Professional Wrestlers

Discussion in 'Orangebloods.com's Classics' started by Leonidas05, May 10, 2011.

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  1. Leonidas05

    Leonidas05 Well-Known Member
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    Watching the Wrestler on Fx got me thinking how much do these guys make. I always thought they made decent money, but it seems like they stick around forever. Guys like Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, etc seem to never retire.
     
  2. MaestroHorn

    MaestroHorn Ack! Pfffffft! Ack!
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    Don't know the figure, but I heard the "bad guys" make 3 times the good guys.
    Posted from wireless.rivals.com[/URL]
     
  3. tip3411

    tip3411 Well-Known Member
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    Big names probably make over $1 million a year easily. The average wrestler still probably makes anywhere between $100-500 grand.
     
  4. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    The top guys in the business, Undertaker, Michaels, HHH, etc. Make easily over $1 million on their downsides, and then the get about two dollars for every item of merchandise sold, points off the pay per views, and a percentage from house show gates. Without including money from Wresltemania, a dude like John Cena makes about $3.5 to 4 million. If you add money from WM, you can add half again that amount.

    The guys on the independent circuit make tons less. A marquee name such as Christopher Daniels or AJ Styles has a fee they charge. Usually, it's $500 to $1000 plus expenses, depending on the promoter and event. On the indy scene, being affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance helps. The NWA World title means more cash in your pocket.

    Japan used to be a helluva good place to make cash. "Gaijin" such as Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, and Abdullah the Butcher could make top money. Brody used to make $14,000 per week for a six week tour, plus expenses. These days, if an American pulls $5000 per week, he's doing pretty good.

    In the old days, it was about who drew the meat in the seats. Dusty Rhodes could sell out the Eddie Graham Sports Complex in Tampa, so he would get 10% of the gate, minimum. His foe could expect about half that. Heel or face status meant nothing.

    Hope this helps.

    Cg
     
  5. mackryan08

    mackryan08 Well-Known Member
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    Brock Lesnar when he was with WWE had an enormous contract.
     
  6. Snook29

    Snook29 Well-Known Member
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    Do the wrestlers pay out of pocket for travel expenses from city to city?
     
  7. Her costar in the beaver picture

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    Except those guys are always going back and forth between being good and bad.

    I don't know the exact numbers, but it's just like acting. The big names make more money. Some of them do really well. And I think the contracts are structured similar to pro athletes' contracts are structured. X years for Y dollars per year, etc.

    One of my teachers is the doc for WWE. I'll ask him if he knows anything about how much these guys make. I am curious now.
     
  8. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    Againn, that depends on your status. Michaels, 'Taker, Cena, and the other top hands usually have expenses written into their contracts. Mid-carders liek Santino Marella, R. Truth, the Divas, and Justin Gabriel pay their own freight. Mick Foley wrote in "Have a Nice Day" that he used to stay in the crappiest hotels and drive wherever he could to save money.

    Like I said, the big names in the indies will usually ask for expenses as part of their regular fee. The local boys and ham and eggers are lucky to make 50 bucks a show. Usually, they make less.

    Most of the rank and file guys have day jobs and wrestle because they love it.

    Cg
     
  9. EastTXHorn

    EastTXHorn Well-Known Member
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    My family had a fried who was a professional wrestler in the WWE and his contract was over 3 million per year.
     
  10. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    if that was his guarantee, then he had to have been wrestiing in the '80's and 90's, when McMahon was competing with Ted Turner for even the most mediocre talent. Kevin Nash, two months into his WCW contract, and after the start of the NWO angle, held up Eric Bishchoff for an extra million on his guarantee so he'd be making as much as the top 1 percent of WWE's talent.

    These days, the guarantees are about 3/4 of what was being thrown around in the crazy days. The marketing percentages are more generous, though.

    Check out Dave Meltzer's industry newsletter, "The Observer." Very insightful. I got mentioned in there a couple of times when I used to be a tv announcer for a wrestling company.

    Oh, and just so you'll know, the "million dollar" battle royals and tournaments are paid out in Monopoly money.

    Cg
     
  11. Esoteric2112

    Esoteric2112 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, there is such a huge difference even between headliners and midcard talent. But when I was on tour the headliners made $$$$$$$$. Of course this was in the late 90's.

    Mike
     
  12. bebenoit

    bebenoit Well-Known Member
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    Caldonna,

    Are you either Vince McMahon or Eric Bischoff?
     
  13. moosehead

    moosehead Well-Known Member
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    Caldonna,

    Do you think Jimmy Snuka will ever be brought to justice?
     
  14. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    If you are talking about the hotel room incident from 1983, where his "girlfriend" was found dead under suspicious circumstances, then no. Too much time has passed, there wasn't enough to charge him back then, and that case is pretty much closed. I don't know of anything else he might have hanging over his head.

    Look, I was simply answering questions about how much wrestlers make. I have been a fan of wrestilnlg, boxing, combat sports, and amateur wrestling since I was a little boy. I was involved in the business in some way for 18 years, from helping assemble the ring, being a go-fer for the boys, ring announcing, and ultinmately booking and television announcing. I've watched how promoters operate and how they pay the guys (and try not to pay them). I've also been a reader of/contributor to the industry newsletters for that long. I'm not blowing smoke.

    I can also safely say that, as much as I love some of the people in the locker room, I hate the business in general. When one of my studetns asks me how he can break into wrestling, I tell him to go to college first. Then he has something to fall back on if/when the industry breaks his heart.

    Cg
    This post was edited on 5/11 9:06 AM by caldonna
     
  15. tjhookem

    tjhookem Well-Known Member
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    caldonna......fascinating stuff. Would love to hear more if you are willing to share anything.

    My favorite was always Rick Flair. When I was a kid we'd go see Abdullah the Butcher and all those guys. My buddy shot the documentary involving Terry Funk....I forget the name of it. Amarillo had a bunch of wrestlers for some reason.
     
  16. Gaylord_Focker

    Gaylord_Focker Well-Known Member
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    Guys that hang around too long either can't manager their money or miss the limelight.
     
  17. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    Maybe some time we can get together and swap stories...

    "Beyone the Mat," by the way, is a helluva documentary. Your buddy should be very proud of it.

    Terry and Abby are two of the real characters in the busienss. So was Dick Murdoch...Karl Kox...Sheik. Bill Watts is a horse's ass. Mad Dog Vachon is a hoot.

    I remember Gary Hart telling me that Flair could make $10,000 in one night, and spend $12,000 partying. He was "Space Mountain," Gary said, and had an image to keep up.

    Eddie Guerrero was a dear, dear friend. I still miss him.

    Didn't mean to hijack...
    Cg
     
  18. jpj927

    jpj927 Say no to BBQ
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    I too would also love to hear more stories caldonna. This is a very enjoyable thread because of your insight.
     
  19. Crit1402

    Crit1402 Rather Large Member
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    WOW! Some crazy stuff. I could sit around and talk stories about this stuff all day.
     
  20. atllonghorn

    atllonghorn Well-Known Member
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    I think it's a little of both, plus it's just a very different kind of lifestyle. Being on the road basically 52 weeks a year, performing for a live audience, etc., it's just difficult to settle down after that. What would you even do with yourself? From what I've heard, Mark Calloway (The Undertaker) and some others just geniunely love it, too. If you have a body that's durable to the wear and tear, why not?
     
  21. Esoteric2112

    Esoteric2112 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah Mark certainly does not need the money. I remember talking to him and Peter Senerchia about IRAs and 401Ks while we were getting ready for a show one night.

    Mike
     
  22. cochbawls

    cochbawls What a time to be alive.
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    Esoteric, if you don't mind me asking, what was your ring name? I was a huge wrestling nut back in the day.

    Caldonna, my father used to run into the Guerrero all the time way back when.
     
  23. tjhookem

    tjhookem Well-Known Member
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    I was friends with Dick Murdoch's son when we were kids. I saw him recently but didn't ask about wrestling or anything like that.

    I wish I would've made it to the Sportatorium in Dallas back in the day. I saw the building when I first moved to Dallas around 12 yrs ago and it brought back memories of watching it on TV. It's definitely a sad story on the von Erich's. One of the daughters fought at Ticket fight night years ago......she was pretty hot.
     
  24. Esoteric2112

    Esoteric2112 Well-Known Member
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    I wasn't a wrestler. I was an electrician/moving light programmer on the WWE RAW/Smackdown tour back in the day.

    Mike
     
  25. cruelbutfair

    cruelbutfair Winning is better than losing
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    Yeah, I went to high school with Mark and he is a college educated (basketball scholarship) guy. I know he has done very well for himself and has started a church/ministry in Austin. We reconnected on Facebook recently after many years.
     
  26. cujo0622

    cujo0622 Well-Known Member
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    I remember you said you were from the valley...any chance you are related to tito santana???
    Posted from wireless.rivals.com[/URL]
     
  27. WellDoneOrange

    WellDoneOrange Well-Known Member
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    All I know is Hulk Hogan may not be a great wrestler but he's an awesome face as well as heel. Some wrestlers can only pull off one.
     
  28. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    No, I knew Merced through his cousin, Aminta Cavazos, but we weren't friends.

    Funny thing about Taz talking 401-k's...that guy could pinch a penny so tight Lincoln would scream in pain.

    The Sportatorium was one of the all-time toilets when it came to a wrestling arena. No air-conditioning, trough urinals, and lousy food. But that place could rock when the Von Erichs and the 'Birds were in the ring.

    Quick story about Murdoch: I met him when I was up in grad school in Michigan. He and Funk had a match with Abby and Sabu in Taylor, and they tore that place down. All the front row chairs were in the ring, tables were destroyed, and someone had brought a canoe paddle to the show that Terry broke across Abby's back (oooooh, the big man was pissed about that!).

    My friend Dom and I were walking back to our car after the show, and who shold be sitting on the trunk of a Saturn rental, but Captain Redneck. He had the trunk open, and there was a cooler full of Lone Star beer in the trunk (I still don't know where the hell he found Lone Star in Michigan). We stopped to talk to him, and he asked, "You boys want a beer?"

    I didn't drink beer, but I wasn't going to say no to him. We each took a can. Murdoch opens his and quaffs the whole can in one gulp (not the Steve Austin style, either, but the WHOLE CAN). He crushes the can, reaches for another, looks at us and says, "Godd*mmit, boys! Don't you know how to drink beer?"

    He downs that one, and then another. Terry is walking out of the arena at that point, his head stitched up. Murdoch gives him the keys, looks at me and winks.

    "Be careful where you put your p*cker, son!"

    Sounded like good advice.

    Cg
    This post was edited on 5/11 12:33 PM by caldonna
     
  29. Esoteric2112

    Esoteric2112 Well-Known Member
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    Yup, when we were in their home towns, some of the guys would pick up the tab for dinner for the crew from time to time. When we were in NYC, Tazz took us to McDonalds (and only that after the other guys ribbed him really hard for never taking anyone out). I used to love listening Dewayne Johnson tell stories. He had some good ones about his life at the U.

    Mike
     
  30. darrenj

    darrenj Well-Known Member
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    I had read somewhere that Steve Austin made more than anyone ever has in the WWE due to his merchandising contract being him getting half of every piece of merchandise sold with his likeness. In 1 year he made over 12 million dollars. He was the only one ever to get that type of contract the article said. I love these stories as i grew up watching the Von Erichs wrestle and had a high school friend named Bill Golberg make it pretty darn big for a few years! Thanks for everyone sharing!
     
  31. caldonna

    caldonna Well-Known Member
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    Goldberg was on of the guys who got the high hard one because of Hall, Nash, and Hogan. Goldberg was huge, just huge. Hogan worried about losing his spot to "The Man," so he talked Bischoff into booking an angle where Goldberg dropped the WCW title to Nash, and then Nash did the infamous "finger poke" job to Hogan. Then, they essentially froze Goldberg out of a title chase angle by moving Hogan to another program, and setting up 'Berg with Hall and Nash.

    The end result was that they started the demise of WCW. Everyone wanted teh match with Hogan, but no one ever got it.

    BTW: Hall is in pretty bad shape. His alcoholism is way out of control, and he od'ed on Soma a few weeks ago. It does not look very good for him.

    Cg
     
  32. chips con queso

    chips con queso Well-Known Member
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    Greatest wrestler of all-time

    Koko B. Ware

    [​IMG]
     
  33. WellDoneOrange

    WellDoneOrange Well-Known Member
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    It's a shame about Scott Hall. That guy was awesome. He never even got to hold a world title.
     
  34. KTroot

    KTroot Well-Known Member
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    I hung with Mark Henry back in 1991 when he was at ACC and training on the UT campus for the olympics. Very cool dude.
    I ran into him and his crew at Sugars right after he signed with the WWE. He bought us lap dances all night.

    I remember going to Gregory Gym with Mark and he would dunk a basketball. the most amazing thing i have ever seen.
     
  35. Baron King

    Baron King Well-Known Member
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    I grew up in an apartment complex with the Iron Sheik and Ivan Koloff. Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell from the Boston Celtics also lived there in the NBA offseason. I used to play pickup basketball with them and whenever Cornbread and Ivan were on the same team I'd call them "Corn-Bear". All were great guys.
     
  36. jpj927

    jpj927 Say no to BBQ
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    This thread just kicks ass, thanks everyone. Keep em coming if ya got them.


    And in honor of Scott Hall.....HEY YO!!!
     
  37. Gaylord_Focker

    Gaylord_Focker Well-Known Member
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    Seemed like Goldberg wasn't as into it as many. WWE tried though, they had him go over the Rock and hbk I think.
     
  38. PBR_StreetGang

    PBR_StreetGang Well-Known Member
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    Caldonna, any experience with the Von Erich family back in the 80s? Grew up watching WCCW. That seemed like it was just a cursed family.
     
  39. laidbackex

    laidbackex Well-Known Member
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    Many years ago, Ernie Ladd quit pro football to wrestle. He said he could make multiple times more wrestling than he could playing football and he was an all-pro DT.
     
  40. Esoteric2112

    Esoteric2112 Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, Hall was always in trouble. I remember the stage manager running around many nights trying to find him. Once he at a concession stand buying a beer.

    Yeah, I find it kind of funny that some of the best bookers in the business tend to be the most hated guys. Then you get guys like Arn Anderson who figure "how hard can this be" and end up screwing things up royally for the next guy.

    Goldberg had no ring skills though. He couldn't sell anything and got so lazy (admittedly he wasn't required to do much when he first got in the biz) that he would get pissed if he was actually asked to work in a match.

    Mike
     
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