Konnan Calls On AEW And WWE Stars To Unionize


Konnan is the latest wrestling legend to call for professional wrestlers to join together and form a union.

The question of unionization in professional wrestling has been debated for decades, with WWE Hall of Famer Jesse Ventura famously holding a locker room meeting on the topic before being thwarted by Hulk Hogan telling Vince McMahon about the situation.

Now, speaking on the latest mailbag episode of his K100 podcast, former WCW star Konnan expressed his support for the idea of unionization, saying it’s “highway robbery” that the wrestling business doesn’t offer benefits such as pensions and workman’s comp to performers who put their bodies on the line in the name of entertainment. In his mind, WWE and AEW wrestlers should band together to ensure protections for everyone.

“I would unionize the two big companies [WWE and AEW] because it’s a shame. And it’s f***ing highway robbery that we don’t have pensions, that we don’t get overtime, that we don’t have workman’s comp. There’s so many things that we get f***ed on.”

When his co-host Disco Inferno disputed the idea and said that he thought the old system was perfectly fine, Konnan replied:

“I didn’t. If football players and basketball players get a pension, why don’t we?” (h/t WrestlingInc)

Konnan Is Far From The Only Star To Call For Unionization In WWE

Speaking on a 2021 episode of Booker T’s Hall of Fame podcast, former WWE star Alex Riley also expressed his support for the idea of unionization in wrestling, saying it would give talent a stronger voice and give more people opportunities to make a career in wrestling.

“First of all, it would give the talent a stronger voice. That’s number one. So that just goes without saying. If things would be more balanced.

“I’m not trying to negate the fact that the person drawing the money at the gate gets the money. You give the star the money. That would make no, logical sense. But the people that are supporting, the people that are trying to climb and replace the star. Give them feet to stand on, give them something to push off of. Give them a pay structure and a belief system that allows them to stand on two feet and go after the main guy. New stars right? People that can stand on two feet have a family.”

Continuing, Riley noted his experience in professional wrestling, saying he believes giving new talent a foothold would be beneficial to the business as a whole.

“I spent ten years in that business, and I gave my life to it. And anyone who says otherwise, I’d have to have a conversation too. I worked my ass off there, I’m proud of the work I put in there. I really am. There needs to be a platform for the people that are not the stars, to stand grounded on two feet, know that their job is secure and reach as high as they can for the brass ring.

“I don’t want to get too much into contracts right now and the way they’re structured. It’s not for me to speak of right now. But I believe there is space in there to unionize, to allow for a more grounded, more opportunistic playing field to aim to replace the star in a fair, equal way. If you’re working for AEW, if you’re working for Reality of Wrestling, if you’re working for WWE, you should go there knowing you could be the next guy. You know what I mean?” (h/t WrestlingInc)