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WWE told some wrestlers that the company owns their real names

There are still a lot of unanswered questions in regards to WWE’s edict to ban talent from engaging with third parties. As of now, the wrestlers don’t know what is and is not covered. Dave Meltzer discussed this on Wrestling Observer Radio.

“As far as I know, nobody seems to know what it means,” Meltzer said. “They think it means no Cameo, they think it means no Twitch. I know it means no [Bang Energy]. Lana did a commercial for them. I was told that specifically, that and Twitch.”

As noted on Friday, WWE took issue with Lana promoting the energy drink. There are several ads posted on her Instagram account. Lana took to Twitter on Saturday to refute claims that she was the “straw that broke the camels back” before WWE sent the letter out to talent this week.

“Nobody exactly knows,” Meltzer continued. “The assumption is that YouTube is fine, that’s the assumption. The assumption is Twitch is not fine. I know that doing commercials for anybody is not fine, that I know. That was always gonna be not fine. The one that has a lot of people upset was them telling people that they own their real names because everyone knew that WWE owns your stage names, of course. That’s a given. But the idea that they own your real names, I don’t know what that means and it hasn’t been explained but I know talent has been told that because when Paige switched one of her things to Saraya it was like that ain’t gonna fly because it’s still banned, I guess. We’ll see how it all plays out…Most of the talent is not happy, from what I gather.”

Mark Carrano told wrestlers this past week that the company owns the rights to their real names. So, in theory, Paige would not be able to continue her Twitch stream even though she changed it to Saraya, which is her real name. This will not sit well with her and others because platforms like Twitch generate significant revenue for many wrestlers in and out of WWE.

The WWE wrestlers that have big money contracts in the last year because of AEW, they are not affected as much but others who aren’t on big money WWE contracts are affected because they have been using platforms like Cameo and Twitch to make up for the money that they are not making from live events or merchandise due to the pandemic.

In theory, since they are independent contractors, wrestlers should be able to work for or work with anyone they want as long as they are not on company time and as long as they are not using their character names. WWE seems to feel differently on that issue.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Wrestling Observer Radio with a h/t to for the transcription. A subscription includes the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and daily audio shows in addition to thousands of hours of archived audio shows.


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