A former WWE employee has claimed that there’s a culture of fear within the company, and they weren’t always “doing right” by talent.
In early 2020, writer Dan Ryckert announced that he would be joining WWE, where he would be working on a series of new podcasts.
However, during his time with the company, WWE underwent a period of great upheaval, with vast personnel changes both on-screen and backstage. In recent years a number of former employees have spoken of the challenging work environment within the company, as well as a difficult corporate culture.
Speaking in a new interview with MinnMax, Ryckert echoed those sentiments, lamenting a culture of fear backstage.
“There’s a culture of fear there. Everyone is afraid to rock the boat because there is a long history of that company of certain people up top, I bet you won’t know who I’m talking about. People get fired, people get fired on whims all of the time. I survived a bunch of waves of massive layoffs, I had several waves of bosses and bosses above bosses get laid off for two and a half years.”
During his time with WWE, Ryckert worked on the New Day: Feel The Power podcast. Ryckert revealed that WWE was under an obligation to produce the podcasts as part of numerous business deals.
“There were business deals in place where we were required to do a certain amount of podcasts. WWE was on the hook to make a certain amount of podcasts, so they have to make it. Otherwise deals go bad if you don’t hold up on your end, so they kinda had to have [them]. For instance, New Day was one of the podcasts.”
Continuing on, he hit out at the company for not always “doing right” by talent, before lifting the lid on the demise of the podcast featuring the New Day.
here were three podcasts that I worked on that saw the light of the day. The New Day podcast was the most successful one we had, and I’m not gonna go into specific issues or anything but I’m sure a lot of people know the issues with downside guarantees or talent not getting paid for stuff. There’s a lot of headlines that have gotten out in the past year or so about wrestlers with Twitch channels or Up Up Down Down. The company was not doing right by talent.
The New Day podcast, we stopped doing that because you’re on the hook to do a certain amount of podcasts with the business partner so it’s just like we’re just putting out ‘Best Of’s’ indefinitely, we’re just playing all of the old episodes.
It sucks seeing all the comments and stuff saying ‘When are you guys coming back?’ and none of us can say anything. Well there hasn’t been a new episode since September, or since Big E won the title or something.
I’m always so transparent, I feel like you should always be transparent with the audience and to not even be able to tell them like ‘Hey look, there is no plans for this thing to come back’. I don’t know if they’re gonna bring it back or I don’t know their plans going forward or anything but as far as we know, we technically have to put out x amount of podcasts so keep cranking out the’ Best Of’s.”
The New Day: Feel The Power hasn’t debuted a new episode since September 2021, although ‘Best Of’ episodes have been premiered regularly.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.