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APRIL 2019 WRESTLING DISCUSSION

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Just now, Eivion said:

Just curious, but if WWE were to pay for insurance, would they just be paying extra money or would they likely be taking this out of employee paychecks? Also how much does insurance cost for a wrestler?

Most companies, depending on how they do it, is a little of both.  We have "employer funded healthcare", which means the company foots most of the bill for the premiums, but the actual coverage is "eh" at best.  We had better insurance a decade ago before the housing crash wiped out a ton of banks and killed the free spending periods and everyone started bending over backwards to save a buck and we had to eat it.

 

For the cost, I'd have to say whoever is going to underwrite them is going to as for a ton. 

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Yeah for the nature of the business - Insurance costs would probably be closer to the NFL than say MLB or NBA

I was trying to get a rough idea of what the NFL pays but that started to make my head hurt

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7 minutes ago, Godfrey said:

Maybe Vince is just banking on universal healthcare going through.

Single payer healthcare.

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1 hour ago, Cristobal said:

How many Observer writers have died in their 40s?

There are just as many risks

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This man is 29 years old.

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The issue to me is not weather or not WWE or anybody else should or shouldn't do whatever. The issue is, they are illegally classified as independent contractors and not a small business. They should be held to the same laws as everybody else in that vein. If ROH or whoever falls into that category, they should too. And no, people that write reviews for the observer or do 720 flips at the armory on Friday do not fall into that category.

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9 minutes ago, Raziel said:

You're right, it's not.

 

But it's also unrealistic to think a segment on a Comedy show and some chants and signs are going to change that promotion's practices.  Until people stop spending money on it and people stop signing, they're not going to change unless someone forces them into it.

Nobody with half of a brain is expecting John Oliver, of all people, to completely transform the way the business side of wrestling works. Glenn Greenwald didn't change the way the NSA operates, but he started a conversation about their monitoring practices (with the help of a whistler blower/traitor, depending on your viewpoint). I'm not comparing John Oliver to Greenwald, but they're both trying to bring awareness to topics that most people wouldn't normally give a shit about. And I'm right there with you on the signs/chants thing - it's especially stupid considering one of the first things he touched on in that piece was WWE's social media following and then later, the whole #GiveDivasAChance thing. And he usually does hashtag campaigns too, or at least something more proactive than asking fans of something to disrupt what they paid hundreds to thousands of dollars to participate in. When he did a piece on the FCC, he posted a link to their online complaint forum (or whatever it was, I forget) and they got flooded with messages.

The two times in recent memory that they've bowed to fan complaints was the aforementioned Divas hashtag, and then Moolah battle royal when fans contacted sponsors and complained about it. So it's possible to do through social media and the like, however mundane and stupid the more recent examples might be in the grand scheme of things, and especially compared to serious real life things like wrestlers being covered for health insurance while employed by the world's biggest wrestling company.

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Pack it up. Everybody out of the pool

 

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So I've been watching MLW (it's one hour a week on BeIn Sports every Friday, but then uploaded to YouTube a day or two later). It's very jarring to have this 2019 style of wrestling with Jim Cornette colour commentary, because he hasn't moved with the times at all. You know how he seemed kind of behind the times and stuck in the eighties 25 years ago? He still does. Also, it seems like they're taking some booking inspiration from NJPW. Not in terms of copying the angles per se, but more in terms of 80% of the roster being heels who are grouped into several rival evil stables, and the babyfaces are all isolated individuals.

Also, they (like NWA 10 pounds of Gold, and Defiant Loaded) have realised that if you're going to upload all your TV to youtube, you should number every episode sequentially, so people can binge watch from episode 1 if they want.

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Posted (edited)

I'm as critical of Cornette's shtick and 1980s beliefs as anyone, but I've loved his commentary so far. I think he's been better than Tony Schiavone. He was perfect during the Contra near riot. 

Edited by Nice Guy Eddie

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not sure how many of you are watching CMLL.. but I've just gotta stay that Volador Jr has a real hateable look to him.. which I guess isn't a great thing for him right now considering he's a tecnico.. but something about how he looks in his gear makes him look like a punchable douchebag. There may be a slight cultural difference and his look may not seem as bad in Mexico

although I may have come to this conclusion during the match where he was working with the rudos a few weeks ago

 

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Volador usually embraces the chances he has to work rudo, especially if it's against Caristico.  

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extra CMLL take: Terrible and Bestia Del Ring both look a lot better post-haircut. Although this being Mexico, Terrible is working through a shoulder injury from that same match (somehow the healing hands of El Tirantes were not able to completely heal Terrible at the time of his injury).

No idea what Terrible's employment or coverage status is working through a shoulder injury in CMLL. Since the whole employee/ind. contractor thing has come up lately.

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Short hair Terrible looks better now when he wears his glasses. 

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7 hours ago, Raziel said:

In a perfect world, that would be the case.  But WWE isn't going to do anything without being forced to, and the only way to actually force them is the rest of the industry making a change and it affecting WWE's bottom line.  

You can be on the side of the workers yet still be pragmatic about how to get there.  The world isn't all or nothing.

Honestly, that's why people need to hammer AEW more than anything to force them.

AEW needs to be hammered about healthcare, if only because of the "you promised every AEW wrestler would get treated as an employee and get benefits and healthcare, and you had the audacity to walk it back to "just the Elite members get it?" NO TAKEBACKSIES! If you don't give these things to the full roster, whether or not they're an 'EVP', maybe we won't support your promotion."

That small-time indy won't be able to do it, but ROH and AEW might- and since AEW DID say they would do it and walked it back, they're the right promotion to hammer.

7 hours ago, joseph2112 said:

The issue to me is not weather or not WWE or anybody else should or shouldn't do whatever. The issue is, they are illegally classified as independent contractors and not a small business. They should be held to the same laws as everybody else in that vein. If ROH or whoever falls into that category, they should too. And no, people that write reviews for the observer or do 720 flips at the armory on Friday do not fall into that category.

Honestly, given all of the WWE workers who've been complaining about their booking and how they're being overlooked, and with how this complaint has gone through, I'd just love one of these complaining workers to put two and two together and realize they could fix both of their problems very simply by calling WWE's bluff on multiple levels:

The workers are unhappy with their push.

The WWE workers are "independent contractors".

Therefore, a WWE worker could say "wait a minute. As an independent contractor, I'm legally allowed to work for any employer who's willing to meet my pricetag. Therefore, I can merely open up negotiations with ROH, Impact, or AEW to work at one of their events, and then say "I've already agreed to terms to work this date. If you fire me or make me cancel the booking, then you're admitting that I'm an employee and not an independent contractor. Give me a push, and I'll cancel the booking myself."

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I was just watching some of Enzo's shoot interview the other night. I have no reason to not believe what he said. He said he was on a minimum contract in WWE on the main roster where he was making about $80-90K between salary and TV appearances,  got a check for $17K for WWE 2K and then he made like two and a half percent off merch sales so all in all he made about $300K or so but had still had to pay for hotels and other travel costs.  Keep in mind he was a big merch mover. I know some guys are making way more on their downside but they are severely underpaid these people. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

I was just watching some of Enzo's shoot interview the other night. I have no reason to not believe what he said. He said he was on a minimum contract in WWE on the main roster where he was making about $80-90K between salary and TV appearances,  got a check for $17K for WWE 2K and then he made like two and a half percent off merch sales so all in all he made about $300K or so but had still had to pay for hotels and other travel costs.  Keep in mind he was a big merch mover. I know some guys are making way more on their downside but they are severely underpaid these people. 

Word.  Just doing some back of the napkin math, it'a pretty easy for me to see how hotels, food, flights, and rental cars can add up to 100K/year.  Now they can lessen some of that by sharing expenses but god damn, this is a billion dollar entertainment company.  Is the cast of your favorite TV show going three to a room and stuffing four into a Honda Accord to and from the set?

I always remember the stories of Stacey Kiebler telling the other contestants on Dancing with the Stars about paying for her own trans, etc in WWE and they were in disbelief.

Edited by Technico Support
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Why aren't the Obama exchange platinum plans a good deal for wrestlers?  My guess is they'd pay around $1k a month, but have $500 limits on what they have to pay out in a year?  Obviously indy guys can't really use those, but low-end WWE guys probably could.

Do ACA plans not cover pro wrestling?

 

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15 hours ago, RIPPA said:

I don't think this is the WON

Or at least if it is - it was such a blb that no one noticed.

I mean I read way too much stuff from Dave and about Dave and I have no idea what you are talking about.

Unless this is being conflated with folks saying Dave is co-opted by AEW thing

If it was about the WON - I would like to read about it.

It was Bix talking about the WON on Twitter a few weeks back.

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7 minutes ago, mattdangerously said:

It was Bix talking about the WON on Twitter a few weeks back.

Ooof - that was a dive that could have been a lot worse

Which makes more sense now since Bix was a Figure Four employee not an Observer one

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2 hours ago, alstein said:

Why aren't the Obama exchange platinum plans a good deal for wrestlers?  My guess is they'd pay around $1k a month, but have $500 limits on what they have to pay out in a year?  Obviously indy guys can't really use those, but low-end WWE guys probably could.

They are. I feel like when talking about this stuff 4 or 5 separate issues all get jumbled together. (independent contractor status, health care for current and retired talents,  collective bargaining (i.e. better benefits, pay, time off) and providing for retired talents.)

The only issue that really bothers me is the handling of the retired talents. It was a much different industry in the 80s and 90s. Many of the names of the eras had 3-5 year runs. Even if those were good money years, how long could that money reasonably last? How much money did a King Kong Bundy type ever make as a wrestler? If you're in your 40s or 50s with all sorts of aches and pains, no real income, no insurance and no marketable skills, life is going to be really hard.   Does WWE owe these performers anything? No. Would it dramatically improve the quality of life of retired talents to chuck them $50k-$100k per year while barely effecting the bottom line? No question. 

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Ooof - that was a dive that could have been a lot worse

Which makes more sense now since Bix was a Figure Four employee not an Observer one

Bix is on some Rupert Pupkin shit when it comes to Dave and Bryan and it's really creepy.  I'd worry Bix would go full Mark David Chapman, except Dave is jacked and Bryan knows BJJ, while Bix is a shut in with the physicality of a small baby.

Also, does anyone care whether the Observer pays writers?  Dave and Bryan are the draws of the site.  I've never read Random Jamoke #573's Raw report.  A free subscription, maybe a cookie, and some exposure is pretty good in exchange for some goof to parrot Dave for a few paragraphs nobody will read.

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Ooof - that was a dive that could have been a lot worse

Which makes more sense now since Bix was a Figure Four employee not an Observer one

Number three. I can see his beef with it being a troll board but it was already that way pre-merger. It’s behind the paywall and not something your forced to use to get any information you can’t get off the front page or radio shows. From the beginning it was obviously a case of Bryan and Tony filling the demand for a forum without actually having to put in the work to maintain it under the guise of freedom to the subscribers. 

It is what it is and I think some of these past years of HoF voting has done more to put the readership’s intelligence in to question then some silly message board.

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7 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Word.  Just doing some back of the napkin math, it'a pretty easy for me to see how hotels, food, flights, and rental cars can add up to 100K/year.  Now they can lessen some of that by sharing expenses but god damn, this is a billion dollar entertainment company.  Is the cast of your favorite TV show going three to a room and stuffing four into a Honda Accord to and from the set?

I always remember the stories of Stacey Kiebler telling the other contestants on Dancing with the Stars about paying for her own trans, etc in WWE and they were in disbelief.

Right.  Enzo said he took the $17K check and paid off some student loans and credit cards and he flew his parents out to London.  Of course he was spending a lot of money on other shit too but it goes quick.  This is a guy that was generating a lot of revenue for the company through merchandise and he was no even really close to being rich.  Most of the roster has to live a modest lifestyle which seems fine,  they can buy a house and take care of their families but this is a billion dollar corporation so it just seems crazy that they are on the road 24/7 and taking bumps nightly and away from their family and it just seems like maybe it's not worth it all, I don't know.  Unless you become a big star.  

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