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 Posted: Wed Dec 4th, 2019 04:50 pm
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srossi

 

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I don't know if this can be definitively answered, but I'd think right now, meaning 2019, there has to be more guys worldwide, and just in the U.S. too, making a full-time living at pro wrestling than ever before.  The territory system had maybe 25 guys in each region, often overlapping and circulating and there were scenes in Japan, Mexico, and Europe, but nothing like today.  I would venture to say that WWE currently has under contract between their 4 brands almost as many wrestlers who competed throughout all the territories full-time, and that's not counting the huge indy scene where a lot of guys don't need day jobs anymore.  And the women add at least 100 more jobs to the business.  

I remember reading the first PWI 500 in 1991, which was an awful year to launch such a project.  The business was down across the board, the territories had all mostly died, and there was no indy scene to speak of yet.  Even taking into account that PWI didn't yet cover Japan and Mexico and weren't very sophisticated in how they put the list together, it was still pretty bad that they had to stretch with guys like Bobby Heenan and Adnan Al-Kaissie to get to 500.  Today, they could probably do a PWI 1,000 and miss a few decent talents.     



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 Posted: Wed Dec 4th, 2019 05:14 pm
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Kriss
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I don't know if there is any good way to figure this out without literally going through carda and counting bodies. You may well be right. Back in the day, it was a different life. There were those who lived on day to day on their pay, basically living as wrestling hobos, with no fixed address or bills to pay. Just car rides and cheap motels. You can't do that these days, and no one is wrestling every day of the week. A lot of wrestlers back in the day only wrestled part-time. Undercard guys in many territories had day jobs and rarely visited other territories. A lot of people did double duty back in the day. The promoters, bookers, and often the referees, were also wrestlers. Today, though, I'd guess there are more "struggling artists" than there used to be. People pretending that they are full time professional wrestlers, but only wrestling once a weekend. If you couldn't get booked for the full week back in the day, you'd give up, or get a day job.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 4th, 2019 10:08 pm
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WongLee
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I certainly agree that there are more pro wres fighters today than ever before. Part of this is due to the proliferation of wrestling schools all over the place. Part of it is due to more indies than before. Part of it is due to no more kayfabe so anyone who thinks they want to try it can sign up at the local school similar to karate lessons. Gone are the days of Ole stretching you and then stealing 500 bucks out of your wallet. One thing I disagree with is that very very few of the guys out there are doing it full time.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 4th, 2019 10:40 pm
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carpetbeggar
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WongLee wrote: I certainly agree that there are more pro wres fighters today than ever before. Part of this is due to the proliferation of wrestling schools all over the place. Part of it is due to more indies than before. Part of it is due to no more kayfabe so anyone who thinks they want to try it can sign up at the local school similar to karate lessons. Gone are the days of Ole stretching you and then stealing 500 bucks out of your wallet. One thing I disagree with is that very very few of the guys out there are doing it full time.

Yeah, I'm not sure there are more working full-time than in the 60's 70's and early 80's.

And what constitutes being labelled a "wrestler" these days?

And what constitutes an "indie"?


Does that include backyard shit?


I think there are a lot of weekend warriors doing it for fun.


Jim Cornette has a point about there being a bunch of "cosplay" wrestlers around these days.


Also are there any companies that run seven (or even six) days a week anymore? (with some of those companies running three crews per night and double shots on some days.)

When is the last time that happened?

Last edited on Wed Dec 4th, 2019 10:42 pm by carpetbeggar

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 Posted: Wed Dec 4th, 2019 10:48 pm
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squishy

 

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Europe used to have like 400 active wrestlers per country and now we have like 40 (unless it's England or Germany). Of course they all have Twitter accounts with 2000 (or 2) followers each but when you're trying to book a show yet you have guys that the most they'll "wrestle" is like twice a month and for free then you can forget about Europe in general. Forget South America too because they used to have an active scene 50 years ago and now they have this shit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOMexW_WbQs
I don't know if America has more wrestlers than ever but they sure have more Twitter accounts than ever.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 6th, 2019 09:42 am
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Matt Farmer

 

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I would think in the US that might be possible. One a world-wide basis I don't think so.

Mexico for instance use to have so many wrestlers it was crazy. Weekends in Mexico City would have dozens upon dozens of shows and they had a territory system much like the US with stars of those territories.

Then you had countries like France, Spain, Italy, Greece and more that had major wrestling scenes as well. Wrestling was well established on all continents (except Antarctica of course).



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 Posted: Fri Dec 6th, 2019 02:14 pm
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beejmi
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Fewer places to work than in a long time

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 Posted: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 07:25 am
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BItterOldMan

 

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Not saying it's an original idea or thought but yes, there are more people who claim to be pro wrestlers and that includes guys who put on shows in their yards. As far as those who are making their living from the sport, there's no way you have more.

If you're not clearing $1000.00 a week then I don't think you qualify to call yourself a full-time pro wrestler (and by clear I mean after deducting all out of pocket expenses).

Am I setting the bar too high?

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 Posted: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 11:18 am
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Kriss
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BItterOldMan wrote: Not saying it's an original idea or thought but yes, there are more people who claim to be pro wrestlers and that includes guys who put on shows in their yards. As far as those who are making their living from the sport, there's no way you have more.

If you're not clearing $1000.00 a week then I don't think you qualify to call yourself a full-time pro wrestler (and by clear I mean after deducting all out of pocket expenses).

Am I setting the bar too high?


This is higher than the average US salary, which is around $800-$900 per week. There will certainly be guys on maybe as low as $500 per week, certainly after expenses, who would consider themselves pro-wrestlers. This would certainly be sustainable if they minimize their housing costs. Below that, there are also going to be guys with "normal" jobs, but the outside job is their second job, and wrestling brings in more money.

Also think about the opportunity to work. Is their much indie work to be had from Monday to Thursday? Back in the day, once you got into a territory, you pretty much had a full week of bookings.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 02:14 pm
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srossi

 

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Kriss wrote: BItterOldMan wrote: Not saying it's an original idea or thought but yes, there are more people who claim to be pro wrestlers and that includes guys who put on shows in their yards. As far as those who are making their living from the sport, there's no way you have more.

If you're not clearing $1000.00 a week then I don't think you qualify to call yourself a full-time pro wrestler (and by clear I mean after deducting all out of pocket expenses).

Am I setting the bar too high?


This is higher than the average US salary, which is around $800-$900 per week. There will certainly be guys on maybe as low as $500 per week, certainly after expenses, who would consider themselves pro-wrestlers. This would certainly be sustainable if they minimize their housing costs. Below that, there are also going to be guys with "normal" jobs, but the outside job is their second job, and wrestling brings in more money.

Also think about the opportunity to work. Is their much indie work to be had from Monday to Thursday? Back in the day, once you got into a territory, you pretty much had a full week of bookings.

Yeah $1,000 a week is nuts. There were well known names who between TNA and indies didn’t clear that but were certainly full-time wrestlers. Wrestlers live with family or with 3 roommates in a tiny shithole apartment just like everyone else who doesn’t make a lot of money. I would think that for anyone who isn’t ex-WWE or not named the Young Bucks, very few are making $300 a booking and they aren’t getting booked more than twice a week. So anyone who can do $600 a week before expenses is probably happy. And if you work at Wal-Mart like most of the country, you’d kill for that. 

Last edited on Sat Dec 7th, 2019 02:19 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 10:51 pm
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The Doc



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Less. However there are more gymnasts and stuntmen that call themselves wrestlers.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 11:37 pm
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srossi

 

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The Doc wrote: Less. However there are more gymnasts and stuntmen that call themselves wrestlers.
OK Boomer. 



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 Posted: Sun Dec 8th, 2019 03:41 pm
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The Doc



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srossi wrote: The Doc wrote: Less. However there are more gymnasts and stuntmen that call themselves wrestlers.
OK Boomer. 

Generation X actually.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 9th, 2019 06:19 am
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BItterOldMan

 

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srossi wrote: The Doc wrote: Less. However there are more gymnasts and stuntmen that call themselves wrestlers.
OK Boomer. 

Tell em, Millie! Go full SJW on his sorry posterior.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 9th, 2019 03:46 pm
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The Doc



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BItterOldMan wrote: Not saying it's an original idea or thought but yes, there are more people who claim to be pro wrestlers and that includes guys who put on shows in their yards. As far as those who are making their living from the sport, there's no way you have more.

If you're not clearing $1000.00 a week then I don't think you qualify to call yourself a full-time pro wrestler (and by clear I mean after deducting all out of pocket expenses).

Am I setting the bar too high?


Not setting the bar too high at all.  I helped out with a few of the regional indy promotions in my area.  Website writing, securing talent, etc.   We'd pay Bret Hart 6K and Ric Flair once 10K just to sign autographs.  Meanwhile the local talent was lucky to get $100 for a match.  Most just seemed happy to be on a show.  I guess you are still a wrestler, but not full time.  All the guys had full time real world jobs.

Last edited on Tue Dec 10th, 2019 12:54 am by The Doc

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