Kris Statlander knows a little something about how hard it is for unions to potentially work in wrestling.
Before she got into wrestling, Statlander worked as a stunt double, but couldn't enjoy the full benefit of SAG as she didn't have enough money for the fees.
Unionization in wrestling has been a talking point in recent months following Zelina Vega being released by WWE and her support of unionization. Vega said in November that she had "powerful conversations" with SAG-AFTRA.
Speaking during a Pro Wrestling Junkies Q&A, Statlander gave her thoughts on unionization in wrestling.
"With stunt doubling, you have to pay a lot of money to join SAG-AFTRA in order to work on TV and movies and I didn't have enough money at the time to pay for that, so I wasn't able to get a lot of work in doing that. Going from that to wrestling, it's very similar in the whole 'fight scene' aspect, but believe it or not, stunt doubling is a lot safer than wrestling," she said.
Statlander continued, saying why she doesn't think unionization in wrestling won't work.
"It wouldn't be just the major companies -- it's not like there is one big company that owns wrestling. To have just one person set the rules and boundaries, even now, there are states where you need a license. The business is what it is and how it's been. Every wrestler fancies the idea of getting benefits and set pay, but a lot of people don't want it to be their job for life. With SAG-AFTRA, you have to be eligible to be able to apply to join the union. The way I know is that you need three union jobs working as an extra or getting a speaking role. Once you're eligible, there is the union fee, the initiation fee is like $3,000, and not every wrestler is going to have $3,000 to join a union. It's not feasible, I feel, at the moment. It's a great idea and if wrestling were brand new and trying to establish all the set rules, it'd be a lot easier. It's hard to change something that's existed for so long," said Statlander.
Statlander has been out of action since June 2020 when she suffered a high-grade ACL tear.
Elsewhere during the Q&A, Statlander provided an update on her knee injury. You can find her full comments by clicking here.
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