Wrestling Inc are reporting that a memo was sent by Vince McMahon to all WWE contracted talent that bans them from engaging in commercial relationships using their likenesses, characters and even real names outside WWE.
The company has given them 30 days to end any existing relationships or face punishments such as fines, suspensions or termination.
This comes as we have seen a significant rise in WWE stars hosting Twitch channels, producing Cameo videos in particular during the pandemic period.
Some of these endeavours have resulted in significant headlines being generated by the performers that cannot be controlled by WWE’s PR machine, most notably AJ Styles’ string of revelations over the last few weeks on his Twitch channel.
Exactly what this edict covers is unclear. Could it be as draconian as forbidding talent to take paid endorsements for Instagram posts?
A quote from the memo reads:
“Some of you are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company,” McMahon wrote. “It is imperative that these activities be terminated within the next 30 days (by Friday October 2). Continued violations will result in fines, suspension, or termination at WWE’s discretion.”
This certainly seems like a heavy handed way to solve a growing PR problem for WWE. With the future of live events uncertain, this curtailing of significant additional income streams could leave some of the talent affected feeling incredibly frustrated.