or champions only?  A guy like Brock Lesnar's entrance really loses something when you are used to the pyro when he raises and lowers his arms.

The exact cost?  No.  But it’s a significant expense.   My take is that if someone loses any significant enjoyment from not having the pyro then they watch wrestling for a different reason that I do.

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