Independent Contractor Status In WWE, Randy Orton’s Injury, The Cryptic Videos, Jeff Hardy

Are WWE wrestlers classified as WWE employees or independent contractors?

WWE wrestlers signed under performer’s contracts are classified as independent contractors, not company employees. Due to the independent contractor status, there is no set pay structure or union that offers benefits. The classification has been argued and even fought in court; however, the bottom line is every wrestler under a WWE performer’s contract has legally agreed to be an independent contractor for WWE. We can debate the classification for hours but it makes no sense for a wrestler to agree to working as an independent contractor only to argue it once the agreement has ended. A contract is only binding if both sides agree and no matter how much someone may argue a WWE performer’s contract, they have to sign it for it to become legally binding.

What have you heard regarding Randy Orton’s injury suffered at last night’s Smackdown taping?

The initial word regarding Randy Orton’s injury at last night’s Smackdown taping is not good. I heard the injury has to do with his back and it could be serious. We should have more later today.

What is your gut telling you as to who is behind the cryptic videos on Raw Supershow?

For me to name a worker that is behind the cryptic videos would be nothing more than an educated guess. As far as I know Chris Jericho still hasn’t signed a WWE contract and he and his reps are denying he is returning. The feeling within WWE was if they couldn’t get Jericho, they would use the videos to re-debut The Undertaker in time for Wrestlemania. I posted a Backstage News article on the videos yesterday at this link.

Could you ever see Jeff Hardy returning to WWE?

We never like to use the word never in this business because anything is possible. However, I can tell you there is currently zero interest in Jeff Hardy. Despite all his problems, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff see him as the top babyface in TNA Impact Wrestling and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went over Bobby Roode for the title at Genesis.

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  • wes branscum

    it sucks that Orton may be seriously hurt. I just hope it doesnt fall back on Wade and WWE holds him responsible if Orton is out awhile. I mean both preformers agreed to a street fight and even though you may have it planned out in your head, stairs and other objects dont always agree.

    I hope the Cryptic video is Y2J even tho he hasnt signed if not it seems to me to be useless cause taker has already used similar videos. I would look at it as we got our hopes up only to be given the taker again, and led to yet another rematch at WM. I think i may be the only one thta thinks the taker Triple H match was not the best of last year.

    • Vince

      Thanks someone agrees with me on the taker hhh match

    • robert

      which match was better? and if wade screwed up then he should be fired like ken kennedy was i never liked orton he eminds me of a spoiled little rich kid who only gets breaks because his daddy made them for him and he's a jackass, i wish henry would've hurt his ass for talking bout him and orton left out part about how boring he is even after all these years he can't keep me awake during a promo

  • ted

    wwe would not touch jeff hardy with a ten foot ball. he is a drug using freak whose best talent is falling from high places and going through tables.

    tna wants hardy because they are desperate for their 1.2 ratings and could care less if he has drug issues.

    bitchoff and has been hogan are too stupid to realize that jeff hardy was only a BIG star when he was pushed by the wwe corporate machine. in tna, he is a washed up wwe reject who performs in an amusement park sound stage for non paying tourists.

    • Jaycee

      Wow, dude. Tell us how you really feel -_-

  • lbp365

    Jeff over Bobby in fort ppv a big mistake and they need to get James storm tv show apperences and atleast the American title because the WWE lives him I heard.

    • east

      does not make any sense

  • jonathon212

    i said before and ill say it again. if hardy wins the title from roode at genesis im done with tna. james storm should be the only one to take the title off of roode and it should happen at lockdown. anything short of that would be lunacy.

  • Silver

    Richard, do you think when Triple H has taken over the company he will grant workers better benefits or perhaps even change the policy to recognize them as WWE employees given his own background as a wrestler, or will his mindset be "if you're good enough you'll make it." Obviously not everyone can be a top guy but you also can't have a show without mid and lower card performers.

    • just a fan

      you should sent that in to the ask wnw

  • Jaycee

    I'm a fan of Jeff Hardy, but putting him over Bobby Roode for the title? Well that's just stupid. It's obvious Bischoff and Hogan are all about the money. Jeff is no where ready for a TNA World title shot. In six months to a year maybe, and that's only if he can keep himself clean and (somewhat) drama free. Let Jeff play around in the mid cards or find a partner and go for the tag titles. Make him earn it.

    • Alex

      I'm glad that you (a Jeff Hardy) feel that Jeff should get rewarded (that's what it feels like) for all of his terrible behavior. I respect that you're not blind to actions of any wrestler it doesn't matter if you're a fan or not.

  • joe

    its wierd to think of wwe wrestlers as independent contractors

  • Ruck

    There goes the Barrett Barrage :(

  • http://game harshith

    Jeff s nt tht electrifying so whethr he returns wwe o nt it wont make much diff

  • The Breaker

    For the amount of times Richard has answered the question, apparently there are still people asking about the independent contractor situation in WWE.

    • Alex

      You gotta always account for the new readers. Not everyone has been reading WNW since the beginning.

  • Howard Stern

    I just realized that I've literally forgotten about TNA until I read the Jeff Hardy thing here.

    • Alex

      The rest of the world has also forgotten that TNA existed.

  • monty

    you know this could be good for orton even though they need him, but he is been on TV for far too long as a face even though he is a mixture of face and heel. I think if he stays off tv for 4-6 months than during that time wwe actually builds up wade which is a big IF than when orton comes back they can do a long feud between them

    and fans will start to miss him. atleast that's the way i feel

    wwe12 video game curse anyone lol

    • Jaryd

      Hmmm the worrying thing is I got the people's edition which features The Rock on the cover…

      • craig

        yep and the wwe 12 curse for him is he only got like 15k more buys for survivor series than last year. figuring what vince paid him vince may have lost money.

    • Alex

      Everyone keeps claiming that Orton is a tweener and that he's both. What exactly has he done since Wrestlemania 26 that is heelish? He's smiling, he's friends with other faces and hugging them and raising their hands. Viper fans gotta stop claiming to this notion that he's still somehow a heel. He is officially 100% face. He hasn't done one single heel thing in years.

  • EvilKevyn

    Orton's out? Well, good thing they have the total package (lmao) D-Bryan carrying the strap. That'll keep the mainstream fans tuning in. Maybe an awesome feud (yawn) between the nerd Daniel Bryan and limitless potential (ha ha) Drew McIntyre? lol Oh man, WWE so loves Smackdown. Orton's hurt? Oh well, we'll give the show McIntyre to fill his spot…HAHAHA!!

  • Bertie

    The cryptic clues is cena!!! The second coming is cenas second heel turn. It can’t be taker or Jericho as they have both been back more than twice. It’s cena not coping with hate anymore, death of carnation and all rise the chain gang!

  • Supersmark

    Small point. It really isn't accurate, from a legal perspective, to say that it makes no sense for someone to sign a contract as an "independent contractor" but then argue about their status after their employment ends. In fact, such lawsuits happen fairly regularly, especially with the rise in alternative employment relationships (meaning outside of your standard employer/employee kind). There are many cases where the line between an employee and a contractor are hazy at best and the courts in quite a few cases have completely ignored the fact that a person was classified as a contractor and instead treated them as an employee due to the nature of their employment and the particular facts of the case.

    I'm not saying it's a slam dunk winning argument for wrestlers by any stretch, but there is certainly legal precedence that cuts both ways and you could make a legitimately arguable case.

  • Guest

    Vince better take a look at the company right now, Steph and HHH better see the writing on the wall! NOW! They start to push the younger talent and stop it before they even get over. They continue to depend soley on the aging talent: HHH Taker, (Trying to get the ROCK back), Kane, Show, and even now, Cena and Orton are carrying the show on their backs and they are getting up there in age now. Cena, and Show have been battling injuries for a while now. They need to push the younger talent, not hide them, not get the retires back into the ring making fools of themselves. A great example is they could push Cody against someone else, but getting Booker T involved. Last decade performers is not going to solve the ratings and injury fill in issues, the young talent just waiting is.

    Most of the A team is injured right now and news reports are leaking that MR. MCMahan is in panic mode.

  • Guest

    Vince better take a look at the company right now, Steph and HHH better see the writing on the wall! NOW! They start to push the younger talent and stop it before they even get over. They continue to depend soley on the aging talent: HHH Taker, (Trying to get the ROCK back), Kane, Show, and even now, Cena and Orton are carrying the show on their backs and they are getting up there in age now. Cena, and Show have been battling injuries for a while now. They need to push the younger talent, not hide them, not get the retires back into the ring making fools of themselves. A great example is they could push Cody against someone else, but getting Booker T involved. Last decade performers is not going to solve the ratings and injury fill in issues, the young talent just waiting is.

    • Alex

      Least WWE is doing a better job pushing the younger talent than TNA is.

  • http://prowrestling.com alvarado76

    You got a good point Guest.