The Covid-19 pandemic is not sparring anyone. Now the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced massive pay cuts, furloughing a portion of its workforce and releasing on-screen talent. The Vince McMahon-run organization added it would be decreasing operating expenses, cutting third-party staffing and consulting, and deferring spending related to WWE’s new headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, for at least six months.
WWE Release Wrestlers from their contracts A number of wrestlers have also been released, including: Drake Maverick, Curt Hawkins, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Heath Slater, Eric Young, EC3, Lio Rush, Kurt Angle and Aiden English. According to a press release, the move will save WWE approximately $4m a month and improve cash flow by $140m. The company says it has $500m in cash and debt capacity “to manage the challenges ahead.”
“The decision to furlough versus permanently reduce headcount reflects the fact that the Company currently believes the furlough will be temporary in nature,” WWE said in a statement.
WWE is one of the few sports organizations continuing amid the ongoing health crisis. It is about to resume live programming, albeit without fans, this week from its Orlando training facility and Full Sail University after WWE was deemed an “essential business” in Florida.
“We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” WWE said in a statement. “We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff. As a brand that has been woven into the fabric of society, WWE and its Superstars bring families together and deliver a sense of hope, determination and perseverance.”
The news of reduction in salary bill and austerity measures comes on the back of fiasco of McMahon another investment, i.e XFL. The organization run by WWE boss filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after the spring-season American football league suspended operationsand fired virtually all its staff.
It has emerged that WWE owned 23.5 per cent of the league’s Class B shares, while McMahon owned 100 per cent of Class A shares and 76.5 per cent of Class B shares. The WWE ownership disclosure directly contradicted repeated company assertions that the XFL and WWE were entirely separate entities.
Meanwhile McMahon is also one of numerous sports league commissioners and senior executives named on a federal government committee that will advise US president Donald Trump on lifting commercial and societal restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.