As sports fans, we sometimes can take for granted the amount of information we receive about our favorite athlete’s contract. When a team signs a player in the off-season, the numbers of that contract usually end up in the public’s eye in the same day. We can also quickly find out any quirky clauses in these contracts. Just check out TheSportster's’ “Top 10 Weirdest Clauses in Sports Contracts.”
While most sports organizations will gladly be transparent, the same cannot be said for the WWE. Information about the contract a wrestler signs can be hard to gain access too. The company doesn’t want you to know the fine details and we doubt they’ll ever be as open to providing that information to the public as other sports leagues are.
We can thank the court of law and the WWE’s SEC filings for allowing us to delve into what kind of contracts the WWE has with their wrestlers. The language of the contract has stayed consistent through the years but there are still some clauses that you may not have thought to be possible. So, do you want to know what a WWE contract has to offer? We thought you did.
17 The WWE Has Two Types of Intellectual Properties
Intellectual property is a law that allows you to take legal action if your creations are being used by others without your consent. There are four categories that make up the law: patent, trade secrets, copyright and trademark. In the WWE Universe, properties are shielded under two branches, Wrestler IP and New IP.
16 Only in Connecticut
15 A Wrestler May Be Able To Terminate Their Contract Under Mutual Consent
14 WWE Receives Money from a Wrestler's Independent Projects
13 Wrestlers Can Negotiate Between IPs
12 WWE Signs Wrestlers to Development Territories
11 Terms of Length and Territories
10 The Base Salary of a Wrestler
9 WWE Can Sell Your Merch After a Contract Has Ended
8 A Wrestler Cannot Sue for Injuries
7 Wrestlers Must Pay for Their Own Wardrobe, Props, Makeup and Costumes
6 Wrestlers Must Pay for Their Own Training
5 Wrestlers Must Cover Their Own Costs for Food, Lodging, and Travel
4 Non-Compete Clauses
3 3. WWE Cannot be Sued for Negligence
2 Only When Mandated By Law Can a Wrestler Spill the Beans
1 Every Wrestler is an Independent Contractor
We always hear and read debates between the Internet Wrestling Community and the WWE die hard fans. Discussions like who’s better, indie wrestlers vs McMahon's hand picked talents, the promotion Ring of Honor vs WWE’s NXT, and whether Kevin Owens is too large or not. Did you know that every WWE wrestler is listed as an independent contractor?
That means John Cena is an independent wrestler. Mind blown. It’s also why wrestlers have to pay for their own training. Governor Jesse Ventura exposed the hypocrisy when interviewed by radio host Howard Stern, asking how can wrestlers be independent contractors if their contract makes them exclusively signed to the WWE? Wrestlers Raven, Kaynon, and Mike Sanders have tried to sue the company for this language, stating wrestlers should be treated like employees, but failed to win the case.
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