For an independent wrestler, hours on the road can often lead to years traveling and working towards that holy grail: a talent contract. Many wrestlers will lose money traveling to work shows in hopes of catching on, getting noticed and (eventually) getting signed.
The goal for most is a WWE contract, complete with a downside guarantee, a WrestleMania bonus check, and the dream—a cut of your merchandise. Next on the priority list you’ll typically find TNA, where a first contract typically doesn’t include guaranteed money. But the exposure and ability to list a worldwide, multi-million dollar wrestling promotion on your resume are a fair trade off for most.
Some independent wrestlers might not sign with one of the “big leagues” but might put ink to paper on a contract for Ring of Honor or Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE. And there’s also the possibility of a contract with a promotion in Japan.
While it’s the job of the wrestler to continually improve and become a wrestler the WWE or TNA can’t turn away, it’s the job of the promotion to identify, sign and develop talent.
With the WWE and TNA signing wrestlers to developmental contracts and Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA/EVOLVE signing the top remaining independent talent, there are but a few “diamonds in the rough” remaining on the circuit. But with these seven, you could start one heck of a company…