The ongoing debate about professional wrestlers' unionization has again resurfaced following recent comments by Konnan on his "K100" podcast. Known for his outspoken nature, Konnan strongly voiced his desire for two leading wrestling organizations, WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and AEW (All Elite Wrestling), to form a union.
Konnan's Plea for Wrestler Unionization
Arguing passionately, Konnan decried the industry's current state: "I would unionize the two big companies [WWE and AEW] because it's a shame. It's outright exploitative that we don't have pensions, don't get overtime, and lack workman's comp.
We are blatantly cheated in numerous ways." His words echo the sentiment of former Minnesota Governor and WWE Hall of Famer Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Back in the 1980s, Ventura called for unionization among professional wrestlers.
This push originated from his time filming "Predator," which led him to join the Screen Actors Guild. Unfortunately, Ventura's unionization efforts were abruptly stopped when Hulk Hogan revealed Ventura's intentions to Vince McMahon, the head of WWE.
The debate surrounding the classification of professional wrestlers as independent contractors continues to be a contentious issue decades later. This controversy was highlighted by Konnan's co-host, Disco Inferno, who expressed skepticism about the feasibility and desirability of unionization.
He pondered who would step up as the union leader and whether all wrestlers would support the idea of unionizing, stating, "I thought the system was fine the way it was set up." In a swift rebuttal, Konnan responded, "I didn't," effectively questioning the status quo.
He underlined the disparity between the treatment of wrestlers and other professional athletes, asking why wrestlers shouldn't receive pensions, just like their counterparts in sports like football and basketball. "If football players and basketball players get a pension, why don't we?" Konnan asked, intensifying the debate around the unionization of professional wrestlers.