WWE officials have reportedly paused promotions and pay raises for employees.
As noted on Friday, it was reported by Fightful Select that a “major meeting” was held with WWE employees, not wrestlers or talent, where they were told that the company would not be provided promotions, bonuses or raises moving forward. The meeting reportedly ended with several employees upset, and low morale. It was noted that the meeting involved employees from production, the WWE offices and other departments, but not talent or wrestlers. Furthermore, it was then reported by @Wrestlevotes that wrestlers and crew members were very upet backstage at SmackDown as the level of “unhappiness and straight up anger” was at an all-time high. While no reason was given, it was said everyone from the wrestlers to the road crew were said to be “pissed off” and it was not making for a good look at the SmackDown taping.
In an update, PWInsider reports that WWE management informed employees and staffers in different departments that promotions and raises would not be given moving forward. The belief is that the decision was made over the last several weeks out of financial prudence stemming from the Q4 and Full Year 2020 earnings report that was released on February 4.
The new edict indicates that WWE employees would still be eligible to receive performance-based bonuses, depending on how they were doing with their job. It would prevent employees from being given promotions and official pay raises.
There is no word on how long the edict will last.
Regarding reactions to the edict, it was noted that given how so many WWE employees are currently doing the work of several people due to COVID-19 pandemic-related furloughs and departures, the edict was negatively received by those who were informed.
There are conflicting reports on what actually happened as far as a Friday meeting with employees goes. PWInsider’s report notes that there was not a “huge company-wide meeting to inform everyone at once,” but managers and supervisors of different divisions did individually hold meetings with their staffers throughout Friday. However, there reportedly was no kind of “across the board, all hands on deck” meeting to discuss the edict.
It remains unclear exactly why there were angry wrestlers and crew members backstage at SmackDown last night. It’s possible that the negative reactions to the employee edict made their way down the line to people working backstage, but that has not been confirmed or reported.
For what it’s worth, @Wrestlevotes later added that the unhappiness backstage at SmackDown was not related to anything creative.