Professional wrestlers’ status as independent contractors is always a source of contempt for some. David Starr hopes to shape the wrestling world and his own legacy by helping wrestlers form a union.
On Wednesday, April 15th, 2020, WWE laid off several professional wrestlers in a cost-cutting measure as businesses begin to feel the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.
Speaking with Esquire, David Starr, an independent professional wrestler who has been outspoken about the importance of unionizing professional wrestlers, discussed why he feels now is the time to make a difference and how he feels pro wrestlers’ dreams are used against them in the long run.
Other major sports across the board, most of them have unions, and the revenue split towards what goes to paying athletes tends to be about 50 percent of the revenue,” Starr explains. “In WWE, about 10 percent of its revenue goes towards paying wrestlers. We sacrifice our own financial, mental, emotional, and physical well-being as workers to grab the brass ring of being a star, [and] in 2019, I realized that I would rather leave a legacy of helping my fellow workers than of great performances on the biggest stage,” he explains. “If it takes the sacrifice of one indie schmuck to help people, or to make people stand up for themselves more, that’s worth it.”
He continued, “The time is now, but now is always, it’s always now because labor always has the leverage; we always have the power if we stand together. Who fuckin’ cares, honestly, if you had the best match of the night? That’s so awesome, and I appreciate that, and I love the work and the performance art, but sometimes you have to put that aside for real life. People in the wrestling bubble need to understand that their love for wrestling and their desire to be on WrestleMania and all of that is being used against them so that they can be taken advantage of and exploited.”
The piece also features Deonna Purrazzo revealing how she found out she was released. You can view the full article by clicking here.