A union in professional wrestling has been a controversial topic for decades. From Hulk Hogan preventing Jesse Ventura from unionizing the WWF locker room to the more recent efforts of Andrew Yang attempting to convince wrestlers to unionize, there has yet to be a successful movement in the industry. During a recent interview with Howie Mandel on the "Howie Does Stuff" podcast, AEW’s Chris Jericho weighed in on the prospect of a wrestler’s union and its viability while discussing the relatively low percentage of royalties wrestlers receive on merchandise.
"There’s no unions for wrestling, which is kind of crazy because we’re on TV," Jericho said. "It’s not [the Screen Actors Guild]. … And that would be the only way it could ever be unionized, is if SAG stepped in to do it." From there, Jericho began to get into the reasoning behind the questionable success of a union in pro wrestling. "Wrestling started as kind of a carny type of a sport in the 30s," Jericho stated. "I just think it’s one of those things that has never caught up, for whatever reason."
The Ring of Honor World Champion then shared a small amount of personal insight into what a union would mean for the business, without getting into specifics. "A union would be good in some ways, I’m sure," Jericho continued. "And probably hinder you in other ways, which is why probably they don’t want to get into it."
Jericho is far from the only wrestler to talk openly about unionization in recent years. WWE’s Zelina Vega notoriously tweeted about the need for a union shortly after being released by the company (although she was later re-hired). Additionally, former AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes previously shared his belief that a union would not work in the current wrestling landscape of the business.