Several prominent WWE stars have already shuttered their Twitch accounts with more likely to follow even after a final effort to change Vince McMahon’s mind and before a Friday meeting in which they expect to be given more details on what is happening.
Among that group that suspended their accounts this week: AJ Styles, Aleister Black and his wife Zelina Vega, Mia Yim, and Cesaro.
In a message to his subscribers, Styles thanked them and acknowledged “WWE is making some changes regarding streaming. We will see what the future holds in that regard” and that he was suspending the account for now. He emphasized that it wasn’t a permanent closure but rather just a pause. Similarly, Yim tweeted Thursday that this wasn’t a goodbye but a “see you later”. The others gave similar messages on their final streams this week with former in-ring talent Paige giving an emotionally powered address in which she aired her frustrations with WWE.
PW Insider reported Friday that several talents recently met with the WWE chairman in an attempt to change his mind on the recent edict that talents not work with third parties like Twitch and Cameo. It didn’t specify who met with McMahon. Black and Vega said Thursday in their farewell address that a meeting is going to be held Friday about what the future holds, but that a lot is still unknown.
The news broke in early-September that McMahon and WWE issued an edict that all third party partnerships must come to an end but didn’t specifically state what partnerships were being restricted and why. WWE then released a statement attempting to clarify their reasoning without specifically saying which partners, saying they were looking to protect their intellectual property like Disney or Warner Bros. would. Talents were then told they could maintain Twitch and YouTube accounts under their real names and not their gimmick names. Talents were reminded of the impending deadline in early-October.
WWE’s decision drew the ire of former U.S. presidential candidate and wrestling fan Andrew Yang who promised to push the issue if Joe Biden is elected president due to the controversial independent contractor tag that WWE talents have to work under.
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It’s believed that WWE will enter into a partnership with Twitch (and perhaps Cameo) where talent will receive a percentage that will count against their downside guarantee, something our Dave Meltzer reported earlier this month that talent were “livid” with.