WWE Superstars are independent contractors which has been the case forever. This is why the idea of unionizing pro wrestlers is so attractive but with WWE ultimately pulling all the important strings, it seems a Pro Wrestling Union wasn’t historically in the cards.
However, an ongoing case could prove to change all of that and if a ruling says UFC fighters are actually employees of the organization then the same could be said for WWE Superstars. This would not only help any Superstar greatly in a legal sense but also when it comes to their contracts especially if they are trying to claim rights and benefits usually exclusive to actual employees of World Wrestling Entertainment.
Leslie Smith is crucial to the idea of unionizing UFC fighters and her case against UFC with the National Labor Relations Board is important because the NLRB has determined she cannot file a complaint unless she was an actual employee. Seeing how Smith was an independent contractor during her time with UFC, before anything can take place they must rule on whether or not UFC fighters should be classified as employees. This could be a landmark decision which would almost certainly give pro wrestlers a platform to state their case as employees of WWE.
“If they do that and rule that fighters are employees and not independent contractors, considering if you look at the standards that is a lock that someone is going to go in some form with WWE,” Dave Meltzer commented on Wrestling Observer Radio. “Even if it’s not the wrestlers themselves someone’s going to look into that because I mean who has more control over the lives and what they do on television, what they do and everything than that, UFC or WWE? All UFC cares about is that you don’t get arrested.”
This case from a former UFC women’s bantamweight fighter claiming she was terminated “based on the animus it held toward her engagement in protected activity” could very well be the catalyst for a lot of change down the road in WWE if things go in this plausible projection.
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