You talked about how Drew is making more money in the indies than he could back with WWE. How is it? I just assumed that the minimum for WWE was high enough that most guys would stick around even if they weren’t moving up rather than have to book night-to-night for lower pay.
So after all those "independent contractor" expenses, how much do the bottom guys make with WWE? And how much do average to top indy guys make?
The problem with WWE is that unless you’re a tippy top guy, it gets expensive. Yes, the guarantee is better (around, say, $100,000 a year for a "normal" guy on the roster, just as a fake number) but WWE typically only pays for your air transportation. That still leaves:
3. Assorted healthcare
4. Steroid bills
6. Maintenance costs for gear and sundries
It’s a lot of little things that add up and WWE won’t cover because that would make you an employee. Plus taxes for being an "independent contractor" are much worse than being an employee, as I understand it. Indy bookings aren’t guaranteed, but a Rey Mysterio or Cody Rhodes can ask for anywhere from $2000 – $10,000 per show and book 7 shows a week if he wants to. Plus promoters will typically pay for your transportation if they want you bad enough and a lot of times spring for the hotel. Have a good night selling your shit at the merch table and you’re way ahead on the WWE deal. Obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but Dolph Ziggler could be making SO MUCH money on the indies and he’s wasting his time doing jobs for Apollo Crews on house shows, for example. Drew Galloway is specifically in a great position because he’s super in-demand in the super-hot British scene right now and could just stay there for a long time working night after night for top dollar. Basically if you’re a bottom tier WWE guy, you’re probably best staying put because it’s guaranteed, and once you make it past a certain level of stardom then Vince takes care of you anyway. But for the sweet spot of wasted midcarders doing nothing and spending thousands on hotels per year? Totally worth it.