With WWE signing a billion dollar deal alongside FOX, lots of other platforms are starting to take shots at the company and the way they handle their employees. Like a circus act, the company is constantly on the travel grind. It is also important to note that at least contractually speaking, the talent isn’t considered to be employees of the company but instead, independent contractors. Unlike other sports leagues or companies, WWE doesn’t have a union to sort out such travel conditions or other types of concerns.
To McMahon’s credit, he is working on improving the situation. As he recently told Variety, WWE stars can take time off whenever they request it. The schedule doesn’t have to be as grueling as it seems.
Time off is cool and all, but at the end of the day, all the rules the employees need to follow can make things really stressful. In this article, we’ll take a look at 14 rules the talent need to abide by when on the road.
On the flip side, we’ll also include six rules enforced by Triple H with his talent down in NXT. Unlike the main roster, these rules are a lot easier to follow and for the most part, very stress-free. Maybe when the day comes and Triple H takes over, he’ll make some adjustments to these travel rules enforced by his father-in-law. Enjoy the article folks, let’s get started.
20 Vince McMahon - Commercial Flights For All When Shows Are Overseas
World Wrestling Entertainment has a lot of costs to take care of during shows overseas. McMahon and the company takes care of booking the hotels along with the ground travel. However, they aren’t bending over backward for other expenses like paying for a private flight. Back in the day, the company would use the private plane for such trips.
However, given how out of hand it would get on the plane, the company ended this form of flying. Wrestlers must now endure commercial flights overseas like the rest of us. We saw a glimpse of WWE stars in overseas airports most recently such as places like Australia and Saudi Arabia.
19 Triple H - Living Arrangements Must Be Near The PC
For those that get started with developmental down in NXT, the road life is a lot less challenging. Unlike the main roster that’s constantly on the move, NXT stays put in the same location whether it be at the PC in Orlando or at the location of the shows at Full Sail University located at Winter Park, Florida.
All Triple H really asks for is that the talent gets a place next to these two areas. Sami Zayn is an example of an NXT star that did exactly that. During the Chris Jericho Podcast, he recalled taking his bicycle to NXT’s Performance Center. Main roster talent wishes they can say the same.
18 Vince McMahon - Show Up Hours Before The Event
Per usual, WWE stars arrive at their destination on the morning of the show. You would think most have time to go to the hotel and relax a bit. If that’s what you think, you’re quite mistaken.
WWE stars are constantly crunched for time. McMahon expects the talent to arrive several hours before the show. Given WWE’s new creative policies, WWE stars are only finding out what they have to do once they arrive backstage. Given these travel rules, most WWE employees get off the plane, find a nearby gym, grab a meal and then head to the arena for the rest of the day.
17 Vince McMahon - Security Non-Existent During Travel
Vince McMahon and the WWE are able to get away with a lot given the verbiage of a WWE contract. Ultimately, WWE stars aren’t considered actually employees but instead, independent contractors.
Given this label, the talent has to do a lot of things independently, one of which is flying from city to city and back home. Unlike famous Hollywood stars, WWE wrestlers don’t have security teams following them in the airport. That’s a tough part of the job – just ask the likes of Sasha Banks and Randy Orton, two WWE stars that don’t enjoy being approached in airports.
16 Vince McMahon - Must Rent Your Own Car
Nope, WWE isn’t booking your rental cars. Given the size of the talent roster along with those working behind the scenes, it would be totally unreasonable to expect a company rep to book every single person a rental car or ground transportation. Once again, the independent contractor clause really helps WWE.
WWE stars are able to get back the costs of renting the cars at the end of the year, however, they themselves are totally responsible for the booking of the cars. Most WWE employees get this done after they book their flight, usually getting a rental at the airport. Baron Corbin was recently spotted by a fan doing so (via Twitter).
15 Triple H - Use Private Bus For Live Events
Life is a lot simpler for Triple H and the NXT stars. For the weekly NXT episodes, the talent simply takes their own cars to the show given that they live close to the taping studio. However, things are just as easy when NXT hits the road. Nevermind needing to rent a car like those on the main roster, NXT provides their young employees with a bus that brings them to the shows.
This is a great way to ease the wrestlers in and have them focus on improving the in-ring aspect as opposed to stressing over other things like renting a car for travel. As you can imagine, a lot of the current stars have a hard time leaving this life behind when it’s time to join McMahon’s main roster.
14 Vince McMahon - Traveling In Pairs Encouraged
Traveling is a lot more tolerable when you’re doing so alongside another wrestler. WWE encourages this system, especially when it comes to renting a car. Not only does it cut the costs for the WWE employees but it also creates an easier environment for the WWE star.
Given how fatigued they are after a show, it isn’t the worst thing to have a partner co-piloting you. As shown on the WWE Network show Ride Along, lots of WWE employees ride in pairs or even in trios. Factions New Day and The Shield (prior to Dean leaving) are examples of that.
13 Vince McMahon - Secretive Returns Get The VIP Travel Treatment
When it comes to secret returns, WWE goes the extra mile for the employee. An example of that was the Undertaker’s secret WrestleMania appearance last year at WM 34. WWE got Undertaker VIP accommodations along with booking his hotel. Taker’s hotel was booked outside of the city – though even that wasn’t enough as he was still caught by fans at the hotel.
The company did the same thing with Ronda Rousey during her debut at the Royal Rumble. Once they arrive at the arena, the returning wrestlers are kept in a trailer in order to keep it a secret – we saw that with the Hardys as well at WrestleMania most recently.
12 Vince McMahon - Executives That Travel With Vince Can’t Sleep
Some would consider it a dream to fly somewhere overseas inside a private jet alongside their boss. However, Vince McMahon is no ordinary boss and it can be quite stressful instead. The likes of Jim Ross and Jim Cornette made the claims that McMahon has some strict policies when traveling, one which includes executives not being allowed to sleep while on the road as it shows a sign of weakness according to the boss.
Of course, McMahon himself doesn’t sleep and he’s constantly in work mode. Heck, even on the weekends he has lengthy conferences with his writers over the phone. The guy is non-stop, 24/7.
11 Triple H - Show Up On Off Days
For main roster employees working with Vince, the last thing they’re thinking about during their off days is more work. Lots of WWE employees like to take it easy for the two or three days they have off.
However, for NXT stars, things are different. Given the proximity of the Performance Center, a lot of the employees are expected to put in overtime work. Whether that be hitting the PC’s gym or taking some extra bumps in the ring, new WWE recruits are expected to put in extra hours. None of Triple H’s employees have a problem with this as the goal in developmental is to constantly improve with all the top tier resources provided by WWE’s PC.
10 Vince McMahon - First Class Privileges Only To The Veterans
Vince McMahon tends to be quite loyal to those who show the same kind of loyalty, well, at least in a contractual sense. WWE does provide VIP accommodations to those that have stayed loyal to the brand, basically the veterans. The likes of Randy Orton and The Miz have flight and hotel accommodations covered by the company. This makes traveling a lot easier to manage.
Of course, this isn’t the case with the other WWE stars. Especially those arriving from NXT, they won’t get such contract perks till they reach a decade with the company. There are exceptions, of course, Ronda Rousey was given the full treatment because, well, she's Ronda Rousey.
9 Vince McMahon - Booking Your Own Flight
Unless you have this as a bonus in your contract, which most WWE stars don’t have, you’re in fact directly in charge of booking your own flights. Most WWE stars choose to reside in areas like Florida and Los Angeles, this makes flights a lot easier to book given the amount of volume these airports face on a daily basis.
However, there is a big portion of WWE stars that choose to live off the grid. Unsurprisingly, most of these WWE stars have VIP flight accommodations on their contracts. Randy Orton lives off the grid in Missouri, as does Miz residing in Austin, Texas along with Brock Lesnar who lives the furthest out in Saskatchewan, Canada.
8 Triple H - Take Commercial Flights Together For TakeOver Shows
Travelling isn’t as stressful for NXT stars. In the event that they do have to travel and take the plane, the talent does so together taking a commercial flight. It is quite convenient when everyone lives in the same area. Of course, this is an impossibility for those on the main roster living in various parts of the US.
This works both ways, however. Back in the summer of 2017, the NXT employees were stuck at the Orlando airport for 13 hours. It was a grueling trip to New York but at the very least, everyone got to suffer together.
7 Vince McMahon - Finding Gyms and Proper Nutrition Entirely Up To The Wrestler
Down in NXT, getting a good workout in is so easy, all you have to do is stop by the PC. The same can be said for nutrition since your home is nearby, food is a lot easier to consume along with knowing your surroundings.
On the main roster, that isn’t the case. Over time, WWE employees must get familiar with the certain areas they visit. When they do, finding gyms will become that much easier. In terms of nutrition, WWE does have a catering service prior to the show but it isn’t always the best dietary foods available. Again, WWE stars are required to fuel up on their own – a growing trend is bringing pre-made meals on the road.
6 Vince McMahon - Private Transportation Only On Overseas Tours
WWE stars do get private transportation but that only takes place during shows overseas. The company either gets a big bus that fits all the talent on the tour or, they get multiple buses for all the WWE stars.
As a WWE fan can imagine, having the entire crew on one bus can lead to some sticky situations. Former WWE star Enzo Amore was actually kicked-off the bus during a tour overseas for talking obnoxiously loud on his cell phone. A rule we really don’t even need to mention, WWE stars are required to act appropriately in these situations and all travel situations.
5 Vince McMahon - WWE Plane Only Used For Work Purposes
Back in the day, the company actually used the plane for shows overseas. Ultimately, McMahon changed his ways as things were getting a little too wild. Heck, Brock Lesnar almost put a wrestler through the plane’s door.
Nowadays, the plane is only used for work purposes and nothing more. Roman Reigns and Charlotte used the plane just a couple of years ago following their WrestleMania victories. They made a guest appearance on the Today Show and then headed back to the destination of RAW the same day.
4 Triple H – NXT Employees Can Refuse To Sign For Fans
As we discussed earlier, WWE stars don’t have security teams following them around in airports. Therefore meeting fans becomes that much more common. There isn’t any policy that states NXT stars must sign for all fans – in fact, NXT star Tommaso Ciampa refused to sign for a fan at the airport a couple of months back. When Ciampa asked for the fan’s name, the person refused.
This was the same person that had ten photos for Ciampa to sign. Ultimately, Ciampa walked away from the ordeal when the fan said that he was the one paying for his salary...
3 Vince McMahon - Book Your Own Hotel
WWE stars are responsible for booking their own hotels. Most choose to cut costs and get a hotel room as a duo. Usually, WWE stars drive to the next location after a show and get a hotel in that area. It isn’t easy being a WWE star, just imagine having to drive hours away after being at an arena for several hours – not the greatest feeling, surely.
Some WWE stars would avoid this aspect entirely. Just ask Mick Foley who would cut every corner. Mick would sleep in his rental car or even in some situations, bunk at the home of a fan for free.
2 Vince McMahon - Getting Time Off Isn’t Difficult
A major criticism towards the World Wrestling Entertainment product is the travel the company’s employees must endure. However, according to Vince and his recent interview with Variety, travel life can be a lot easier than most think. In fact, a wrestler can get time off by just requesting it;
“Anybody who wants time off can get time off. That’s easy. In addition to that, it’s easy to weave a talent in and out of a storyline. If they get injured, you’re not expecting that. Or if they have a family matter. Our characters are real people with real problems. It’s a revolving situation where this talent will work these dates, that talent will work those dates.”
1 Triple H - Be Ready For Extreme Changes On Main Roster
Everything taking place with NXT is meant to groom the wrestlers for the main roster. However, what they aren’t really groomed for is the rigorous travel life on the main roster. NXT stars must be ready for this once they are called up.
We’ve heard countless stories of new employees attending a show and basically being stranded once it came to an end without any type of transportation. NXT stars must be ready in advance – though as one might expect, adapting isn’t the easiest especially early on.
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