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independent contractor

Scott,

A follow up to my Union question.

We all know how now the independent contractor classification is abused today, but do you know when this started? The observer recaps give several cases where WWF wrestlers were allowed to book themselves with small promotions without tv (which should theoretically be what independent contractors are allowed to do), but it seems at some point Vince didn’t want his people working for anyone else period. Then there are those cases where Vince ( or HHH) uses someone without having them under contract (such as Luger in 95 and James Storm in NXT), seemingly bending the WWF’s rules for using (or at least pushing) wrestlers (whereas it wouldn’t matter for a local jobber just being used for a few matches like what they were doing with Brauny).

Other note, how did WCW classify their wrestlers? During the bischoff era they seemed taken care of mostly even if they weren’t used (hello Lanny Poffo), but then you had management like Bill Watts trying to force cheap per appearance contracts or encouraging talent to quit, which suggests those might have been independent contractor contracts (with some freedom to book themselves elsewhere like Japan or Mexico).

Any info you can provide would be appreciated on this.

The term seemingly started in the 70s as a tax dodge for Vince SR and other promoters at the time. The WWF never really dealt in contracts as such, it was mainly Jim Crockett who pioneered that idea, as well as Verne Gagne. Typically contracts weren’t exclusive, though, as that was a product of the TV era and companies needing to protect their investment.