Many professional wrestlers have been known to enjoy their status as independent contractors for years. This has remained to be one of the long-standing topics of discussion in the industry.
However, pro wrestling veteran Jesse “The Body” Ventura is known to be a detractor of professional wrestlers’ independent contractor status. This employment status has meant that their employer company does not withhold certain taxes benefits like unemployment compensation, health, medicare, and social security.
Jesse Ventura was also one of the first to come up with the idea of the formation of a wrestler’s union, which he had tried to start. Ventura brought up the topic on an episode of “The Steve Austin Show.“
“Vince McMahon is lucky I didn’t go for the Senate, because had I gone into the Senate, I would’ve started a Senatorial investigation as to why pro wrestlers are called independent contractors when they’re not.”
The former Minnesota Governor’s attempt to formalize a union didn’t go as planned. He tried to encourage the superstars to not move ahead without the opportunity to be a cohesive unit. This was done backstage during WrestleMania II during a locker room address. Ventura gave a speech regarding the same to the boys at the time when none of their agents were around.
“The next night I got a call from Vince who basically threatened to fire me if I ever brought it up again and read me the riot act. So when I came back to Vince, I told him point blank, ‘Vince, I won’t ever bring up union again.’ I said ‘If these guys are too stupid to fight for their rights, I have my union now.’
The shocking revelation came when Jesse sued Vince McMahon. When Ventura’s attorney asked McMahon about any previous attempt at forming a union, he immediately recalled “The Body” ‘s attempt at one point. He further went on to disclose that it was Hulk Hogan who had informed him. Jesse discussed this shocking betrayal with Stone Cold on his podcast.
“It was like someone punched me in the face. This was my friend. And I thought, ‘Hogan betrayed me? Hogan called Vince and ratted me?'”
The Texas Rattlesnake even asked the Hall of Famer’s opinion on Hogan’s actions considering Ventura had been vocal about his close friendship with The Hulkster.
Hogan continued to lie and said he didn’t do it. Well, in the trial, we got the records of WrestleMania III, the big one. Him and Andre. Well, Hogan made more money than all of us combined, including Andre. So naturally, he didn’t want a union.”
Do you think Hulk did the right thing? Sound off in the comments!