News recently emerged that WWE higher-ups have put the kibosh on contracted talent engaging in third party activities which build their brands outwith the company's objectives. The move is an apparent bid for the promotion to control their own talents' narratives, and specifically, prevent anyone constructing a marketable base with which they can leverage - and even leave - their employers.
WWE chairman Vince McMahon circulated a letter to all talent, noting they had until 2 October to wind down their third party endeavours, after which anyone caught in breach of the new ruling could expect internal discipline ranging from a fine to dismissal.
Fightful Select were able to get hold of the missive outlining the new policy. It reads as follows:
“Furthering my comments last Sunday regarding the reinvention of our product, it is imperative that we promote and protect our brand in every conceivable way. Some of you are engaged with outside 3rd parties using your name and likeness in ways that our detrimental to our company. 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. These actions are necessary in order to rebuild our brand as we enter the next phase of growth at WWE.
The letter ended:
I thank you for your cooperation in this matter and for all of your efforts towards the rejuvenation of WWE.
Presumably, clauses will be in place to prevent wantaway talent purposefully exploiting the rule to force a contract release. No doubt being placed under the thumb will have caused a mixed reaction in the WWE locker room, so keep tuned for the fallout of this intriguing new development.
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Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.