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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 07:16 pm
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tamalie
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Here is a link to a spreadsheet showing the contract details of the WCW roster effective 5/23/00. This originally was made public during the second and more significant WCW anti-disrcimination lawsuit filed by Sonny Onoo, Bobby Walker, and others. It would be interesting to see the equivalent document from the same time of year in 1998 and 1999. By 2000 WCW was already in cost cutting mode and had moved some big salaries off the books.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/282738951/WCW-Talent-Contract-Database#download

Here are a few of my thoughts on the contracts.

If you look at the list, you'll notice a column near to the right called "Cycle Period (Months)". If my understanding is correct, it means that at the end of the cycle, WCW could terminate the contract. For some wrestlers that number was "0" such as Bill Goldberg, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Lex Luger, the Steiner brothers, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall, basically guys you'd expect although WCW found its way out of its deals with Hart and Hall. However, some guys lower down the ladder had "no cut" contracts as well such Rey Mysterio Jr., Bam Bam Bigelow, Curt Hennig, Bobby Walker, Shane Douglas, Ernest Miller, Terry Funk, Kimberly, Alex Wright, and Tank Abbott.

In the case of Hennig, his deal was about to expire. I think Walker got his deal as a result of the first and less remembered anti-discrimination suit against WCW. Terry Funk had a six month deal that called for $4,000 per appearance and the same amount as a PPV bonus, but with no guaranteed amount of dates and thus no guaranteed salary. The WWF was interested in buying Alex Wright's contract when it acquired assets from WCW, but begged off due to Alex having a fully guaranteed deal without a get out cycle. It wasn't willing to pay him a guaranteed pro-rated $395,000 for the rest of 2001.

Some other interesting items.

- Mike Rotunda was signed to a new deal effective 10/12/98-01. I get that WCW was signing lots of vets at that time, but why did it do this? He wasn't used much apart from the short lived Varsity Club revival and was kept on even after that died and WCW started cost cutting.

- Ric Flair signed a new contract effective 2/16/00-03 for $500,000 per year. It also called for him getting what appears to be an additional $4,000 for every house show, $5,000 for every TV shoot, and $12,500 for every PPV. He also had unspecified performance bonuses and was paid for PR appearances (not everyone was). Despite the extras, that is way lower than comparable names were making when we look strictly at the base. The cost cutting had begun when he signed his new deal. What was he making on the previous contract? Randy Savage's deal expired a couple of weeks beforehand and he was told the days of guaranteed million dollar deals were over and departed after failing to agree to a new contract. Perhaps he was offered what Flair was and said no.

- Meng's deal for $180,000 annually was due to expire two months after this report was generated. It said a new deal was pending, but they put him on a per appearance deal instead which enabled the WWF to scoop him in January of 2002 when he was WCW Hardcore Champion.

- Sid came aboard during the final days of big contracts. He got $800,000 per year and PPV bonuses of $50,000 in year one, $55,000 in year two, and $60,000 in year three. The deal was effective 6/9/99-02. His contract had an out for WCW annually. By the time 2001 ended, WCW was no more, and Sid's broken leg had effectively ended his career. Did AOL-Time Warner use its get out clause on that last year for $800,000 or did they pay him, perhaps out of fear of a lawsuit?

- Buff Bagwell's contract expired the day before the final Nitro. So he was a free agent when the WWF signed him to be part of its planned WCW revival.

- DDP was in the final year of his contract, effective 2/2/99-02, when he took a buyout to go to the WWF. His contract called for $1,350,000 in that last year. Given when he took the buyout, he probably had a prorated $1,125,000 remaining give or take a few bucks. Does anyone know what he accepted as a buyout from AOL-Time Warner and what he made in the WWF during that timeframe? It would be interesting to compare the numbers.

- Jeff Jarrett made the jump effective 10/18/99-02. His contract called for base salaries of $275,000, $300,000, and $325,000. He had a $30,000 signing bonus, a PPV bonus of $7,500, and if he went above his maximum number of contracted days, he'd get $2,500 per appearance for the first additional 70 days and $3,000 per appearance from day 71 onward. WCW could get out of the deal annually. I have to say, was this really better than staying in the WWF? Yes he got a push, probably figured he'd get his deal bumped up once WCW got turned around, and no one really believed WCW would ever fold in the fall of 1999, but even with a WWF downside lower than his WCW guarantee, the WWF looked like the more stable and better money making gig.

- To show how things changed in four and a half months, Dustin Rhodes signed effective 6/2/99-02 for salaries of $500,000, $600,000, and $700,000 annually. Compare that to Jeff Jarrett's deal.

- Roddy Piper signed a new deal effective 3/3/99-02 that had an ascending pay scale of $700,000, $750,000, and $800,000. His deal was fully guaranteed. His contract called for 51 days at the most (6 PPVs, and 45 others and he must have 60 days notice prior to an appearance meaning no calling him on Sunday to tell him to be at Nitro the next evening). That base wasn't as much as the guys like Sting or Nash, but he also worked fewer days than anyone.

- Most of the Nitro Girls got next to no money apart from Kimberly and had to be working other jobs.

Last edited on Thu Oct 1st, 2015 07:24 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 07:48 pm
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martini
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I wouldn't say the Nitro girls got next to nothing. They did get a $500 fee for every event and were paid for PR apperances.

Granted, it wasn't "wrestler" or valet money, but they could pull a decent coinage and made much more than they would as a NFL cheerleader.

Plus, WCW paid for their trans, IIRC.

So, if they made all the Nitro tapings - and most of them did - they averaged $41,000 a year.

I can't remember if they were on Thunder or not. If they were, there's an extra $500.

Not bad for working two or three days a week.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 08:27 pm
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Jarrett actually had a pretty sweet deal, he got paid an average of $300K per year, and only had to work 115 dates total per year. Every date over that got him between $2500-$3000, and at 180 dates he had to approve of the bookings. If he did 300 dates per year, he made more than $800,000. And he had the freedom to turn them down. It's maybe not as much as a guy like Scott Hall, but his contract paid him well for the work required.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 08:52 pm
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tamalie
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The problem for Jeff Jarrett was that as WCW collapsed, the number of dates the promotion booked dramatically shrank, to the point that by the end it ran virtually no house shows and took to taping Thunder right after the live Nitro shoot ended instead of taping it on the following evening. If we look at year one of his contract, 10/18/99-00, he worked 121 dates by my count, so that's an extra $15,000. He had the $30,000 signing bonus. He worked 11 of 12 PPVs and would have worked all of them if not for an injury. Assuming he wasn't paid for the PPV he missed, that's another $82,500. So adding it all up, Jeff Jarrett appears to have made $402,500 in that time period unless there is other money such as merchandise that must be factored in. I'm betting he expected to make more and that he would have had he remained in the WWF given how on fire the promotion was in that timeframe and his place in the mix (no main events, but strongly placed in the midcard).

Last edited on Thu Oct 1st, 2015 08:53 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 09:50 pm
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martini
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tamalie wrote: The problem for Jeff Jarrett was that as WCW collapsed, the number of dates the promotion booked dramatically shrank, to the point that by the end it ran virtually no house shows and took to taping Thunder right after the live Nitro shoot ended instead of taping it on the following evening. If we look at year one of his contract, 10/18/99-00, he worked 121 dates by my count, so that's an extra $15,000. He had the $30,000 signing bonus. He worked 11 of 12 PPVs and would have worked all of them if not for an injury. Assuming he wasn't paid for the PPV he missed, that's another $82,500. So adding it all up, Jeff Jarrett appears to have made $402,500 in that time period unless there is other money such as merchandise that must be factored in. I'm betting he expected to make more and that he would have had he remained in the WWF given how on fire the promotion was in that timeframe and his place in the mix (no main events, but strongly placed in the midcard).
Realistically, I don't see any problem with making $400K in a year for a company that's about to go bankrupt with a light work schedule.

I believe Jarrett might've made about the same amount had he stayed with WWF once all was said and done because I don't think they ever would have made him a main event talent.

The biggest deal for Jarrett is he lost the money he could've earned had he stuck around with WWF through the early part of the 2000s.

Of course, if he does that, there's not TNA and one has to wonder who else would've stepped up to try to fill the void left when WCW went under.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 05:20 am
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I don't understand the DDP love, never will



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 Posted: Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 05:24 am
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Franchise wrote: I don't understand the DDP love, never will
I have read on several sites that Bischoff and Page were good friends and regularly swapped wives. I suspect the big WCW paychecks were Bischoff's way to pay for Kimberly Page's services.

Last edited on Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 05:24 am by Big Garea Fan

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 Posted: Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 09:04 am
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Kimberly was also the instructor and manager of the Nitro Girls. They worked with her to schedule and all the ladies. During WCW's peak those girls were working a ton of dates. Not only did they do TV's but they were doing all the first day ticket sales and tons of other media appointments.

In some ways I'm surprised this same gimmick hasn't been used by WWE. They made more good ambassadors to the product similar to cheerleaders for Football teams.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 11:28 am
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Matt Farmer wrote: Kimberly was also the instructor and manager of the Nitro Girls. They worked with her to schedule and all the ladies. During WCW's peak those girls were working a ton of dates. Not only did they do TV's but they were doing all the first day ticket sales and tons of other media appointments.

In some ways I'm surprised this same gimmick hasn't been used by WWE. They made more good ambassadors to the product similar to cheerleaders for Football teams.

it was one of their better ideas really.  one of the things that gave it a different vibe from its own recent past and from the Wwf

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 Posted: Sat Oct 3rd, 2015 08:03 pm
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For a company that was in a spiral, that's a lot of names under contract for bodies that were not being used.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 4th, 2015 09:48 pm
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Horace Hogan's contract was just absurd. It's good to know people!

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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2015 07:40 pm
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Arnold_OldSchool wrote: Horace Hogan's contract was just absurd. It's good to know people!
Just ask Lanny Poffo.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2015 10:27 pm
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srossi wrote: Arnold_OldSchool wrote: Horace Hogan's contract was just absurd. It's good to know people!
Just ask Lanny Poffo.

Or David Flair.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 5th, 2015 10:31 pm
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martini
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CanadianHorseman wrote: srossi wrote: Arnold_OldSchool wrote: Horace Hogan's contract was just absurd. It's good to know people!
Just ask Lanny Poffo.

Or David Flair.

Nepotism is a powerful thing.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 6th, 2015 01:03 am
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martini wrote: CanadianHorseman wrote: srossi wrote: Arnold_OldSchool wrote: Horace Hogan's contract was just absurd. It's good to know people!
Just ask Lanny Poffo.

Or David Flair.

Nepotism is a powerful thing.

I'm sure it's not original but in the TV & Film industry we say it's all about " who you know and who you blow ". 



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