One of the main reasons cited for the recent WWE releases was that several of them were unvaccinated. The company’s official reason was “budget cuts” yet again. Up to five of those released met their fate due to not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, we know WWE’s reasoning behind parting ways with these wrestlers.
According to this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, nobody was specifically told that their job could be lost if they chose not to be vaccinated. They were, however, told that unvaccinated wrestlers are of less value to the company. Many venues, including those used for overseas tours, require vaccination for entry. In a lot of cases, being unvaccinated is as good as an international ban for a WWE superstar.
“Regarding vaccinations and people being fired, while nobody was told that if they didn’t get vaccinated that it would threaten their jobs, there were people very much encouraged to get vaccinated. One top wrestler who was not vaccinated was told that if you didn’t get vaccinated you would be less valuable to the company due to not being able to go on overseas tours.”
U.S. venues in several cities and states have set out strict vaccination or testing guidelines. The Monday Night Raw that featured the WWE Draft required fans entering the building to either be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test before entering the building. Some venues are requiring vaccination without a testing option, depending on the jurisdiction they’re in.
WWE is, like many other professional touring companies, walking the razor’s edge between public safety and profit. After resuming a full live event schedule earlier this year, the company obviously had to deal with varying regulations regarding the virus. It appears some lost their jobs over it.
The wrestlers who lost their jobs for not being vaccinated will still be subject to the same regulations, depending where they work. AEW must deal with the same rules as WWE in many of the cities where they tour and, in some cases, share venues. It will now fall on the individual wrestlers to make the choice of whether they want to risk not only the virus, but their jobs.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments!