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The W - Pro Wrestling - Superstars or Soap Stars?
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Stilton
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Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

Since last post: 3184 days
Last activity: 3184 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.50
We've all the heard the analogy that wrestling is like a soap opera for boys. I recently read an article that outlined the pay scale for actors on soap operas. It broke down this:

Newcomer: $60,000 - $100,000 This is their first contract role in the industry. On average, they work two days out of the work week. They may still be too "new" to get approached about public appearances.

Hunk: $100,000 - $500,000 This is usually their first job, but they have caught on like wild-fire with the viewers. They're featured on talk shows, in non-soap magazines, and can make up to $5,000 per public appearance.

Superstar: $500,000 PLUS They've been on soaps for more than five years, and are recognizable even to non-soap viewers. They're cast in movies-of-the-week as well as commercials, and are even booked on Letterman!

It struck me that the pay scale for WWE superstars is probably very similar, with the very top guys, with a lot of leverage, earning a little more.

But when was the last time Victor from Young and the Restless performed a flying huricanrana from the top turnbuckle? When was the last time a soap star broke his neck doing a scene with Susan Lucci?

Your average professional wrestler is not only an actor, but also an athlete and a stuntman, but their salaries are nowhere near commensurate with industry standards in any of these areas. I'm talking about the top-end of these industries, and let's face it, in Wrestling, the WWE is the top.

Now that Vince has monopoly in North America, the wrestlers have no leverage with which to negotiate their contracts. With monthly PPVs about to possibly become bi-monthly PPVs, the company will be pulling more revenue than ever before. Combined with weekly programming, house shows, merchandizing, publishing, etc... that's more than any individual professional sports team, I'd wager.

When a guy like A-Rod can sign a deal for $252 Million, obviously something's seriously wrong with Baseball's salary regulations, but our boys in the ring, with their constant traveling and risk of injury and unusual talents and millions of fans...well, they deserve better than soap stars, don't they?

(edited by Stilton on 3.3.04 0143)


So sayeth Randy Stilton.
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Potato korv








Since: 11.12.01
From: Valparaiso, IN

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.83
    Originally posted by Stilton
    It struck me that the pay scale for WWE superstars is probably very similar, with the very top guys, with a lot of leverage, earning a little more.


That's sort of how it works in every industry in the world. The people at the top make the most money.



Scott Christ
All them women gonna make me teach 'em what they don't know how.

Stilton
Frankfurter








Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

Since last post: 3184 days
Last activity: 3184 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.50
No doubt. I meant that the amounts per tier are probably similar in the WWE.



So sayeth Randy Stilton.
SC
Potato korv








Since: 11.12.01
From: Valparaiso, IN

Since last post: 1329 days
Last activity: 663 days
AIM:  
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.83
    Originally posted by Stilton
    No doubt. I meant that the amounts per tier are probably similar in the WWE.


I think they might be slightly lower than that now, actually. But I could be wrong. Where's Justin with his Dave numbers.



Scott Christ
All them women gonna make me teach 'em what they don't know how.

Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 67 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.86
    Originally posted by Stilton
    Your average professional wrestler is not only an actor, but also an athlete and a stuntman


Actually, they're athletes with marginal acting skills, and not stuntmen at all (at least, not the ones with careers that outlast the life-span of your average fruitfly).

I also think that the pay scale you gave for soap opera stars is a *little* high for most WWE wrestlers. I remember Edge being on OTR once saying that him and Christian were making something like $35000 a year when they first started. Of course, that's without the bonuses, but really, how many "Gangrel" t-shirts were they selling back then?


Tribal Prophet



Mild Mannered Madman
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Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

Since last post: 471 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
The low-end guarantees (Developmental guys, Paul London, & the like) are between 52 & 75k a year.

The biggest contracts are 1 million dollars. (Mark Henry, The Big Show)

Rock & Austin's contracts are/were for about 800k a year.

Benoit initially had the biggest contract of the Radicalz at around 250k a year.

Jericho's contract was for 300k a year. He's re-signed a new one in 2003, but I don't know the particulars.

Keep in mind, these are merely the downside guarantees, not taking merchandise and house and PPV bonuses into account.



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Stilton
Frankfurter








Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

Since last post: 3184 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.56
So it is fairly comparable with soap opera salaries, it seems. The merch money and PPV bonuses no doubt suplement the salary nicely, but I wonder about what economists call "surplus revenue", that is, how much money an employee makes for a company versus how much money that employee actually makes.

Compared to other professional "sports", wrestlers seem to be getting the short end of the stick. Or is it just that athletes in other sports are getting paid far too much?

Is it simply a matter of competition? A-Rod can get 252 million, because if the Yankees don't give it to him, another organization will? Because, at the level of WWE, there's nowhere else for the wrestlers to go. There's no way for them to say, I want more or else I'm going to the other team.



So sayeth Randy Stilton.
ShotGunShep
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Since: 20.2.03

Since last post: 2538 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.74
Some WWE stars get endorsments. Remember SuperSoaker DX commercials? Cena and YJ Stinger. Kurt Angle is endorsed by Maximum Human Performance (MHP). I'm sure there are lots of others as I only learned that Angle is with MHP when I randomly saw him in a page ad in a muscle magazine.

So factor that in.

And on top of that, and what soap stars are recognized by non soap fans. I certainly can't name any, but people know who Austin, the Rock, and Hogan are. Even if they have never seen a TV event.



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Bauerwurst








Since: 6.12.03
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Since last post: 3814 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.95
I believe Jericho makes $900k/yr (US) + bonuses now.



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