Jesse Ventura went toe-to-toe with Chris Jericho on his television show The World According to Jesse on RT where Ventura specifically discussed the independent contractor status in professional wrestling.
Ventura, who decades ago pushed for a union in wrestling that never took off, grilled Jericho about it and asked if All Elite Wrestling will be changing the way things work.
Jericho originally went around the issue and said that right now it’s the best time for professional wrestlers as there are a lot of options around and if you’re smart and put money away you will be able to take care of yourself in the future. Ventura was having none of it though and asked Jericho how WWE and AEW keep getting away with it, adding that they’re violating the law and the governments let them get away with it.
Jericho admitted that the system is flawed in that respect and Ventura suggested that if AEW starts offering employee status and pay for healthcare, they will be able to steal half the employees from WWE.
“I’m a registered employee of AEW, there are inroads for that,” Jericho said. He discussed that he worked for WWE for 18 years and it was hard to leave because of loyalty and other factors but the AEW deal offered to him was better across the board, including healthcare and a better contract.
So far, AEW has not mentioned that it will give employee status to all their talent so it will be using the WWE model unfortunately. Jericho suggested that if they do, WWE would have to follow suit or start losing more talent.