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I am not familiar with American contracts, but IRS might have overlooked something....What if most WWE wrestlers contracts are actually corporations such as WWE paying John Cena Inc. instead of John Cena?. It would be easier to do since many wrestlers could easily claim travel, insurance costs as a business expense, and also points more to the contractor stance?
 

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I am not familiar with American contracts, but IRS might have overlooked something....What if most WWE wrestlers contracts are actually corporations such as WWE paying John Cena Inc. instead of John Cena?. It would be easier to do since many wrestlers could easily claim travel, insurance costs as a business expense, and also points more to the contractor stance?
You don't need to establish yourself as a corporation to deduct business expenses.
 

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2; WWE wrestlers typically can just walk out and refuse to perform without any issues. Stone Cold did it. Undertaker did it. CM Punk did it. None of them faced any breach of contract suits or other issues. if they were in fact independent contractors then they have the legal obligation to finish the contract unless a mutual agreement to void the contract was made.
Hasn't Stone Cold talked about being in breach of contract like a million times now? I could of sworn there were ramifications, I also have no idea what you're talking about in regards to the Undertaker.
 

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Just want to point out that the IRS definitions aren't the standard for which employment status is judged, they only cover tax. The Department of Labor and their set of standards are the ones used to judge IC status and depending on the state it could be the state department of labor, or it could be the federal department of labor.

I have no idea if the contracts are bound to CT or if they use the specific state standards and judgements of whatever state the show is in but no matter what it's always going to be using the department of labor definitions.
 

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AJ Styles gets around 600,000.

He made more working ROH and NJPW.
Not my point. That's over half a mill what's to stop him from snitching? You can't just say cenas a snitch cause anyone earning half a mill to a million could conceivably be a snitch. Cena isn't the only one in good with management.

Roman
Seth
Dean
AJ has Vinces ear on things sometimes

3 out of 4 of those guys could snitch. Don't let the indy background fool you.or in AJs case tna and njpw background fool you.

Any one can be a corporate snitch. I've been backstabbed by people who I thought shared a passion for my work but they threw me under a bus to get in managements good graces.

Humans suck. Wouldn't surprise me if even good guys like Kane have secret skeletons
 

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Only took decades for someone in the know to point that out. Better late than never I guess. Several wrestlers have said by WWE's own standards and practices that they don't have independent contractors.
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
Hasn't Stone Cold talked about being in breach of contract like a million times now? I could of sworn there were ramifications, I also have no idea what you're talking about in regards to the Undertaker.
Undertaker walked out on the company in the early 2000's. He came back several months later after successfully negotiating a better contract.

The reason he wasn't sued, and the reason Austin wasn't actually sued for breach of contract is because of the way WWE designates them. If they took them to court for walking out while under contract, which they legally could as independent contractors, they would have to show their contracts in open court and prove they are independent contractors. There is a lot of evidence that they do not qualify to be indepdent contractors and this could hurt WWE if it came out in court.
 

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Undertaker walked out on the company in the early 2000's. He came back several months later after successfully negotiating a better contract.

The reason he wasn't sued, and the reason Austin wasn't actually sued for breach of contract is because of the way WWE designates them. If they took them to court for walking out while under contract, which they legally could as independent contractors, they would have to show their contracts in open court and prove they are independent contractors. There is a lot of evidence that they do not qualify to be indepdent contractors and this could hurt WWE if it came out in court.
Are you sure about that? I remember he "walked out" as part of storyline in late 99, I don't recall anything like what Stone Cold or Punk did.

You said they could walk out without issues but IIRC there were, Austin was fined $650,000 but talked Vince down to $250,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #49 (Edited)
Are you sure about that? I remember he "walked out" as part of storyline in late 99, I don't recall anything like what Stone Cold or Punk did.

You said they could walk out without issues but IIRC there were, Austin was fined $650,000 but talked Vince down to $250,000.
No. Undertaker walked about and stayed away for a few months and WWE created a storyline to explain it. He even admitted that he legit walked out.

He even created the American Baddass persona as a new character in case he still decided to leave, since he couldn't take the Undertaker character with him. There was a chance of him jumping to WCW.
 

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Do you have sources? I get mixed reports looking at WWE salaries.... Forbes is the only site that seems to list it with an ounce of credibility. But I don't quite trust it. Forbes claims he makes 2.4 Mil a year. I suppose the list was all total earnings. I can't imagine he was promised that out of the gate being in WWE but if they renewed his contract this year I don't think him getting more than a mil is a stretch, Since he's obviously shown his worth in the last year.

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/emdm45feegm/6-aj-styles/#60187b5f21de

I also don't believe he earned more in NJPW/ROH.... In an interview right before his WWE debut and him leaving New Japan he talked about his focus was doing what was best for business and earning a good living for his family. And going where that money is. That's not generally something you say when you're leaving for a job that pays less.


around the 4 minute mark.


The forbes article goes in a lot deeper here.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2017/03/31/brock-lesnar-john-cena-lead-the-list-of-wwes-highest-paid-wrestlers/#8bc35cf5cd32

He has zero sources. He is just making stuff up. It's laughable to suggest Styles was paid more by a small indy and a Japanese company who make a fraction of the revenue of WWE. Styles probably makes more for his Wrestlemania appearance than a whole year working ROH/NJPW.

TNA also designate their performers as independent contractors yet OP has made no mention of it. They make and get away with far more than WWE does https://www.cagesideseats.com/2012/9/27/3414744/the-indie-corner-impacts-abuse-of-the-term-independent-contractor

UFC performers are also independent contractors. If the IRS were really interested in this they would go after UFC first as they are higher profile and they hold fighters hostage like stopping McGregor and Rousey appearing at Wrestlemania down the years http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/19/news/ufc-fighters-employees/index.html
 

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Undertaker walked out on the company in the early 2000's. He came back several months later after successfully negotiating a better contract.

The reason he wasn't sued, and the reason Austin wasn't actually sued for breach of contract is because of the way WWE designates them. If they took them to court for walking out while under contract, which they legally could as independent contractors, they would have to show their contracts in open court and prove they are independent contractors. There is a lot of evidence that they do not qualify to be indepdent contractors and this could hurt WWE if it came out in court.
HBK walked out in early or mid-97. He only came back when Vince actually started threatening him with legal action for breach of contract to which HBK's lawyer sent a letter to Vince saying HBK'd be back in 4 weeks due to a legit injury.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
HBK walked out in early or mid-97. He only came back when Vince actually started threatening him with legal action for breach of contract to which HBK's lawyer sent a letter to Vince saying HBK'd be back in 4 weeks due to a legit injury.
WWE's threats against HBK were a rarity. They went after him mostly because he was the reigning champion, and that they had already advertized title defenses, and there was really no way of rebooking the show. He walked out because they were refusing to give him time off to heal. He had every right to refuse to perform while injured, and WWE backed off legally because he threatened to make their refusal to allow time off to heal public. That would have quickly caused a call for regulation.

Champions are usually held under different rules than non-champions. Back in the day, WWE would sign a champion to a special contract that would require certain appearances. This contract is enforcable and the champion could be sued if they refuse to appear. HBK had been triyng to get time off or his back for several weeks before he walked out was it was refused.

WCW and the NWA did it differently. They made the champion pay a $25,000 deposit on the belt that would be lost if the champion failed to appear, without legal reasons.
 

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WWE's threats against HBK were a rarity. They went after him mostly because he was the reigning champion, and that they had already advertized title defenses, and there was really no way of rebooking the show. He walked out because they were refusing to give him time off to heal. He had every right to refuse to perform while injured, and WWE backed off legally because he threatened to make their refusal to allow time off to heal public.
Perhaps you're talking about a different time he walked out (lul). I'm talking about in Juneish 1997 when Bret yanked his hair out and HBK screamed about scary working conditions and split before RAW went on the air. Weeks after that happened, Vince threatened him. HBK wasn't the champ at that time...though he was tag champ with Austin.
 

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He has zero sources. He is just making stuff up. It's laughable to suggest Styles was paid more by a small indy and a Japanese company who make a fraction of the revenue of WWE. Styles probably makes more for his Wrestlemania appearance than a whole year working ROH/NJPW.

TNA also designate their performers as independent contractors yet OP has made no mention of it. They make and get away with far more than WWE does https://www.cagesideseats.com/2012/9/27/3414744/the-indie-corner-impacts-abuse-of-the-term-independent-contractor[/B]

UFC performers are also independent contractors. If the IRS were really interested in this they would go after UFC first as they are higher profile and they hold fighters hostage like stopping McGregor and Rousey appearing at Wrestlemania down the years http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/19/news/ufc-fighters-employees/index.html


Not anymore. They've scrapped those contracts since Don Callis and DAmore came in, wrestlers now retain their IP rights and work wherever they wish as long as it doesn't clash with dates for them. Only thing required from the wrestler is commitment.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Perhaps you're talking about a different time he walked out (lul). I'm talking about in Juneish 1997 when Bret yanked his hair out and HBK screamed about scary working conditions and split before RAW went on the air. Weeks after that happened, Vince threatened him. HBK wasn't the champ at that time...though he was tag champ with Austin.
All champions are held to the same standard, when they are heavily used in the show. I was referring to him being tag champion, not WWE champion.

And my point remains the same. He was suffering from legit injuries. He didn't leave just because Bret yanked his hair. The injuries are the same back issues that forced him to retire a year later.
 

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WWE CBO: Our Performers are Independent Contractors.

IRS: What do you mean by "Our Performers" and Independent Contractors in the same sentence?

COO/VP: Yes

CBO: um....dad?

CEO: Shit.
 

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The IRS uses a 20-point test to establish whether or not a company has the right to designate their employees as independent contractors....

This is the test used.....




According to the IRS and several other sources, WWE's claims that their wrestlers are independent contractors fails 16 out of 20 of these

A few of the failed ones are
1; The right to fire; WWE reserves the right to fire any wrestler, and release them from their contract at will, regardless of what their contract says. If they were truly independent contractors, this wouldn't be allowed.

2; WWE wrestlers typically can just walk out and refuse to perform without any issues. Stone Cold did it. Undertaker did it. CM Punk did it. None of them faced any breach of contract suits or other issues. if they were in fact independent contractors then they have the legal obligation to finish the contract unless a mutual agreement to void the contract was made.

3; WWE tells wrestlers when, where, and how to work.

4; WWE wrestlers lack the right to subcontract; An independent contractor has the right to subcontract work to other companies or workers. WWE doesn't allow them. For example, a wrestler should have the right to bring in their own tag team partner from outside of WWE and pay them to perform with them. The Hardys could subcontract with Shane Helms or Shannon Moore, for example.

5; Training; The fact that WWE trains their own wrestlers and doesn't simply sign wrestlers who already have training tends to point towards them being employees. The definition of a independent contractor is a trained professional brought contracted by a company to do a specific job, and be paid speciffically for that job without being officially hired. The people being trained in the Performance Center are typically not involved in wrestling until they get to the WWE.
Ok, words words words, yes words I understand but it's late and I'm tired, so great, is anyone going to take any action on this?
[/QUOTE

Over the years there have been stories on the issue & while there has never been an "official" response from the company a number of employees have spoken out after they left the company implying a good number of people got vocal about putting a group of employees together to try & make wrestlers employees OR let them be the "independent contractors" the company says they are & wrestler wherever, whenever they want to. Apparently then a "non-official" word makes its way thru the locker-room saying anyone is free to take them to court but remember the WWE has deeper pockets than any group of wrestlers & the corporation could keep it in the court system for years & years.....so the wrestlers did what they had to, NOTHING! Keep your mouth shut, try to stay employed OR if it became too much BS leave & go the indie circuit & make better money. (I still find that hard to believe that any wrestler can make SO MUCH MORE MONEY going indie! A named wrestler that fans love, sure...but someone who isn't established yet OR isn't getting any TV time?? Not sure! I do know that Cody Rhodes & Tony Kahn (and Kahn's Father's money have REALLY done a HUGE favor to all wrestlers with AEW. The original AEW "fans" are gone, cuz many were gamers not REALLY into wrestling...(or leaving the house or showering) were quickly replaced by REAL wrestling fans for AEW. Has AEW had some shows with lower than expected attendance? Yeah, there have been a few but so does WWE, it happens. No longer a monopoly on pro wrestling for WWE is the best thing fans could've hoped for! Not a big fan of Paul Leveque, I've got to get him MAD PROPS for what he's done with NXT, now the best brand of 3 for WWE! When reports came out that said VKM wanted to do things with NXT I cringed but it didn't happen, yet!
 

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WWE's threats against HBK were a rarity. They went after him mostly because he was the reigning champion, and that they had already advertized title defenses, and there was really no way of rebooking the show. He walked out because they were refusing to give him time off to heal. He had every right to refuse to perform while injured, and WWE backed off legally because he threatened to make their refusal to allow time off to heal public. That would have quickly caused a call for regulation.

Champions are usually held under different rules than non-champions. Back in the day, WWE would sign a champion to a special contract that would require certain appearances. This contract is enforcable and the champion could be sued if they refuse to appear. HBK had been triyng to get time off or his back for several weeks before he walked out was it was refused.

WCW and the NWA did it differently. They made the champion pay a $25,000 deposit on the belt that would be lost if the champion failed to appear, without legal reasons.
Off topic, Flair is such a boss he said screw the deposit, I’m going to WWF and taking your belt with me lol.

On topic, of course WWE (and other promotions) have gotten over on the talent this way for years and years. I feel really bad for the boys back in the day because they didn’t get paid shit on top of given the “independent contractor” treatment.
 
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