WWE talent seems to be just as confused as everybody else when it comes to the company’s ban on talent engaging with third party services.
You can read both the letter that WWE sent to its talent, and the statement that the company issued to the media, at this link, but neither cleared up exactly what the situation is.
Dave Meltzer did offer the best insight he could on Wrestling Observer Radio, saying:
“As far as I know, nobody actually knows – because I’ve been in contact with a bunch of talent – and nobody seems to know what it means. They think it means no Cameo, they think it means no Twitch. I know it means no… what’s the name of that energy drink that Lana got a sponsorship with? I know it means that. I think it was Bang Energy, Lana did a commercial for them. I was told that specifically. It was that and Twitch. And a lot of them make, especially the women, make a lot of money off of Cameo. Not more than their contracts but they make a lot of money off of somewhat, I don’t know if they’re rich male wrestling fans, or whatever, maybe they’re not that rich, but they spend a lot of money on women’s wrestling. It’s significant money that some are losing based on the Cameo stuff. The sponsorship stuff, look I can see that, because I know, in the past, when people in WWE had commercial offers WWE had to approve them, WWE had to negotiate them. That’s been the case forever. They want that control. A lot of people are talking about ‘what about the independent contractors (classification)’, well you know that’s a fraud. We all know that’s a fraud.
“In AEW, everyone’s deal’s different, there are people who are exclusive. But there are people who are allowed on their off days to do stuff with other places, whether it’s Japan or indies or whatever. So they’re not exclusive where they’re banned from doing anything. But in WWE you are. We’ll see how the talent takes it. But again, nobody exactly knows. The assumption is that YouTube is fine. That’s the assumption. The assumption is Twitch is not fine. I know that doing commercials for anybody is not fine. That I know. And that was always gonna happen, that was always gonna be not fine.
“The one that has a lot of people upset was them telling people that they own their real names. Because everyone knew that WWE owns your stage names, of course, that’s a given, everybody knows that. But the idea that they own your real names – I don’t know what that means and it hasn’t been explained but I know talent has been told that, because when Paige switched one of her things to Saraya it was like ‘that ain’t gonna fly’ because it’s still banned.”
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Hopefully the picture becomes clearer in the coming days, but going off of what we know, it looks like WWE stars are going to have to completely remove themselves from Twitch, Cameo and other similar platforms, regardless of which name they use.
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.