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Is the empire crumbling before our eyes?

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2 hours ago, sek69 said:

Is Lars on the injured list still? There's probably some kind of financial trickery where someone injured can be made to not count against the books. 

Out until July supposedly. 

17 minutes ago, El-P said:

Unionize, bitches. Until then...

But who leads it? 

Personally never heard of any strong sentiment in WWE for one, unfortunately.

Unless there was a massive change of mind overnight. Expect 16-20 cuts on the Smackdown side of the roster today (Friday).

And a rag taggle of NXT, producers and on-screen talent.

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13 minutes ago, El-P said:

Unionize, bitches. Until then...

As much as I agree, that's easier said than done for many reasons:

1. The nature of pro wrestling, and WWE specifically, means the wrestlers are conditioned to always fear for their spots. That leads to an understandably selfish mindset which would be hard to shake when it comes to trying to convince everyone to band together.

2. I'm sure WWE is no different from any other major company and floods everyone with anti-union propaganda, not to mention the top guys are in the tax bracket where it's in their best interests to not unionize and those are the ones who would be needed to make any attempt to unionize stick.

3. Tying points 1 and 2 together, it only takes one top guy (like Hogan did in the 80s) to stooge out to management and the whole plan goes down the tubes. 

 

So yeah, for like 85% of the roster forming a union would be the ideal situation. Unfortunately you'll likely never get the other 15% to go along with it for political and financial reasons. Could you imagine a mid card guy going to someone like Taker with his Blue Lives Matter shirts and Braun with his "just try not being poor" routine and attempting to convince them to unionize?

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2 minutes ago, rovert said:

Unless there was a massive change of mind overnight. Expect 16-20 cuts on the Smackdown side of the roster today (Friday).

And a rag taggle of NXT, producers and on-screen talent.

 

Unless it's backstage folks like agents/writers,  that sounds like an extremely large cut for Smackdown. For as shitty as the other cuts were, the guys who were cut were largely folks not being used and of the ones who were being used you  had Rusev who was in a contract dispute and Gallows/Anderson who were playing the Revival game of turning down offers to stay until WWE hit their magic  number. The only guy being used who got cut was Rowan and his mystery box being revealed anticlimactically as a cartoonishly fake spider could have been taken as a write off. 

Looking at the list on Wikipedia that shows the current SD roster, I don't see anyone who really falls into that category other than Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Maybe Mojo too, I suppose it depends if the Gronk thing was a one and done for Mania or not. 

As far as NXT goes, Dave mentions in the new Observer that anyone who appears on NXT TV is probably safe since they're seen as the line of defense against AEW. Anyone in NXT who doesn't appear on TV or only does the Florida loop is probably throwing their phones out the window at this point. 

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Pro-wrestling is the epitome of sport-as-a-spectacle, the unassumed shadow of what "real sport" actually is, so of course it won't happen. The day pro-wrestling becomes actual performance art and the "sport" aspect gets more and more secondary, maybe then, some guys and girls will step up and say "hey, we are more like actors, let's fucking unionize now". It's all the same entertainment bullshit anyway, but the "faker" it gets, the more real it can become and the more adult and responsible, maybe, those people can be.

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2 hours ago, sek69 said:

Looking at the list on Wikipedia that shows the current SD roster, I don't see anyone who really falls into that category other than Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Maybe Mojo too, I suppose it depends if the Gronk thing was a one and done for Mania or not.  

I'm personally worried for Chad Gable and Mustafa Ali (we assume he's the one behind the glitches, but that could easily be changed/retconned - just as GTV was when Goldust left). 

I assume Mojo is safe, because they'll want more Gronk, but who knows.

I'm also worried for the Singh Bros. (not sure which brand they're on, which probably doesn't bode well for their chances) and maybe even That Indian Guy. 

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5 hours ago, sek69 said:

Looking at the list on Wikipedia that shows the current SD roster, I don't see anyone who really falls into that category other than Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Maybe Mojo too, I suppose it depends if the Gronk thing was a one and done for Mania or not. 

Wasn't Bo Dallas already cut?

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- With Lars, it may also be the case that he's still not making "main roster" money or that, because they can add time to his contract due to his injuries, he's still seen as a "bargain." It could also be as simple as Vince being just high on the guy. We've always known that Vince is the decision-maker, but Arn Anderson's podcast has made it even more clear just how important it is to be one of his "his guys."

- I would be shocked if Marina Shafir or Jessamyn Duke were cut. They're in the same boat as Mojo. Someone near the top - maybe not Vince, but probably Stephanie or Triple H - are wise enough to know that you don't cut Gronk's best friend or one of Ronda's close friends during a pandemic no matter how little value they currently have. 

- I know we talk about the wrestlers needing to unionize, but aren't the writers, cameramen, and other technical/production staffers not part of their respective unions? Like, if you or I - who are not part of the Writers Guild - were hired as writers, I don't think that work counts towards guild membership (which means we also don't make any money on royalties or anything for the characters we created - unlike Spike Ferestein, for example, whose used creating the Soup Nazi into his calling card). To me, those are the people that should be unionizing first - especially the cameramen and other technical staff - because there are already very powerful unions they could become chapters of.* Vince could fire the writing staff, Vince could fire the wrestlers, but what are you going to do without cameramen? Without the people driving the trucks? Without the people rigging the lights? Or am I wrong and all those positions are filled by union workers?

 

* Not sure if "chapter" is the right word.

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I also have to think Lucha House Party gets cut of more folks go. None of them are being used and I think at least one of them was tweeting about when they were free at one point.

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1 hour ago, DMJ said:

I know we talk about the wrestlers needing to unionize, but aren't the writers, cameramen, and other technical/production staffers not part of their respective unions? Like, if you or I - who are not part of the Writers Guild - were hired as writers, I don't think that work counts towards guild membership (which means we also don't make any money on royalties or anything for the characters we created - unlike Spike Ferestein, for example, whose used creating the Soup Nazi into his calling card). To me, those are the people that should be unionizing first - especially the cameramen and other technical staff - because there are already very powerful unions they could become chapters of.* Vince could fire the writing staff, Vince could fire the wrestlers, but what are you going to do without cameramen? Without the people driving the trucks? Without the people rigging the lights? Or am I wrong and all those positions are filled by union workers?

 

Pretty sure no one who works directly with WWE is unionized. 

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9 hours ago, sek69 said:

Wikipedia that shows the current SD roster, I don't see anyone who really falls into that category other than Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Maybe Mojo too, I suppose it depends if the Gronk thing was a one and done for Mania or not. 

Very bleak speculation of course, certainly during a pandemic - and I probably don't need to say it but no one is clamoring for anyone to be losing their jobs or their ability to provide for their families.

That being said, if I were the Grim Reaper of employment for WWE, I could easily fire 20 people from the Smackdown side. Even after firing like 40 people WWE is still ridiculously bloated.

In example, you could kill NXT UK & 205 Live entirely - just keep Walter. Smackdown has people like The B-Team, Tamina, Lucha House Party, Dana, Lars, The Forgotten Sons or whatever that stable is called. Maybe Kane since he's doing the political thing & is up there in age - he's a hall of famer anyway.

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2 hours ago, DMJ said:

- With Lars, it may also be the case that he's still not making "main roster" money or that, because they can add time to his contract due to his injuries, he's still seen as a "bargain." It could also be as simple as Vince being just high on the guy. We've always known that Vince is the decision-maker, but Arn Anderson's podcast has made it even more clear just how important it is to be one of his "his guys."

Probably, but WWE could easily let go of Lars and bring him back later at a severely reduced rate, because who else is going to want him with all his baggage at this point? Maybe the sleazy Impact might lean into it, but no one is a star there because no one watches the show - even if wrestling fans in the bubble think otherwise.

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1 hour ago, PhilTLL said:

(Wrong quoted post...)

During the last WGA strike in 2007, WWE productions were not subject to Guild rules:

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2007-11-15-0711140492-story.html

Apparently Chris Kreski belonged to the WGA-West branch. He's the only one I found on their database though, so yeah the WWE probably avoids the union writers nowadays.

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Since it came up. I haven't really watched since the Fox deal started. I watched that season premiere Raw and once I realized that they had no intention of delivering Rollins/Mysterio, I noped out on their programming unless I had to watch something for podcasting purposes. There's just too much to do in life that I don't hate.

As for the talent releases. It's really shitty timing and they shouldn't have done it but they were long overdue for a culling and I think you were going to see a mass release like this at some point this year or next. You just can't have 200+ guys on roster and be throwing 500k at people that do nothing for your bottom line. They absolutely should have taken the beating and kept people on until they had ways of making money via wrestling though. Smaller companies like AEW and RoH are paying people so they should be able to as well.

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All of the NXT releases:

  • Tino Sabbatelli
  • Cezar Bononi
  • Mars Wang
  • Taynara Conti
  • Nick Comoroto (Nick Ogarelli)
  • Alyssa Marino
  • Dan Matha (Dorian Mak)
  • MJ Jenkins
  • Deonna Purrazzo
  • Aleksandar Jaksic

Tino hurts. Great look, great gimmick, seemed to have all the tools. I guess too injury prone and still too green after all this time? I don't know.

Not sure how charisma vacuum Riddick Moss gets called up and Tino doesn't. But such is life in these strange times we're living in.

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2 hours ago, C.S. said:

Not sure how charisma vacuum Riddick Moss gets called up and Tino doesn't. But such is life in these strange times we're living in.

He looks like Triple H.

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Tino had too many strikes against him: being in developmental forever, getting a major injury, and being 36 years old without an indy pedigree to overcome Vince's age phobias. 

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On 4/17/2020 at 3:15 AM, El-P said:

Unionize, bitches. Until then...

Yep. For Christ's sake, there are unions for stuntmen, actors, athletes, and musicians. Wrestlers are at the least three of those. Honky Tonk Man is all four. 
Like you said, the sooner wrestling is considered a complete performance art, which it is and always has been, the sooner they can be unionized at some level.

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Could they not theoretically all join SAG? I believe some of the disclaimers on the WWE network describe them as actors.

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Now Oliver Luck is suing Vince McMahon. Luck wasn't listed as one of the creditors in the XFL's bankruptcy filing, so people figured that either he had already been paid in full or his contract contained an opt-out clause that allowed Vince to pay him a prorated portion of his deal in case the league folded. As it turns out, Vince terminated him for cause right before folding the league, and now he's suing for wrongful termination. Luck was the guy Vince picked to signal to the world that the new XFL was going to be a legitimate sports enterprise and not a carnival sideshow, so this has to be the end of whatever remained of Vince's reputation in the legitimate business world.

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How sleazy and corrupt is this company?

From CagesideSeats (via Meltzer): "WWE is paying wrestlers released last week throughout their 90 day non-compete period, and therefore feels justified to continue using them (a la Drake Maverick competing in NXT’s Interim Cruiserweight Championship Tournament)."

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This is gonna sound a bit tinhat, but I suspect Drake Maverick being released is a work. He's really playing up how heartbroken he is at losing his dream job and him still being included in the tournament seems like it's set up for a storyline of him doing so well WWE can't go through with firing him.

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