Those were likely part of it, but what appeared to be the cause was her refusing to turn over her Twitch account to WWE corporate.
Her most recent subscriber count is around 14,600, and with the 50/50 Twitch split, that means she’s pulling in about $36,500 a month just from subs alone, not including some of the other things that Twitch has that adds additional money.
But just subs alone from twitch has her at just shy of $440,000 a year.
She was signed before AEW was a thing, so it’s pretty likely that her contract wasn’t anywhere near that.
Since she was making more from her third-party work than she was with WWE, likely she felt that WWE’s sudden stupidly constrictive policy wasn’t something she was interested in adhearing to.
She continued streaming and opened her OnlyFans account after WWE’s change in policy took place, and I don’t blame her.
WWE was basically telling her to cut her income by more than half, give all of her Twitch income to the company, have Twitch becoming part of her job, and have no additional pay since her “share” of the Twitch money would count towards her downside guarantee (minimum annual salary).
So rather than earning $440,000 on top of her WWE pay in her free time, she would be earning her WWE pay while WWE took its split of the money and Zelina’s “share” of the money was basically money that WWE didn’t have to pay her out of pocket anymore.
And this is before anything else is taken into account.
They fired her for non-compliance with their new policy regarding supplementary income, or a new interpretation of existing language in her contract.
WWE’s moneygrubbing towards Twitch and the like appears to have shown a spotlight on the whole “independent contractor” farce that’s only held up for so long because it’s never been legally challenged.
But now there are significant outside forces, like members of the incoming Biden administration and the Screen Actors’ Guild, that have taken notice about WWE’s shady practices.
Vince McMahon’s definitely overstepped his bounds this time.