During an interview with ‘Busted Open Nation’ in 2014, former WWE superstar Matt Hardy, was quoted as saying: ‘I took time to create my own voice and I would never go to a company like WWE that would not take my voice. You can’t use your voice there; you have to use WWE’s voice’.
This statement, alongside CM Punk’s statement, of WWE being; ‘a creatively stifling environment’ during a 2014 podcast with Colt Cobana, have suggested that many former WWE superstars were not satisfied with their treatment during their stints with the company.
If you search ‘wrestling shoot’ on YouTube, you will become inundated with hundreds upon hundreds of shoots from former and current superstars, many of whom have expressed discontent in terms of working with WWE.
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Fast forward to 2016 and we can see two major cases wherein current WWE superstars are publicly expressing dissatisfaction with how they are being treated, namely Ryback & Adam Rose in this instance.
What’s most interesting to consider here is how the discontentment seems to be emanating from various angles.
Ryback is expressing displeasure at the low wages he’s receiving; typically featuring lower on the match card, whereas, Adam Rose is making his disappointment felt in regards to his suspected unfair treatment in terms of the alleged violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.
It seems crazy that given how dangerous this industry is, that superstars do not have some form of protection in terms of a union or a regulative body they can turn to. It’s important to remember that all superstars are independent contractors, essentially selling their body and gimmick to the company, therefore, all superstars will aim to protect themselves both physically as well as creatively in order to be as successful as possible.
In Ryback’s case for instance, in recent months he has been jobbing to Kalisto on a regular basis, having dropped down the card significantly. It is arguable that losing frequently, particularly if you are of Ryback’s physical build, is damaging to your marketability in the industry. Fans remember everything, from your greatest triumphs to your worst defeats.
In light of all this, it is possible that we may see superstars start coming together in order to attain more of voice in terms of how they are utilised within the company and Industry itself. Should wrestlers have a voice too?
Should WWE superstars get together and form a union to have their say more often? Discuss in the comment section below!