How WWE does its business and treats its wrestlers?

Malini VK - Infobite  26-Nov-2020

How WWE does its business and treats its wrestlers?

WWE is a highly successful billion-dollar entertainment business with huge fans around the world. In fact, WrestleMania is one of the most valuable sporting brands next to Olympics and FIFA World cup. WWE has their hands in other fields like movie production, video games, football and more.

  • Vince McMahon bought this company from his father in 1982. Before he came into this entertainment game, wrestling was conducted in different names by different organizations around the country. McMahon turned this into one big giant company by either eliminating or bought all his competitors.

  • McMahon gained more audience when he hired American Wrestling Association (AWA) talent Hulk Hogan, who gained popularity outside the ring too by doing a notable appearance in the film Rocky III. McMahon signed Roddy Piper as Hogan's rival.

  • He is not just the CEO but also responsible for the storyline and scripts. He even portrayed himself as a fictionalized villain. His character is designed in such a way that makes his true nature questionable, because it is very mean and disgusting.

  • The wrestlers are not treated in such a way they should be treated. They are hired as "independent contractors" as if they can be self-employed. But they are not allowed to work anywhere, they have fixed timings, or they must wrestle back-to-back if they are asked to. They are exempt from getting annual leaves, proper pension, or health insurance by signing these exclusive contracts. Also, if a wrestler is not able to play for continuous 6 weeks due to injury, the company can terminate them. The government too allowing these kinds of work discrimination to happen for the past 30-35years.

  • Top wrestlers are well paid but not everyone is famous and have huge fan following. Most are being treated terribly like animals. Though the entire WWE is scripted, the fighting is very real. Wrestlers are bled to death, destroy themselves physically and mentally to make a living. But they end up with nothing when it is over. McMahon is not ready to take responsibility for the players welfare. WWE can provide health insurance for the treatment only if they are injured inside the ring.

  • Unlike every other major league game where the players can get time to take rest and re-build themselves, WWE make its wrestlers to work year-around. Wrestlers too must work hard to keep their spot. With a huge pressure, most wrestlers are addicted to pain killers. This in-turn leads to worst health issues, even early deaths. There are incidents where wrestlers vomited, urinated inside the ring.

  • WWE is trying to do some improvement in their wellness program like annual physical examinations, insurance for addiction treatment which is clearly not going to help the players for they are going through.

  • Wrestlers like The Rock, John Cena, Stone Cold, Bautista are getting a second welcome in movies and television shows. Sadly, some players who quit WWE are coming back again even in their late 40s, as they are not having any other financial options. They cannot be able to take their pension amount until they turn 65. In real, most players could not make it to 65.

  • WWE is supporting programs and initiatives that positively impact children and families around the world. They are raising money for the charities, cancer research etc. But are their motives being always pure? Is helping a non-profit can balance out the unjust done?