Last week tonight takes on WWE

Those names are all replaceable and don’t want to be employees. They would see stagnant salaries, lose any merch money, probably still not have a pension, and while they may get health benefits they’d lose probably 30/40% of their current compensation deal. So you tell me why they should strike? So that some other people can come take their jobs?

1 Like

Pure speculation on all of that. No reason why they would lose merch money or have no pension. Bottom line is, by law, WWE cant have it both ways. Either treat them as true independent contractors or make them employees.


If they were made employees they would have employment contracts which would state a salary and more likely than not WWE would strip out incentive based deals or rev sharing.

And a pension is not guaranteed with employment. It’s actually an added cost to a company so to think WWE would introduce one when they are also now incurring payroll tax and other expenses not previously incurred is just simple business practices.

Sure it’s speculation but it’s rooted in understanding exactly how companies utilize employment law when forced to offset costs from expenses. Plus add the fact WWE has investors and what added expenses would do to the value of the stock and return to investors. They’d cut costs anywhere they could and the impact would hurt “employees”

I know it’s a very different industry but read what happen to exotic dancers in California when they wanted to be converted to employees from independent contractors. It has huge negative consequences to the employee.

There is a long history of companies utilizing employment law to squeeze employees and maximize profits while reducing costs. I don’t see how the conversion would benefit a WWE wrestler with the exception of health benefits that come at the expense of lower compensation.

Seriously, if this would truly benefit talent why haven’t they unionized and pushed for this already? Answer: it doesn’t benefit talent in the simplistic way Oliver and others make you think.

1 Like

Didn’t say anything new, if anything he’s a little behind as his comments about how WWE view injuries are probably more relevant to WWE from the past rather than WWE now. The contract stuff is fair comment.

Slightly off topic but John Oliver isn’t very entertaining or very funny. Was a small name here in the UK, how he’s become so big in the US is a mystery. Guess it’s a situation where anyone with a British accent becomes worth listening to.

Fact: WWE has better concussion protocol than any professional sports league.

Fact: WWE pays retired stars via Legends deal

Fact: WWE pays for rehab for pretty much anyone in the industry if they ask

Fact: John Oliver neglected to tell any of this and relied on footage from 10-20 years ago to tell his story (w/ the exception of the Punk clip)

I think there is a rea story here that deserves proper attention and should be resolved by a hit piece that’s easily dismissed by anyone with knowledge of the industry isn’t going to help. In fact he plays to the lowest common denominator and those fans likely don’t care


What revenue sharing do they have now? It’s not defined, it’s basically whatever Vince feels like giving you.

Again, it’s the law. They can’t have it both ways, there is no debate.

Plus, it’s not like WWE shares much revenue with the wrestlers in the first place. How much did talent get out of the new TV deal or the Saudi deal? And the Network erases all the PPV money that used to come in.

I had so many teachers in Highschool who would just play John Oliver clips to discuss topical issues. Easier then actually teaching I suppose.

Talent has points in contracts for merchandise sales. Some have better structures than others but that’s part of the independent contract structure.

Talent gets money from liscensing deals that use their likeness. (2K games for example)

Talent featured in Reality shows are paid for said shows.

If say the Miz was made an employee. His job becomes to do whatever he is told as an employee and he is paid a base salary. If he doesn’t he can be fired. It’s that simple.
He likely gets no additional money from Miz and Mrs. but maybe they bump up his pay. If they don’t he can’t say no or he’s not fulfilling his employment contracts. He doesn’t get a dime from any liscensing as those are rights he signs over to an employer and he likely cannot appear anywhere outside the company as it now is reported as outside business activity which many companies ban with standard employment contracts.

Plus all bonuses are made discretionary which to your point about Vince paying them what he wants, would happen anyway. At least now a guy like Enzo who gets over can see some kind of benefit from Merch. Whereas if he has a $60k salary he’s getting that and that alone and maybe Vince will give him a bonus except we know nobody like Enzo so he gets nothing.

I’m not sure how much about employment law is ever discussed in any of this. There are more benefits to being an Indy Contractor than one thinks

1 Like

Mainstream success in the UK isn’t a prerequisite to mainstream success abroad. He was a writer and onscreen character on The Daily Show for like a decade, then hosted it temporarily for months (to critical acclaim) while Jon Stewart was away. It’s not a mystery at all, it’s about as clear cut a case of ‘deserved’ career progression as you can get.

Jon Stewart not gonna be able to invite Oliver when he makes the WWE HOF.

And I now have more heat with Brutus Beefcake induction news.

That’s the real tragedy.

The job, as an employee, is to wrestle.

Guys could find anything they want outside of that role and keep much more as opposed to the pennies on the dollars that Vince gives them.

The union would sign a deal with the video game company and guys would get WAY more of the pie than they get now. Same thing with merch or other jobs on TV.

The performers now get all of the downsides of being an independent performer with none of the benefits. They can’t work anywhere else and are limited by whatever Vince wants to give them.

Of course it’s not a prerequisite but it’s still a mystery as to why he’s considered smart, funny, entertaining or a credible voice on world affairs by any audience. He’s just not very good in my opinion.

Guess tastes are just different in different parts of the world. SNL for example is something that I’d consider bad comedy but even that’s a big deal in the US. Strange place. No wonder spreading misinformation is easy there. :eyes:

What Union? They are employees not union members.
To unionize would be the opposite of be converted to full time employment and would require direct negotiating with the companies that use or hire said union.

I believe the answer we are all looking for is a Colletive Barganning Agreement like what the NBAPA or NFLPA have. (Players associations). But that requires two parties to collectively bargain and if wrestlers unionize Vince will work with those who don’t because he owns the Brand Equity in WWE. He can replace almost anyone. And at the top end of the spectrum guys like Brock or Cena have zero reason to join a union like that.

The NBA and NFL owners must negotiate because they need the best players. We’ve seen year after year Vince doesn’t need anyone for the company to make more and more.

Is this 2007?

What happened to the “indie scene is booming” narrative and Japan is where it’s at chat?

Grown ups signed a contract…they negotiated a deal before signing said contract.

Pretty simple concept.

1 Like

Curt Hawkins makes $200,000 a year. I think that’s evidence enough that WWE aren’t exploiting wrestlers without fair compensation.

The indentured servitude :scream:

Well, sure. You could wonder that about literally anybody because it’s mostly subjective. My point is it’s not like he just appeared from nowhere; he was already an established part of an entity many Americans consider smart, funny, entertaining and credible so naturally he’s considered that way with his own broader audience.

Also, while he wasn’t mainstream big in the UK his ‘The Bugle’ podcast certainly made him well known within the target demographic (young British leftists). A decade ago before everyone and their uncle had a podcast, it was one of the most popular ones in the country.

WWE issued the following statement to

John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter.

Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts.

The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program.

We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.


Why did WWE start the statement off with a couple of lies?

Facts are facts and Oliver presented an infortainment piece meant for laughs, cheap pops, and played the lowest common denominator which is Vince being Vince.

This negatively impacted the stock on a day the markets are doing well and NASDAQ published a glowing review of the company over the weekend.

Stuff like this shouldn’t be permitted by any real journalists which Oliver is clearly not. He’s an entertainer.