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AUGUST 2016 WRESTLING DISCUSSION


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13 hours ago, piranesi said:

I wonder though how many parts of how many wrestlers you could open up and have a surgeon say "whoa what the fuck is this? Did he come in here held together with Popsicle sticks and twine?"

I'd love to see the reaction of a doctor who's operated on Terry Funk's knees.

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14 hours ago, piranesi said:

I wonder though how many parts of how many wrestlers you could open up and have a surgeon say "whoa what the fuck is this? Did he come in here held together with Popsicle sticks and twine?"

And just to bring it full circle, this is why the cynic in me questions a lot of the Bryan stuff. My impression of what happened with WWE/Bryan is once reports began to slip out about the type of shape Bryan was in, they were super tentative to let him continue because of how poorly it would reflect on the company. Instead of coming up with an excuse to clear him, they went above and beyond to find something wrong with him. He became the poster child of WWE caring about the health and well being of its wrestlers.

But if you started subjecting the entire roster to full body scans and advanced concussion testing, you'd probably lose a good chunk.

How do you retire Bryan for concussions but resign the Dudleys? How do you keep Angle out for health reasons but wheel out a broken down Taker or Sting? How do you start popping people for low level drugs like Adderrall when you have known steroid abusers on your roster?

Everything seems incredibly selective.

 

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1 hour ago, Vader does my taxes! said:

It's almost like you only publicly fail a wellness test if you aren't very important, or Vince is mad at you.  Which is what Meltzer has been saying for years.

In one of his many shoots, Scott Hall accused Vince of purposely failing him for a drug test after he told Vince he was leaving for WCW in 1996.

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so, Ryback apparently turned down a 3 year $1.5mil contract and was supposed to "squash AJ Styles at WrestleMania 32". Some of this reads like CM Punk's 2 part podcast when he left WWE.

 

F4W:

Quote

On the debut episode of his podcast released on Monday, Ryback opened up about what led to him leaving WWE.

Ryback said he was thankful for everything WWE gave him and appreciated how it shaped him into who he is, but noted that he didn’t agree with them on a business standpoint on a lot of things. He said that he doesn’t live in fear and that led to him doing things the way that he did.

He said that he was never the company's guy and wondered why they put the Intercontinental Championship on him in 2015. After winning the title, he was presented with a new contract offer. Ryback said he wasn’t happy with the offer considering what he had done for the company.

But Ryback said he didn't leave because of monetary value of the offer. "Not about a money issue, just so everybody knows, I walked away from the WWE, the contract offer that I walked away from was a three-year $1.5 million contract.” Ryback said.

Ryback mentioned that there were other things he wasn't happy about. He said that there were merchandising opportunities that didn’t pan out and noted how expensive travel expenses were, saying the way professional wrestling has always done things isn’t always right.

Ryback said that he had been lied to at many times in his career about booking and other opportunities. He claimed that Vince McMahon told him that he would be the number one heel in the company and have the title put on him if he listened to McMahon and read his promos as they were scripted. Ryback also claimed that he was supposed to face AJ Styles at WrestleMania 32, with McMahon telling him that he would "squash that little twerp."

That changed and Ryback would go on to face Kalisto on the WrestleMania pre-show. He said that he was set to sign a new contract but sent a revised offer to the company after not being happy about how he was handled.

On his last day at television, Ryback said he knew that WWE wasn't going to accept the revised offer and thought the booking of the show was intended to make him look bad before he left. He claimed he told Mark Carano to take him off television, but didn't talk to McMahon because he had been lied to too many times before.

He said that he will always be thankful for the WWE, but he's allowed to feel betrayed about certain things and doesn't have to go home and not talk about it. He again noted that he doesn't live in fear, saying he didn't burn a bridge and was only telling the truth.

He claimed that he was offered magazine covers but WWE wouldn't let him do them despite allowing other talent to. He said that WWE wanted Roman Reigns to appear on a cover instead of him at one point.

Co-host Pat Buck asked Ryback if he felt it was a personal decision by WWE, but Ryback said it happened to others as well. Ryback felt like WWE's goal should be making sure that every wrestler's brand is as strong as possible. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Casey said:

... and noted how expensive travel expenses were, saying the way professional wrestling has always done things isn’t always right.

This.  I'm amazed that, in 2016, the biggest wrestling company on the planet, who runs every other aspect of its business like a typical corporation, still conducts business with regard to its employees (sorry, "independent contractors") like it's still a 1983 mom and pop territory.

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How much do you think it would cost WWE to cover transportation for its employees for one year? You think WWE could cut a promotional deal with a car rental and/or hotel chain to keep costs down. But that's hundreds of thousands of dollars the WWE is saving by passing the expense onto their employees. Honestly it sucks most for refs/ring crew guys who don't make huge money and still have to pay for rental cars and hotels.

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5 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

This.  I'm amazed that, in 2016, the biggest wrestling company on the planet, who runs every other aspect of its business like a typical corporation, still conducts business with regard to its employees (sorry, "independent contractors") like it's still a 1983 mom and pop territory.

Because carny's gonna carny and wrestlers will never be able to organize.

I was wondering if anyone here actually deducts work expenses such as travel and lodging off their taxes as a work expense and how much that helps with overall tax burden. That's the only positive thing I can think of but I am not sure how much that helps.

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27 minutes ago, joseph2112 said:

Because carny's gonna carny and wrestlers will never be able to organize.

 

All I get from this are that wrestlers are dumb and/or desperate to be in the business.  Is WWE's EVP of Marketing paid a small downside guarantee and then a share of some nebulous amount to be determined arbitrarily at a later date based on how well the business does?  Does Vince hire his IT staff and tell them they're being paid low but are being "given an opportunity?"  Does his Business Development team pay their own trans?  Like you said, wrestlers will never be able to organize.  Also, nobody blows the whistle because anyone who could is so desperate to be in Vince's good graces.  Imagine an article on a non-wrestling site, one that's taken seriously, where actual wrestlers describe their working conditions.  This shit would change overnight.

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2 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

All I get from this are that wrestlers are dumb and/or desperate to be in the business.  Is WWE's EVP of Marketing paid a small downside guarantee and then a share of some nebulous amount to be determined arbitrarily at a later date based on how well the business does?  Does Vince hire his IT staff and tell them they're being paid low but are being "given an opportunity?"  Does his Business Development team pay their own trans?  Like you said, wrestlers will never be able to organize.  Also, nobody blows the whistle because anyone who could is so desperate to be in Vince's good graces.  Imagine an article on a non-wrestling site, one that's taken seriously, where actual wrestlers describe their working conditions.  This shit would change overnight.

The way I hear it from podcast, Meltzer etc. is that the reason it would never happen is because everyone is a worker and that leads to no-one trusting anyone. Because you have to pay dues in a union, everyone is scared (probably rightfully so) is that the minute you give money to someone, that person is going to disappear.

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4 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

All I get from this are that wrestlers are dumb and/or desperate to be in the business.  Is WWE's EVP of Marketing paid a small downside guarantee and then a share of some nebulous amount to be determined arbitrarily at a later date based on how well the business does?  Does Vince hire his IT staff and tell them they're being paid low but are being "given an opportunity?"  Does his Business Development team pay their own trans?  Like you said, wrestlers will never be able to organize.  Also, nobody blows the whistle because anyone who could is so desperate to be in Vince's good graces.  Imagine an article on a non-wrestling site, one that's taken seriously, where actual wrestlers describe their working conditions.  This shit would change overnight.

The people you mention here as examples are in all likelihood actual employees.  For all the talk about how everyone knows "Superstars" are really employees and not independent contractors, things like paying your own expenses is something that independent contractors typically have to do.  How much it makes a difference in your taxes obviously depends on how many expenses you have, and I would essentially living on the road would cause those expenses to shoot up quite a bit.

 

For all the jokes about scripted promos, it could be argued that that weakens the IC argument.

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14 minutes ago, JonnyLaw said:

For all the jokes about scripted promos, it could be argued that that weakens the IC argument.

The "independent contractor" thing is an absolute joke.  The plumber I hired to fix a broken pipe in my house is an independent contractor.  Can I tell him he can't do plumbing anywhere else, how he has to dress, exactly how to do his job, where to be tomorrow and what time, etc? 

That was my point when I mentioned it being amazing that WWE still gets away with treating wrestlers like this.  They are a publicly traded company with all the hallmarks of any other large corporation in 2016, yet it's built on the backs of a group of people who are being absolutely conned and taken advantage of.  I'd say it's insane that they're getting away with it but, again, the biggest marks are in the locker room and nobody in a position to speak out will do so.

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9 minutes ago, JonnyLaw said:

The people you mention here as examples are in all likelihood actual employees.  For all the talk about how everyone knows "Superstars" are really employees and not independent contractors, things like paying your own expenses is something that independent contractors typically have to do.  How much it makes a difference in your taxes obviously depends on how many expenses you have, and I would essentially living on the road would cause those expenses to shoot up quite a bit.

 

For all the jokes about scripted promos, it could be argued that that weakens the IC argument.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/independent+contractor

I know its something that gets beaten to death, but if you go to that link and scroll down the twenty factor test, it's a pretty lopsided conclusion that WWE wrestlers are employees.

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The people that are getting "conned" are the ones at the very bottom of the card who have the same road expenses as everyone else but don't make squat.

A guy like Ryback who brags about turning down a $500k per year contract and then whines about  WWE not covering road expenses comes off like a fool. Are we supposed to feel bad that your take home is now only $415k? The reality is he left voluntarily and will never sniff money like that ever again for the rest of his life.

I understand that pride is important but I would lose to Kalisto every day of the rest of my life  for that kind of money.  

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27 minutes ago, JohnnyJ said:

The people that are getting "conned" are the ones at the very bottom of the card who have the same road expenses as everyone else but don't make squat.

A guy like Ryback who brags about turning down a $500k per year contract and then whines about  WWE not covering road expenses comes off like a fool. Are we supposed to feel bad that your take home is now only $415k? The reality is he left voluntarily and will never sniff money like that ever again for the rest of his life.

I understand that pride is important but I would lose to Kalisto every day of the rest of my life  for that kind of money.  

If he is making $500k he isn't taking home $415k.  He has to pay taxes, medical insurance, travel, food, lodging.  He would probably take home half of that.  And think about it.....if your being asked to lose to Kalisto everyday, you won't be getting paid 500K for long.  

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7 minutes ago, JohnnyJ said:

That's true. It's still an enormous amount of money though. I would be curious how much the overhead really is to be a performer.  

Didn't someone on one of those best buddies dvd saying something like 500k is about 140k after everything?

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13 minutes ago, JohnnyJ said:

That's true. It's still an enormous amount of money though. I would be curious how much the overhead really is to be a performer.  

How much he makes isn't important.  Being classified as an independent contractor, but being treated like an employee, and losing a big chunk of it to things your employer should cover but doesn't because they're sleazy, is a bad thing.  If you made 500K but lost a major piece of it to trans, road expenses, health insurance, etc., you'd be a little salty over it, too.  Read the list of employee characteristics that @joseph2112 posted.  It's sad.  These guys are absolutely employees of WWE.  Vince is having his cake and eating it too.

You see these arguments in sports fandom all the time.  If a player complains, there are always fans who say, "that guy's a millionaire, fuck him!"  Meanwhile that player's being screwed by billionaires. 

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