After a hectic few days of news & reactions following the latest update on WWE’s plan to take over the third party streaming accounts of their talent, things got quiet over the weekend.
Then last night, one of the most outspoken performer’s affected by the new policy tweeted this:
Learned a lot about unionism today.— SARAYA (@RealPaigeWWE) October 5, 2020
Paige’s message is pretty vague - as her recent statements, and the few comments we’ve heard & read from independent contractors over the past week have been. But presuming she’s not speaking up in favor of Northern Ireland’s status as part of the United Kingdom, it’s implication is pretty clear.
The idea of a wrestler’s union has popped up from time to time throughout the history of the business. Jesse Ventura wanted to organize in the 1980s, but alleges Hulk Hogan “stooged him out” to Vince McMahon. AEW’s rhetoric about being talent-focused raised some hopes when the company launched, but never got anywhere.
Now WWE’s moves to control their roster’s Twitch and Cameo accounts, and the public support of politician Andrew Yang, has restarted the conversation.
The few responses to Paige’s tweet from inside the industry are pretty telling, though.
hmm..— (@Zelina_VegaWWE) October 5, 2020
Paige is in the best position to stand up to WWE. She is under contract to the company, but isn’t currently doing anything for them. She’s got some acting credits under her belt, and could transition to a host or influencer role outside of wrestling is need be. The same is true, to a lesser extent, of Zelina Vega. With all that, and Yang’s support, the strongest position they’re taking is “learning” and “thinking.”
To be fair, those are necessary first steps. And AEW’s Matt Sydal replied to Paige and indicated he’s a little farther along in the process:
I was talking to @JENFL23 about the same thing yesterday.— Matt Sydal (@findevan) October 6, 2020
Jen Perelman is an activist and lawyer from the Bernie Sanders/Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez wing of the Democratic Party. She’d be a good ally, but Sydal will need more if there’s any chance this will be the time a wrestler’s union happens.
Organized labor requires labor to organize, you know?
We’ll keep you posted on this. In the meantime, let us know in the comments below if you think Paige’s new field of study will lead anywhere.