Following on from current WWE star JTG's Twitter rant against the company on Monday night, details have begun to emerge about the source of the wrestler's anger, as well as the overall lack of morale amongst WWE's lower card.
While JTG's candid outburst may have shocked many fans, it looks like this is an issue that has been brewing for quite some time.
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer discusses JTG's frustration and notes that there is currently a great deal of the anger from the lower card towards management, some of which is related to the low payoffs on one of the company's international tours.
What led to this appears to have been a number of things, all related to not getting a push and a lot of undercard frustration that got very strong of late. What started was when talent got paid for an international tour that went through Central and South America. They’re used to getting paid big on international tours, but the tour wasn’t that successful and the undercard talent all got $500 per night, which is a lot less than they expected.
Meltzer also pointed to the low payoffs from this year's WrestleMania as a factor in JTG's, and others', unhappiness:
The guys at the bottom level only got $2,000 for the week, which coming at the same time the company was bragging about it being the biggest money-producing show in pro wrestling history, was a surprise and led to a great deal of unhappiness.
While JTG did not wrestle at WM 28, nor did he appear on the pre-show, he still, as Meltzer notes, wrestled at that weekend's Axxess festivities and had to pay all his own hotel and travel expenses for the week, which may justify his anger.
Interestingly, Meltzer goes on to say that there was "strong union talk" within the company after the low WM payoffs came in. However, he doubts that it will come to fruition, mainly due to the numerous reasons a union has never happened in wrestling before (previous failed attempts, lack of a united locker room, the well-paid main eventers being unlikely to risk their spots to support such a venture, etc).
Throw in Zack Ryder's recent comments on Twitter, and you look to have one deeply frustrated mid- and lower card.
It will be intriguing to see where this story develops from here. Certainly, Meltzer is correct in noting that a union is probably not going to happen.
However, if the company's under-card banded together and demanded more money and better booking treatment, they likely could accomplish something.
After all, with Linda McMahon running for Senator in the state of Connecticut this year and already facing criticism for her company's treatment of wrestlers, WWE will almost certainly seek to avoid any bad worker-related publicity and appease any disgruntled employees.