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IS THE CURRENT WWE PRODUCT THE WAY IT IS BECAUSE VINCE MCMAHON ISN'T A WRESTLING FAN?, TRAVELING TO SAUDI ARABIA DURING THE PANDEMIC, AEW CONTRACT AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2021-10-14 10:00:00

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE PWINSIDER Q&A BY CLICKING HERE.

Does AEW have its own equivalent of a Wellness Program for its talent?

I would think the company probably follows at least what the NFL guidelines are, since The Khan family own the Jacksonville Jaguars, but there's never been anything officially announced.  We do know the company has built a medical team for their performers, including Dr. Michael Sampson, who saved Jerry Lawler's life while working for WWE.

If there was any retired, living wrestler that you would love to see return for one more match (at least anyone who could credibly do it without the heavy risk of paralysis or worse), who would it be? And against who, if you were allowed to fantasy book?

I don't ever want anyone to step in the ring if there's a chance they are going to be hurt, but if I am going to be selfish here, obviously I'd want to see Terry Funk wrestle one more match and get the farewell reception he so deeply deserves.  If it was up to me, Funk vs. Cactus Jack vs. Sabu with all three in their primes in the three-way we never got to see would be a lot of fun.

Do you think that a big reason for Vince's general disconnect with fans over the last two decades can be attributed to the fact that he's clearly not an actual fan of professional wrestling? Tony Khan and Billy Corgan came into the business as lifelong fans; Vince was born into the business, but he's always looked at it as a branding-heavy entertainment company and he clearly considers "wrestling" to be a dirty word. In my opinion, a big reason why NXT 1.0 worked so well was because Triple H was a wrestling fan in addition to being a pro; you just don't see the same romantic view of the business in the main roster product. Thoughts?

No, I think deep down Vince loves pro wrestling too, but his vision of what he thinks works differs greatly from the others you named.  I really think that a lot of people don't truly understand this is a man who probably hasn't had to walk through a public airport in many years, much less do his own grocery shopping or just hang out in a bar having a drink.  He lives a life far removed from the average blue collar wrestling fan, so his vision of what he thinks they want is going to be different, because he hasn't walked in their shoes or had his finger on their pulse in forever.  

Do you have any idea if AEW wrestlers are classified as independent contractors or employees? If they're independent contractors and don't give them pension benefits, how are they any different than any other company?

I believe they are independent contractors.  How are they different?  They have an easier workload, they have their hotel as well as travel covered by AEW, etc.   There are lots of things that AEW does to make life easier for the talents compared to WWE.

With the pandemic, how is WWE traveling to Saudi Arabia?

We are told they will have a chartered flight to and from the country.

I was also wondering about this for next week's PPV.   All travelers into Saudi Arabia must quarantine for five days due to COVID.  If WWE leaves right after Raw Monday, the PPV is still only three days later.  How are they going to deal with that?

My guess is that the company is only taking those vaccinated for COVID-19 and that since they are running the show in conjunction with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, special arrangements have been made for the WWE talents and staff.  My guess is they will do tests before and after the flights there.

How does WWE go about getting Hell in A Cell through customs in Saudi Arabia?

I have been interested in the logistics of how they will handle that as well since this is the first Hell in A Cell outside North America, so it's not like they can drive it there and shipping anything via the sea right now results in massive delays.  I am guessing they will build a new HIAC there for the show, as opposed to shipping that thing all across the world and back.

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