Several WWE talent have suspended their Twitch accounts with more likely to follow.
It is being reported by PWInsider that several talents met with Vince McMahon on Friday, however, it appears they were not successful in changing his mind as it pertains to the talent and their personal Twitch accounts.
Among that group that have suspended their accounts this week is AJ Styles, Aleister Black and his wife Zelina Vega, Mia Yim, and Cesaro.
In a message to his subscribers, Styles thanked them and acknowledged “WWE is making some changes regarding streaming. We will see what the future holds in that regard” and that he was suspending his account for now. Styles emphasized that it wasn’t a permanent closure but rather just a pause.
In a Twitter post on Thursday, Mia Yim said that this wasn’t a goodbye but a “see you later”.
Black and Vega said Thursday in their farewell address from their YouTube Channel, they said noted the meeting that was to be held Friday was about what the future holds, but that a lot is still unknown.
Paige gave an emotional speech during her recent Twitch feed that included her frustrations with WWE. She said the following:
“I’ve honestly got to the point where I cannot deal with this company anymore, So now I have to make a very important decision. I’m f–king tired, man. I broke my f–king neck twice, twice for this company, over f–king worked. I broke my neck twice for this company and all I wanted was to… they don’t realize that this community isn’t just about f–king subs. It isn’t about that. It isn’t about that. We built a wonderful community, a wonderful f–king family where this is an escape for a lot of people, including myself.
“I can’t wrestle anymore, I was worked so hard in WWE that I can’t wrestle anymore. My neck is f–ked, my whole dream got taken away from me, dude, and I had to have something that fulfilled even a small part of that huge f–king void that I lost with wrestling. A huge f–king void. I couldn’t wrestle anymore, something I lived, breathed, f–king s–t wrestling since I was a fetus, dude, and it got ripped away from me, and I had to find something that even filled a little bit of that. Twitch was such a wonderful thing for me, it’s such a wonderful place for me.”
It’s being said that talent who have made a great deal of money independently of WWE, under their real names from Twitch fan subscriptions even after Twitch takes a sizable percentage. As per PWInsider, the fear among WWE Superstars is that if they sign over theirTwitch channels to WWE, they could conceivably lose a significant amount of revenue during a period of time when they are no longer making bonuses due to no regular live events.
We had reported back in early-September Vince McMahon and other WWE Executives held a meeting with the talent about the use of third-party applications and how the company wants to reinvent their image. Mark Carrano also controversially told the talent that WWE owns their real names as well.
Earlier this month, we reported that WWE was having talent sign agreements to turn over their Cameo accounts.
WWE also announced earlier this month to their talent that the company would begin taking control their Twitch accounts. It was also stated that talent could still post content, and that they would receive a percentage of revenue generated which would not count against their downside guarantee.
Back in September after being informed of a new edict regarding social media and “outside 3rd parties” from WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon l WWE clarified more about the rules before the start of last night’s Raw. WWE told the talent that they could keep their YouTube and Twitch accounts, but they can only use their real names with it. Many were using their WWE stage names previously. They also have to inform the company of their intent to keep the accounts with their real names.
WWE’s decisions drew criticism from former US presidential candidate and wrestling fan Andrew Yang for classifying their talent as “independent contractors.”
WWE Hall of Famers Mick Foley and Kevin Nash have also publicly criticized WWE’s decision to force talents to shut-down their third party relationships.
Nash stated that WWE performers remain independent contractors who receive 1099s at the end of the year, and are not employees.
WWE has not commented publicly on the Twitch situation, but last month issued the following statement to Wrestleview:
“Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman. It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a companywide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”