By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE has informed its talent via an email that the they are prohibited from using their names and likenesses with third parties in ways that the company deems detrimental. Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reports that WWE talents fear that company wants them to stop monetizing third party services such as Twitch and Cameo. WWE has threatened fines, suspensions, and even termination if the talent do not stop using third party services by October 2.
Powell’s POV: WWE talents are said to be upset because they made additional revenue from these third party services. In many cases, they used their real names rather than their character names, so it’s very interesting that WWE is trying to enforce this. If these talents feel strongly about it, now is the time for them to take action rather than just grumble amongst themselves about it. Realistically, it will take bigger named wrestlers who possess leverage to make a difference. Historically, those types of wrestlers have been the least likely to rock the boat because they are well compensated by the company.
Update: WWE issued the following press release regarding the third party issue on Saturday: “Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”
Sooooooo guess now would be a good time to launch my Twitch and Cameo??
— Renee Paquette (@ReneePaquette) September 4, 2020