This quote is a little dated already, having made the rounds last weekend. In internet time, that’s basically an eternity.
But I just discovered it while surfing around on a slow pre-holiday news day, and figured others might have missed it and still find it interesting as well. AJ Styles discussing the meeting he, Sasha Banks & Xavier Woods had with Vince McMahon about WWE’s recent ban on independent contractors having their own accounts on third-party engagement platforms like Twitch & Cameo seems relevant to our interests, after all.
The quote is from an Inside The Ropes interview Styles did with TalkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy ahead of TLC. McCarthy praised AJ’s gaming streams as enjoyable and informative. Then he asked if Styles had approached McMahon about his edict, and if he plans to start back up on a service like Twitch after he retires.
Here’s what AJ had to say:
“I did. Myself, Xavier Woods and Sasha Banks had a sit-down meeting in Connecticut with Vince about this whole situation, and it was determined that it’s intellectual property, this is [gestures to his face and smiles].
“We do well as far as the WWE, and if there’s an opportunity to pay back that money that, you know, we work hard for at different times, then we probably should. Now, I was doing this long before the lockdown, before the coronavirus I was streaming and doing my thing, so I was always doing it on my time off. So things happen, they do the - listen, I wasn’t happy about it. No one was. But, it is what it is. I’ll handle it the way that I have to. I’m a teamplayer, you know, he’s the captain, I’ll follow his lead as far as Vince is concerned.
“Will it change, will something happen? They’re working it as we speak. Will I be happy with it? Probably not. But the opportunity to be able to stream in the future is definitely wide-open. I obviously have the equipment, I just don’t have an opportunity to do that right now.”
This is the first on the record, first-person account we’ve heard about meetings between management and talent. It honestly doesn’t do much but confirm what we already knew about the new policy (although Woods’ presence is interesting, since his UpUpDownDown work seems to fall outside the new rules, presumably because he had an existing agreement with the company).
It also mostly confirms what many of us suspected: wrestlers, especially well-paid ones with a secure, prominent position on the card, are unlikely to rock the boat. We haven’t heard much about unionization in wrestling lately, partly because organizing is a difficult, slow process. But it’s also because attitudes like AJ’s and Alexa Bliss’ are the norm.
Let us know what you think about the Phenomenal One’s hopefully-not-too-old quote in the comments below.