WWE has faced a lot of scrutiny for their business practices lately. Fans have been awash in news of mass talent releases and unhappy employees. Xavier Woods and his UpUpDownDown team are on strike, since Woods is being paid nothing for his work on the show. It seems like the company has a serious problem with the way they treat their wrestlers.
Dave Meltzer went into the topic on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio. He said with the kind of revenues WWE brings in, there should be several millionaires on the roster. Instead, there are only a couple. The rest of the roster is underpaid compared to the value they bring to the brand.
“These guys, your average guy on the roster — realistically — your average guy on the roster should be making in the range of $5 million — and there are guys who make $5 million there, but you can count them on one hand. You know your Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar — maybe you can count them on two fingers. I don’t think there’s anyone else making $5 million. There’s a couple people who are making over $3 million. The point is that they are getting underpaid — Vince McMahon thinks they’re overpaid.”
Fan backlash against several strange practices like gender-specific age limits has been loud. Wrestlers are always looking over their shoulder, wondering if they’ll be the next released. New policies on planned talent firings and roster age limits have emerged.
With so many wrestlers jumping ship to AEW, at least some of the releases are blessings instead of a curse. The WWE schedule is brutal, especially if you’re being underpaid. For others, though, WWE was a life-long dream that can disappear just as soon as it materialized.
WWE continues to boast excellent financial reports every quarter. They’re making new business deals left and right. Their television rights fees alone bring enormous revenue to the company. At some point, the way talent gets treated in the promotion is going to come back to haunt them.
What do you think of WWE underpaying their talent? Let us know in the comments!