There seems to be a disconnect between what Vince McMahon says and what WWE does.
McMahon recently sat down for an interview with Variety. During that interview, he discussed a number of topics, among them, that WWE Superstars can get time off whenever they need it. There was also the hint that said time off would happen repercussion-free. In Vince’s words, “Anybody who wants time off can get time off.”
As per a quote from the article:
“Anybody who wants time off can get time off. That’s easy,” McMahon says. “In addition to that, it’s easy to weave a talent in and out of a storyline. If they get injured, you’re not expecting that. Or if they have a family matter. Our characters are real people with real problems. It’s a revolving situation where this talent will work these dates, that talent will work those dates.”
In essence, what Vince is saying is that WWE understands the plight of its superstars. That the company would not stand in the way of its performers taking a break, nursing an injury or starting a family. Yet, what gets posted on social media regularly, by media, fans and the talent themselves, seems to tell a different story.
What’s True in WWE, What Isn’t?
Someone here isn’t being completely honest. There are details floating around the Internet that stars like Luke Harper, Dash Wilder and others have had time added to their contracts because they were out due to injury. The question is, does the time added back onto to their deals constitute a punishment?
Some will argue not. Like a cell phone contract, when a user puts the account on hold, the carrier tends to add that time back on at the end. It’s not that abnormal.
But, there are also instances where Superstars are complaining about the travel schedule, the flights and the exhausting amount of dates everyone has to work. Many speak of the idea of an off-season as though it’s a good idea. It isn’t. At least, not if you’re looking at the bottom line financially or are one of the two broadcast networks the each paid over $1 billion for the rights to WWE programming.
Who Are We to Believe?
Vince clearly wants people to think WWE is a flexible workplace, one that grants time off whenever someone asks. We know that’s probably not true.
That said, lately, superstars tend to whine and complain a lot. No one seems to know the details for sure but talents are quick to jump on social media and bash their employer. They want their release, they’re unhappy they weren’t being given what was promised. They want more opportunities…
Are we dealing with a bunch of entitled brats here? If so, that’s a tough spot for WWE to be in.
We do know Ronda Rousey was granted a leave to start a family. We also know Brock Lesnar makes a lot of money to work very infrequently. But these are special cases. What about the Luke Harpers, Sasha Banks, and Revivals of WWE?