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No Count Outs: You Know What That Means

No Count Outs – “You Know What That Means”

RIP, Mr. Brodie Lee/Luke Harper

The loss of John Huber (Mr. Brodie Lee/LukeHarper) was felt around the wrestling world. AEW and WWE honored the loss of a wrestler, father, and man. Many wrestlers, such as Big E and Eddie Kingston, shared stories of their time spent with the Exalted One, Big Rig, and Luke Harper. He held many personas but his legacy has just one face. Dynamite featured a card built by Minus One, Huber’s son Brodie. This included a main event of his favorite stars: Orange Cassidy, Cody Rhodes, and Preston Vance. That and more on another jam packed episode of the No Count Outs wrestling podcast.

No Count Outs: WWE Culture and Sting's First Match No Count Outs

The Undertaker spoke to Joe Rogan about WWE's Culture inside the locker room culture then and now. WWE has set the top championship matches for the Royal Rumble. Kevin Owens will face Roman Reigns and Drew McIntire will face Goldberg.  Raw had some confusing angles involving Alexa Bliss and Randy Orton. On Wednesday NXT the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic was featured heavily with the men and women. Lucha House Party advanced over Imperium as well as Leon Ruff and Kushida beat The Way. Big upset on the women's side as Toni Storm's momentum was halted as she and Mercedes Martinez lost to Carter and Catanzaro. During the week, AEW and Impact continued to intermingle. Private Party became the new number one contenders for Impact tag titles. MJF and Chris Jericho defeated the rest of the Inner Circle in tag competition. Sting's first match was teased as Darby Allin accepted a street fight against Team Taz. Follow the show @NoCountOutsPod . Keep tabs on hosts Matt Dahlberg (@M_broski21) and Tyler Pearson (@T_pearson10four). Email the show at NoCountOuts@gmail.com! — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Be sure to follow Matt and Tyler on Twitter @M_Broski21, @T_Pearson10four, and @NoCoutOutsPod for the latest hot takes on the wrestling world. Also subscribe to the podcast, now available on all major platforms. The No Count Outs wrestling podcast is powered by ClockerSports.com. For the best in analysis, discussion, interviews, and kayfabe news, tune into the No Count Outs wrestling pod. Be sure to follow Clocker Sports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and check out all of our other great podcasts and articles!

WWE Cracking Down on Superstars’ Side Hustle

In 2017, Donald De La Haye’s D1 NCAA scholarship was voided over YouTube monetization, now WWE is threatening similar actions against its employees over third party concerns. Le Haye’s story sparked national outrage and exposed the greed and oppressive nature of an organization intent on keeping a clean image. Will the pro wrestling conglomerate face the same media backlash for its oppressive labor regime?

The Email

In a corporate email obtained by f4wonline originally sent on September second, WWE informed recipients that, “…You are engaged with outside third parties using your name and likeness in ways that are detrimental to our company. These activities must be terminated within the next 30 days.” This caused many fans and experts to speculate on exactly which services could render wrestlers, commentators, and personalities personae-non-gratae. Everything from, Instagram, youtube, twitch, and cameo were all considered a liability due to the vagueness of the letter.

The Public Statement

The social media buzz generated enough noise to force WWE to respond. On September fifth, WWE commented on the controversy with a simple one-paragraph press release:

The Continued Fallout

The press release did little to quell the heat WWE was taking from fans, workers, and even former U.S. Presidential candidates like Andrew Yang, who said in an interview earlier this week,
“They’re (WWE talent) putting their lives on the line, or their health on the line, their family life on the line, all the time. They made Vince McMahon a billionaire, and then the fact that he’s still being so heavy-handed about their ability to make a simple buck on Cameo just struck me as so absurd, and ridiculous, and wrong.”

Yang also said about if workers for WWE should be treated as independent contractors or employees that “ If you’re going to control all these aspects of a wrestler or a performer’s waking life, then you should take some responsibility too for that person’s bigger picture.” It was the third party application Cameo that has become the biggest sticking point for WWE brass. According to Dave Meltzer, talent would still be able to monetize Twitch and YouTube as long as the performers were using their names, not so for Cameo.

Cameo allows for personalized messages to be read by celebrities and influencers alike. Dozens of performers were using the service, from champions to commentators. They charged anywhere from 20 dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on the WWE superstar. If WWE does not allow Cameo, the company is protecting more than just their own “intellectual property” they are claiming ownership talent themselves.

The Conclusion

WWE’s message may have sparked outrage but more than anything it appears to have the desired effect on its workers for the most part. Many superstars have already made their Cameo unavailable to the public or changed their appearance like Sasha Banks simply going by “Mercedes Motivation”, or Tom Phillips adjusting his to just “Tom”. The company’s actions have received very little pushback from most major news sources and even less from current talent.

Only Saraya-Jade Bevis, known in WWE as Paige, publicly commented on the WWE’s transgressions with a simple “nope” on twitter after the story became public. With seemingly no ethical boundaries and no overseeing body holding WWE accountable for their labor actions. The Stamford Connecticut based and publicly-traded company will face no repercussions or even investigations for their continued “exploitation of these characters.”

Since the Donald De La Haye story, media and activists have pressured the NCAA to change the way their athletes can use their stardom. Starting in January 2021 athletes in all three divisions will be able to use their name, image, and likeness for monetary purposes. This action was ratified unanimously by the NCAA Board of Governors. If the same progress is to be expected from WWE, it must come from external forces, not internal.