Earlier tonight, we told you about WWE releasing Zelina Vega minutes after she tweeted about supporting unionization for wrestlers. As we suggested, however, the two were related but not direct cause and effect. According to PWInsider, Vega found out about the release, then made the tweet. WWE put out its own announcement about her release afterward.
The real reason Vega was fired was over her opposition to WWE taking over her Twitch account. Vega did temporarily stop streaming at the end of October but continued posting to her OnlyFans page. She’s also been extremely critical of WWE’s actions on social media and had been flirting with the idea of unionization for weeks. WWE recently ordered all of its wrestlers to cease streaming on Twitch so that they could instead do so under WWE’s banner. The catch: due to the way most WWE contracts work, WWE would end up keeping all the money, despite already making record profits this year.
Vega took to Twitter after WWE announced her release to say, “I want to say thank you all very much for the last 3-4 years @WWEUniverse, it was incredible. I would have never have been able to say “this is for you dad” if certain people did not believe in me. I love you all and I couldn’t have done it without your support.” She also invited fans to check out her Twitch stream, which she will now return to.
Meanwhile, Paige, who has also been openly critical of WWE’s Twitch policy and continues to stream against their wishes, tweeted, “This sucks..” And Ryback, who has been very critical of WWE since leaving the company, called for a boycott. “Now is the time to hit @wwe and @vincemcmahon,” said The Big Guy. “Stop watching their product and show them who has been in charge all along. #BlackoutRaw #BlackoutSmackdown #BlackoutNXT #FuckWWE” Ryback, if people haven’t stopped watching it by now, they’ve all pretty much got Stockholm syndrome. I can tell you this from my years of experience reporting on the comics industry and fans’ refusal to quit Marvel or DC, no matter what atrocities they engage in.
Mike Bennett, who was one of the dozens of WWE stars laid off from the company earlier this year at the start of the pandemic, echoed former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s threat to investigate WWE over the practice of unfairly classifying its wrestlers as independent contractors while treating them like employees or worse, saying, “This generation of wrestlers won’t stand for the bullshit. One man will not make a fortune off our broken backs anymore. What’s wrong @VinceMcMahon, you feeling the heat from that Biden win? Tick Tock.” Bennett tagged Yang in a follow-up tweet.
Zelina Vega has the typical 90-day non-compete clause in her contract, a clause that has also been called out as not very independent contractor like. If AEW is interested in signing her, she could join the company as soon as Revolution. Vega could also return to Impact Wrestling in February if she and they are interested.