Facing mounting criticism from all corners due to the ban imposed on talent making money from third party services such as Cameo, YouTube, Twitch, and others, WWE issued a public statement to try and control the bad press its receiving.
“Much like Disney and Warner Bros., WWE creates, promotes and invests in its intellectual property, i.e. the stage names of performers like The Fiend Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Big E and Braun Strowman,” the statement reads. “It is the control and exploitation of these characters that allows WWE to drive revenue, which in turn enables the company to compensate performers at the highest levels in the sports entertainment industry. Notwithstanding the contractual language, it is imperative for the success of our company to protect our greatest assets and establish partnerships with third parties on a company-wide basis, rather than at the individual level, which as a result will provide more value for all involved.”
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer also added that there are rumors that Mark Carrano, the WWE Senior Director of Talent Relations, informed talent that WWE owns the rights to their real names as well, which would prevent them from changing their username to reflect their real name and continue operating as before.