WWE Rumors: Latest Details on Wrestlers' Contracts and Bonus Pay

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 1, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 11:  WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Paul "Triple H" Levesque speaks at a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was announced that WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will face heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and WWE champion Brock Lesnar will take on former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Following the retirement of Vince McMahon, a big change has reportedly been made regarding the contracts of WWE talent.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), WWE Superstars no longer receive bonus pay for premium live events or other factors, which is a departure from when McMahon was WWE chairman, CEO and head of creative.

Meltzer noted that it is possible that top stars like Roman Reigns will still receive some bonuses from events or merchandise sales, but for the most part, a wrestler who signs a $1 million contract is only going to make $1 million and nothing extra.

McMahon officially purchased WWE from his father in 1982, and he remained head of the company for 40 years before making the decision to retire in July at the age of 76.

His retirement came amid a scandal, as McMahon was being investigated by WWE's board of directors for allegedly paying multiple women millions of dollars in hush money to remain quiet about sexual relationships and encounters they had with him.

In the wake of McMahon's retirement, a new power structure came into balance. McMahon's daughter, Stephanie McMahon, was named chairwoman and co-CEO, while WWE president Nick Khan was elevated to co-CEO as well.

McMahon's son-in-law, Triple H, took over as head of creative and was also named vice president of talent relations.

It is unclear if the elimination of bonuses was a decision made solely by Stephanie McMahon, Khan and Triple H, or if things were already trending in that direction before Vince's retirement.

Prior to the launch of WWE Network in 2014, WWE relied heavily on pay-per-view revenue, as viewers paid to watch each of their major events. WWE Network changed that by allowing fans to subscribe for $9.99 per month and get access to every pay-per-view through that subscription.

That significantly lessened the share of money WWE performers could get from pay-per-views, and it is even less now, as essentially all premium live events air only on Peacock in the United States.

The change from pay-per-view to a subscription model changed the payment structure in a significant way, and Meltzer's report suggests it has now gotten to the point that WWE Superstars aren't sharing in those profits at all.

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