Vince McMahon has once again defended world Wrestling entertainment’s (WWE) policy with regard to handling the well-being of its wrestlers after the promotion came under criticism recently about the working conditions of its members.
Late night TV show host John Oliver brought up the topic on his show “Last Week Tonight” in the buildup to WrestleMania 35 in April and questioned how wrestlers were being treated. He also pointed out multiple interviews with former WWE stars about the lack of proper remuneration except to a few top stars.
WWE hit back immediately claiming Oliver had ignored facts and that the health and well-being of its wrestlers were the top priority for the company. They even invited the TV show host, who is a fan of the promotion, for WrestleMania 35.
McMahon has now gone one step further and made it clear that every wrestler is permitted to take time off whenever they want without any future repercussions. This was in reference to WWE being a 52-week a year show without any off-season, where the wrestlers are on the road performing in live and televised events.
“Anybody who wants time off can get time off. That’s easy,” McMahon said during an extended interview with Variety Magazine. “In addition to that, it’s easy to weave a talent in and out of a storyline. If they get injured, you’re not expecting that. Or if they have a family matter. Our characters are real people with real problems. It’s a revolving situation where this talent will work these dates, that talent will work those dates.”
The CEO of WWE also asserted that they always have a physician at ringside or backstage to immediately attend to any injuries sustained by the wrestlers. Also, they have an extended training program that advises the athletes about the dangers surrounding their profession and the safety training necessary to avoid any serious injuries, especially to the head.
Despite the article talking about the stock of WWE on the rise – multiple reports in recent weeks have shown that while the company maybe in a strong position financially with its new TV deal with Fox Corp – the morale of the wrestlers is at an all-time low.
There have been multiple requests for releases from WWE superstars which have been rejected while former WWE champion Dean Ambrose has walked out following the expiry of his contract. Such an exodus has not been witnessed in WWE in recent years, but McMahon is taking stern action by rejecting release requests and then adding further time on wrestlers’ contracts for missing time through injury.