Talent Wellness Program Summary
WWE’s top priority is the health and wellness of our Superstars. WWE performers are the company’s greatest asset – without our performers, WWE would not exist.
WWE Talent Wellness Program is administered independently by world renowned medical professionals and includes cardiovascular testing, ImPACT, testing for brain function, substance abuse and drug testing, annual physicals, and health care referrals. The performers are contractually responsible for securing their own insurance to cover everyday health maintenance and ailments. WWE does cover 100 percent of all costs associated with any in-ring related injuries and associated rehabilitation.
The company’s talent wellness program continues to evolve along with advances in medical science. The WWE Talent Wellness Program is unique in the entertainment industry and is considered to be as good as or better than the testing programs initiated by major sports leagues, government agencies and corporations.
The program has successfully identified health issues in our WWE Superstars that may never have been diagnosed if they had not undergone the various tests required by the program.
WWE implemented its Talent Wellness Program on February 27, 2006. The WWE Talent Wellness Program is administered independent of WWE by the following team of physicians:
Since its implementation, the Wellness Program has been refined and expanded to cover the following:
- Comprehensive Medical and Wellness Staffing
- Cardiovascular Testing and Monitoring
- ImPACT™ Testing
- Substance Abuse and Drug Testing
- Annual Physicals
- Health Care Referrals
Below is a summary of the components of the WWE Talent Wellness Program.
Comprehensive Medical and Wellness Staffing and Infrastructure
Dr. Joseph Maroon, WWE’s Medical Director, manages the Talent Wellness Program, which includes a comprehensive medical and wellness staff and infrastructure. Dr. Maroon’s responsibilities include the supervision of ringside physicians and athletic trainers, and the administrative oversight of medical care and drug testing for WWE talent. Dr. Maroon is a board certified Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh and has been the Team Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than 25 years.
Beginning in September 2007, WWE distributed its first rehabilitation assistance offer to all former WWE contracted talent. The goal of the initiative is designed to help any former talent that may have a substance-related dependency problem. The WWE distributes an annual letter to all former talent notifying them of the program and relevant details. In November 2014, 707 former talent letters were sent out. The WWE has a confidential hotline for former talent to call and seek admittance to a certified treatment center, with all expenses covered by WWE. In addition, the WWE maintains regular contact with talent who have entered a rehab program or reached out for WWE assistance. To date, 10% of former talent have accepted assistance.
Cardiovascular Testing and Monitoring Program
All WWE talent undergo an extensive cardiovascular stress test before they are offered a contract by WWE, and subsequently tested at least biennially while under contract (more frequently as and when circumstances warrant). Dr. Bryan Donohue, Division Chief of Cardiology at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside Hospital, and Senior Partner at Donohue Cardiology Associates, administers WWE’s cardiovascular testing and monitoring program.
Mandatory ImPACT™ Testing
All WWE talent undergo tests of brain function, including memory, processing speed and reaction time. Monitoring and analysis are done through the ImPACT™ Concussion Management Program, which is used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, US Olympic Training Center and in more than 400 colleges and 2,000 high schools.
To learn more about the WWE & ImPACT™ Concussion Management Program, please click here.
To learn more about the ImPACT™ Concussion Management Program, please click here.
Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy
The Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy prohibits the use of drugs by WWE talent for other than a legitimate medical purpose pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician. The use of masking agents and/or diuretics to conceal or obscure the use of prohibited drugs is also forbidden. For the full policy and a complete list of banned substances, please click here.
Dr. Timothy A. Robert, Ph.D., D-ABCC (Interim Program Administrator), of Aegis Sciences Corporation, independently administers the policy. Aegis provides drug testing for sports organizations, crime laboratories, corporations and universities throughout the world. Click here to learn more about Aegis Sciences Corporation.
Annual Physical Examinations and Blood Screening
The Wellness Program includes annual physical examinations and blood screening for all WWE talent. The examinations and screening are undertaken with a goal of identifying issues before they manifest into symptoms of disease, illness and/or injury.
Referrals to Consulting Health Care Providers On An As Needed Basis
WWE offers all WWE talent the opportunity for referral to qualified health care professionals who can help them with issues that may arise from time to time. Under the supervision of Dr. Maroon, WWE has established relationships with renowned specialists in psychiatry, orthopedics and endocrinology.
Profesional Development Summary
WWE’s Professional Development program for both Main Roster and Developmental talent focuses on four key pillars of development – Life Skills, Education, Wellness and Career Success.
- Life Skills: Provides talent with practical skills and solutions to manage their careers both in and out of the ring. Educational presentations and seminars help talent with decision making and the development of their personal brand.
- Education: Assists talent in reaching their full potential through programs that include financial education, college tuition reimbursement, language courses and media training.
- Financial Education – A partnership with Money Management International (MMI) is designed to provide talent with educational resources that offer them valuable financial insight to build a bright future. This includes budget counseling, debt control, goal setting, understanding financial values, saving, choosing a tax professional and choosing a financial advisor.
- Media Training – Provides talent with a comprehensive training program that focuses on understanding today’s media landscape, delivering key messages, tips and techniques for conducting interviews and the effective and appropriate use of social media. WWE’s Talent Media Training program is conducted in partnership with Kevin Sullivan Communications.
- Continuing Education – Offers tuition assistance to all active WWE talent for college level courses, certificate programs or language courses.
- Wellness: Through programs designed in collaboration with WWE’s Medical Team and Talent Relations department, talent receives relevant knowledge to aid their overall well-being and longevity. Seminars will provide information on living a healthy lifestyle as well as injury/illness prevention.
- Career Success: Designed to aid a talent’s progression within WWE and beyond, career success provides assistance to talent the NXT and main roster levels, as well as those transitioning to prepare for life after WWE. A comprehensive rookie orientation program provides new talent with all relevant WWE information, including wellness education, strength and conditioning, financial education, media training, social media and continuing education.
WWE also extends a Professional Development Program to former WWE Talent, and in some cases, their family members. This Professional Development Program aims to provide guidance and support beyond talent’s tenure with WWE.
WWE’s Professional Development Program for former talent focuses on two major initiatives- Financial Education and Continuing Education.
Financial Education: WWE has partnered with Money Management International (MMI), the largest non-profit credit counseling agency in the country, to provide free Financial Education to former WWE Talent and their immediate family members.
Continuing Education: WWE offers financial scholarships to former WWE Talent in the amount of $5,000 per calendar year to be used for obtaining a college degree or completing a certificate program.
To keep Former WWE Talent up-to-date with current WWE news, WWE distributes a digital “Alumni Newsletter” on a quarterly basis. The newsletter includes information on WWE news, archives, wellness, professional development and more.
WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated.
WWE’s ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE. Section 9.13(a) of the WWE booking contract, commonly known as the “morals clause”, provides WWE with broad discretion and authority to act under such circumstances.