Andrew Yang has always been outspoken, and now the wrestling world is learning of that, too.
After WWE's move to restrict their wrestlers' use of third party promotional and appearance services made headlines last week, the former Presidential hopeful chimed in. Now, in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, he's expanding on his thoughts of WWE unfairly labeling their superstars as independent contractors
"They are the largest company, the surest means to a career, and there hasn't been a genuinely competitive market for years. It's one reason why I root for AEW to succeed and create a competitive market, so wrestlers don't get exploited. The reality is, WWE is a quasi-opoly and imagining that the wrestlers....'oh, they know what they got into,' well, they didn't really have a genuine chance to negotiate a bargain," Yang said.
Yang didn't just speak of All Elite Wrestling, he says he's spoken to wrestlers there that seem to enjoy that they can accept outside bookings. We've seen AEW wrestlers pop up in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and really step up independent bookings in 2020.
"I talked to the talent in AEW and they like it," Yang told Van Vliet "They say they're being well treated and they have a degree of freedom in terms of taking other bookings. It seems like it's an organization that has performers and talent very much in the ownership structure or at a minimum they have a ton of input. They understand who they're competing against too. If you have WWE, you have the Vince empire and it's top-down and you have no choice. They are the employee-led alternative and they take that seriously. I was thrilled to hear from performers at AEW and they feel great about it."
The formation of AEW led to WWE wrestlers being offered contracts with significantly higher downside guarantees, and led to a talent-stashing stage for the company until the Coronavirus pandemic picked up.
You can see Van Vliet's full interview with Andrew Yang at the top of the page.