WWE Social Media
Much has been made lately of WWE talent being required to turn over their social media login information upon coming to the company. It was recently reported by Mike Johnson of PWInsider that was the case, as he mentioned on a recent PWInsider audio,
"I do believe that WWE has the right to control Twitter accounts. When you sign there, you're told to give your password over to the digital media department and you're told not to give your password to anyone else. It's possible that anything that pops up there in terms of pushing storylines those have been pushed by digital media," said Johnson.
Former WWE star Ryback confirmed that was the case, at least as it pertained to him and shared his experience.
Yes, this is correct. I chose not sign it after they corralled all talent into a room and told everyone to sign in and turn it in. They attempted to try and corner me several times that day. It’s not to post storylines, that’s a cover and they can monitor the talent. t.co/QzEJNt7WBX
— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) May 1, 2019
Ryback left the company three years ago, and if that was the case back then, it's changed along the way. Fightful reached out to wrestlers across Raw, Smackdown, NXT and NXT UK and in each case were told that WWE has never requested that they turn over social media logins.
The talent questioned have been signed to the company for varying amounts of time, which is worth noting. As it turns out, Ryback's was when he left the company.
Fightful confirmed Ryback was sent a cease and desist that requested his Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter that were of the WWE intellectual property "Ryback" be transferred to WWE. They also requested that he turn over his website, FeedMeMore.com.
This however, is not the case for WWE talent. WWE responded to Fightful, saying "We do not ask talent for their passwords, nor do we own their social media accounts."
WWE does send out memos and updates to talent that outline basic social media behavior and things that they need to know, but at least these days, they aren't asking for login information.
In one instance, there were wrestlers who were asked to make social media posts in order to promote a coordinated sponsor, and a wrestler requested that a social media manager take care of it, and even offered up the passcode to their phone. However, the social media manager informed them that the department isn't even supposed to do that.
WWE Writing Team
Fightful Select broke the news that WWE road lead writer Ryan Callahan had been fired.
We're told that the firing actually has nothing to do with ratings, viewership, storylines or anything of the sort. Instead, we're told that Callahan had an issue with Dave Kapoor, who portrayed Rainjin Singh on TV for years. Kapoor felt that Callahan took creative changes a little too personally, and was difficult to work with, not setting a good example for the rest of the writing team. Callahan was subsequently fired the evening of Thursday, May 2.
Those we've spoken to couldn't speak the the authenticity of Kapoor's qualms, but said that it seemed like they butted heads often.
- Fightful Select was told that during Monday's WWE Production meeting, Jen Pepperman actually brought her Daytime Emmy award and placed it on the table in front of her. Those we spoke to called the move "blind arrogance," and was seen walking around backstage after the production meeting with the Emmy. Several members of the team "zinged" her about the gesture, but she thought they were all joking in regards to it. In addition, it was said that she flew commercial with her Emmy accompanying her.
Several WWE Superstars congratulated Pepperman on her win, and we're told she's generally well liked by staff, the team, and the roster. Considering WWE has never managed to win an Emmy Award, the move was said to gain immediate heat backstage, though she seemed oblivious to it, with one person we followed up with suggesting that she may have just been on "cloud nine" to the point she didn't notice.
Cobb said he was surprised it took so long for members of the Lucha Underground roster to band together in an effort to sue the company to get out of their contracts. He says they weren't very up front with talent and that led to so many frustrated people.
As far as his ROH push upon joining the company, Cobb wasn't told the extent of how big it would be, or what he'd be doing initially. He said he got the feeling he wouldn't exactly be getting started with the losing streak, but thought his unique introduction into the company ended up working out really well for all involved.
Cobb told me that he doesn't have a preference in opponent style, but when it comes to Shane Taylor or Will Ospreay, he's confident facing both but may prefer Ospreay to reduce the lifting. He pointed to Shane Taylor as a person that he knew for a long time, but didn't get the opportunity to wrestle very much until their ROH match that delivered, and said that Taylor's in-ring skill surprised him. He also cited Adam "Hangman" Page as another name that fit that mold, and thought they stole the show at ROH Final Battle.
Cobb recalled wrestling top UFC fighter Yoel Romero almost 15 years ago in his amateur career. He said that Romero completely wiped the floor with him and was way further along in his career, but that backstage, Romero was really nice to him.
Eli Drake Firing
Eli Drake was let go from Impact last month via email, with the blame falling on his insistence to not perform in an intergender match.
According to a source, there was also a situation cited where Impact's writers felt Drake had disparaged them on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, when he said that they "booked him into oblivion" after not being figured in to many plans. That, added to the Tessa Blanchard situation, and Drake mentioning in a tweet that Killer Kross would destroy Jordynne Grace in a real fight, led to Impact Wrestling severing ties with Drake.
Originally Moose was actually set to take on Tessa Blanchard, but balked at the offer and the Blanchard vs. Drake match was advertised before the participants were made aware. Drake then supposedly made it clear to Impact that he had no desire competing in the intergender match, which set forth the chain of events. This didn't help Drake, who was said to have had heat with management -- specifically Scott D'Amore -- since the new regime took over.
We're told that Drake had actually informed the company that he wouldn't be re-signing with them back in January, and his contract status became well known in the weeks that followed. Drake publicly spoke about his deal with Impact coming to a close at the end of May, but we're told that Impact is attempting to lock him down in a one-year non-compete.