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MAY 2022 Pro Wrestling Discussion


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Wait, all this isn't some dumb angle for Raw?  Really?!  Man, I went from completely dismissing this to having way too many questions for a guy about to go to bed.  That's just completely bizarre.

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As far as Sasha's crossover appeal goes I feel its much smaller than some think but also bigger than others guess/want it to be. She isn't a female Rock/Austin, but she is definitely someone you can see finding success outside of WWE. Even on a low scale she honestly could probably make comparable money or more depending on the projects she got involved in. 

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What's the actual contract status on Sasha and Naomi? I assume their deals aren't that close to over or we'd have heard about it in the context of "will she show up in AEW," especially Sasha.

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6 hours ago, sabremike said:

From all accounts I have seen she was the one who wanted to turn heel.

And Austin was on board with turning heel at WrestleMania 17. I don't think the heel turn was a good move for her, especially after she just returned from a long layoff and the fans were excited to have her back.

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I don't know how anyone can say Becky Lynch has had more of a reason to walk away than ______. Even before she went on maternity leave, she was a focal point of the TV programs and treated as a big deal. She closed out WrestleMania, and can say she beat Charlotte & Ronda Rousey in the same match for both titles. When she returned last year, she was instantly the biggest heel in the women's division and was, again, a focal point of WWE television.

Sasha isn't, and hasn't been, in a while. The only notable thing I can think of that Sasha has done in the past few years was turn Bayley heel and give Bayley's character a new lease on life. So, basically a utility player. And she's insanely over, to boot. I don't like Sasha in-ring (anymore), but to put her into supporting roles or minor feuds with... Natalya, I think it was, when she returned or whatever... just weird stuff.

 

Sasha Banks at least had a major title run and feud with Bayley, which was the longest of her career, and she got to to headline WM 37 Night 1. Lynch isn't headlining major cards at all anymore. Also lest we forget, Lynch was Sasha's replacement at SummerSlam 21. That was originally Sasha's matchup.

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To oversimplify it, can WWE apply any legal penalties if a worker under contract just up and quits, past the usual 90 day no compete? Doesn't that cut clause work both ways, as well as their independent contractor status? I am currently reading a stack of WONs sent to me by my bosom buddy DSH, and I just got to the "Toni Storm walks out" issue. Or would vary from contract to contract? There is that 'make up time for in juries' bogusness that Misterio and Huber got zapped with, of course. Mr. McMahon is never on the take the high road...

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12 minutes ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

To oversimplify it, can WWE apply any legal penalties if a worker under contract just up and quits, past the usual 90 day no compete? Doesn't that cut clause work both ways, as well as their independent contractor status? I am currently reading a stack of WONs sent to me by my bosom buddy DSH, and I just got to the "Toni Storm walks out" issue. Or would vary from contract to contract? There is that 'make up time for in juries' bogusness that Misterio and Huber got zapped with, of course. Mr. McMahon is never on the take the high road...

I think they can try, but look at Brock Lesnar. That one was settled, and they didn't stop Lesnar from wrestling in Japan.

Has WWE ever successfully sued someone over not fulfilling their contract and won? I think the reason they ultimately can't because their contracts are garbage, and they've grown even more controlling in the last three years, going far above the classification of independent contractor.

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47 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Can someone clarify, was Cardona's tweet meant to be belittling of Naomi and Banks or supportive? 

I think he was taking the piss out of himself for not standing up for himself in the past. The sarcasm was lost in translation for a lot of people.

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9 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

I do think Banks and Naomi likely have valid grievances. That said, I also believe sometimes you have to pick your battles. And this is just my opinion, but based on the limited information we have, I feel like they kind of picked the wrong one here, especially Naomi.

Like Naomi has been treated a lot worse since her run as SmackDown women's champion, which ended almost five years ago. Like at least now they were putting her in a world title match. 

The women's tag team division is an after-thought and the titles are still an after-thought with them as champions. Last year they gutted the roster and basically trashed the women's roster along with women who would have been a natural fit for the tag team division (Riott Squad, IIconics, etc.). None of the higher-ranked women put their foot down or stood up for anyone or the women's tag team titles when the roster was gutted last year.

Now yeah, do I think Sasha Banks could be a bigger star in and pillar of the division? Yes, most definitely, but Sasha Banks isn't alone on that either. Becky Lynch now isn't a fraction of the star power and level she was three years ago. Turning her heel upon returning and beating Bianca Belair was bad for her character and brand. It was also badly executed. And this is after Becky Lynch basically ripped the main event scene away from Rousey and Charlotte Flair. 

Has Becky Lynch main evented a single WWE PPV since she returned? 

Point being, I think Lynch has had more just-cause to walk away from WWE than Banks and Naomi in recent years.

Doesn't really matter if someone else has more of a justification to walk out when they haven't walked out. There's no hierarchy here, literally anyone can just say "fuck this & fuck you". 

Of course if Sasha/Naomi really want out then all they have to so is walk into the locker room and start talking about unionising. Someone will rat them out.

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2 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

To oversimplify it, can WWE apply any legal penalties if a worker under contract just up and quits, past the usual 90 day no compete? Doesn't that cut clause work both ways, as well as their independent contractor status? I am currently reading a stack of WONs sent to me by my bosom buddy DSH, and I just got to the "Toni Storm walks out" issue. Or would vary from contract to contract? There is that 'make up time for in juries' bogusness that Misterio and Huber got zapped with, of course. Mr. McMahon is never on the take the high road...

As far as we know, no, the 90 days clause does not go both ways. This is probably not legal but WWE would sooner grant you your release than have the independent contractor mirage challenged in court if a wrestler challenged it. But to challenge it would potentially put your career on hold as you face a very expensive legal battle against a billion dollar company, which is a daunting prospect for obvious reasons. So the status quo will remain.

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3 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

To oversimplify it, can WWE apply any legal penalties if a worker under contract just up and quits, past the usual 90 day no compete? Doesn't that cut clause work both ways, as well as their independent contractor status? I am currently reading a stack of WONs sent to me by my bosom buddy DSH, and I just got to the "Toni Storm walks out" issue. Or would vary from contract to contract? There is that 'make up time for in juries' bogusness that Misterio and Huber got zapped with, of course. Mr. McMahon is never on the take the high road...

 

3 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

I think they can try, but look at Brock Lesnar. That one was settled, and they didn't stop Lesnar from wrestling in Japan.

Has WWE ever successfully sued someone over not fulfilling their contract and won? I think the reason they ultimately can't because their contracts are garbage, and they've grown even more controlling in the last three years, going far above the classification of independent contractor.

The legal long and short of it is WWE does whatever they think they can get away with.  Wrestlers don't challenge their contacts in court due to any or all of the following reasons:

  • Lawyers are expensive
  • Fighting WWE in court would take a long time -- and you're not working during that time
  • Unless you're a generational talent, fighting them in court kills any chance you might have of ever working for them again

In short, they don't have the law on their side; they have the all the shitty trappings of the legal system on their side.  It's not about right or wrong -- it's about whether you have the stomach to fight and in most cases, it's not worth it. 

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If it was as simple as Not Showing Up for 90 days, Mustafa Ali would be a free agent today. Or signed somewhere else.

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4 minutes ago, AxB said:

If it was as simple as Not Showing Up for 90 days, Mustafa Ali would be a free agent today. Or signed somewhere else.

Yes, & think how long PAC had to sit out for before they finally gave in & let him go. That must have been closer to a year.

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9 hours ago, Ziggy said:

WWE tends to do this alot, they force the person they want the most to be the one to cross over commercials and stuff representing the company over someone else who may be a better person for that spot. I think that has left plenty money off the table for them. Like I always bring up way back when Underarmour was still new they wanted Shelton Benjamin on some commercials and WWE said they wanted them to use Orton or they weren't going to work with them at all. Of course Punk talk about Chael  Sonnen wanted Punk to walk him to the ring for a fight and the told him no. I think WWE has gotten better with letting other guys that aren't their handpicked guys do outside stuff involving celebrities lately but it was ridiculous in the past

Hardcore Holly talked about this in his book too. He said that some production company wanted Test for a movie because he had the look they wanted. WWE said that Test was "busy" and said they could have Cena instead. Test was basically just another body in some interchangeable battle royals they were running and Test 100% could've had that spot but he didn't hear about until after the fact. I get wanting to have the bigger names out there but that screws those other guys out of opportunities to get more over and paydays.

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1 hour ago, AxB said:

If it was as simple as Not Showing Up for 90 days, Mustafa Ali would be a free agent today. Or signed somewhere else.

The 90 days thing only kicks in if WWE exercises the termination clause of the contract, otherwise the talent is bound for the entire length of the deal.  So you can't just quit in the middle and show up somewhere else 90 days later.

AFAIK no one knows what penalties are spelled out for violating the non-compete portion of the contract is, but given that no one has done so we can take a guess at their severity.

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Presumably, If they really flimsy, TK would have backed having someone on his TV before the 90-day clause was up and been willing to take on McDevitt over it in court. 

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The last thing the owner of AEW wants to do, is set a legal precedent that makes it easier for wrestlers to get out of long term contracts.

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16 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Presumably, If they really flimsy, TK would have backed having someone on his TV before the 90-day clause was up and been willing to take on McDevitt over it in court. 

Not quite.  The penalties spelled out in the contract wouldn't effect AEW or TK at all as they are not parties to the contract and cannot be bound by it.

What the WWE could (and almost certainly would) do is sue for tortious interference, which when you intentionally disrupt a contract between other parties.  In that case the damages would be whatever a court decides.  And I can't see TK risking that instead of just waiting for workers' contracts/non-competes to come up.

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7 hours ago, Leonidas said:

I think he was taking the piss out of himself for not standing up for himself in the past. The sarcasm was lost in translation for a lot of people.

That's kind of how it came off to me. I feel like he's on Naomi and Banks' side here because he's spoken in the past before that he regrets not speaking up for himself more during some of those periods. 

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9 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

To oversimplify it, can WWE apply any legal penalties if a worker under contract just up and quits, past the usual 90 day no compete? Doesn't that cut clause work both ways, as well as their independent contractor status? I am currently reading a stack of WONs sent to me by my bosom buddy DSH, and I just got to the "Toni Storm walks out" issue. Or would vary from contract to contract? There is that 'make up time for in juries' bogusness that Misterio and Huber got zapped with, of course. Mr. McMahon is never on the take the high road...

The current answer is no. Would that hold up legally? Not sure, it's never been argued in court. Essentially if someone quits while under contract, they are done in pro wrestling until WWE decide it's not worth paying them their downside anymore.

Take Pac for example. He walked out. They could have argued breach of contract and not paid him anymore. But that would also free him up legally to go elsewhere. Instead they decided to punish him by keeping him under contract for over a year. Eventually they released him. But not until they decided.

Toni Storm did walk out. But she negotiated a release from WWE on amicable terms (somehow). They let her out of her deal within a week of whatever happened to her. Yet they sent Ali home for 6 months and wouldn't let him go. He still got paid his downside but he was punished by not being able to wrestle elsewhere and not being able to make any bonus income. Eventually they brought him back.

Long story short WWE has all the power and the wrestlers have zero. They can bail and go home. But they won't be wrestling anywhere until WWE decides they're allowed to by releasing them. Probably the most famous walk out, Punk was released almost six months after he walked out. On his wedding day. As a big fuck you to try and ruin his day. Because WWE is the most petty place on earth.

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