A former WWE Superstar has claimed that the company was known to “blacklist” performers for bringing up a particular subject.
Jake Hager signed with WWE in 2006 and moved to the main roster two years later. Under the name Jack Swagger, the star debuted on ECW before appearing on both SmackDown and Raw. During his WWE tenure, the star won the ECW Championship, the World Heavyweight Championship as well as the United States Title. Swagger also won Money in the Bank back in 2010.
Hager was released by WWE in 2017 and headed out onto the independent circuit before joining AEW in 2019.
Did WWE Blacklist Stars?
During an appearance on Story Time with Dutch Mantell, Hager discussed his WWE run with his former on-screen manager. While reflecting on his time with the company Hager stated that he was told to never talk about contracts or unions. The subject of a ‘wrestlers union’ has been heavily discussed for decades, but such an organisation is yet to properly come to fruition.
Hager claimed that WWE were so against the idea that they would backlist wrestlers for even mentioning it.
“While I was there, that was like the four-letter that you never [don’t say it] yeah. They were like, ‘don’t talk about your contract and don’t talk about anything having to do with a union.’ Otherwise, you’ll get blacklisted,”
Hager went on to say that he had seen someone blacklisted who tried to “get people together,” although he stated he couldn’t remember exactly who it was.
Back in January, it was revealed that huge changes could be coming to the structure of WWE contracts. The report stated that the United States Federal Trade Commission was attempting to ban businesses from utilising non-compete clauses, something which WWE has historically used extensively.
The proposed rule would make it illegal for an employer to:
- enter into or attempt to enter into a non-compete with a worker;
- maintain a non-compete with a worker; or
- represent to a worker, under certain circumstances, that the worker is subject to a non-compete.
Importantly the rule would apply to independent contractors and anyone who works for an employer. WWE have famously insisted that their talents are “independent contractors.”
H/t to Sportskeeda