Contracts in wrestling

Hey Scott,
I was wondering about contracts in wrestling, particularly in the WWF/WCW/ECW era where talent would jump ship at the end of their contracts and it would be big news. Has there ever been an instance where another promotion actually BOUGHT OUT a wrestler's contract in order to bring him to their promotion rather than wait for his contract to run out? It happens in soccer all the time and I'm guessing in other sports too. Did Vince/Bischoff/anyone else ever buy out a wrestler's contract? Does the option to do so exist? 

Also, has a wrestler even been so willing to leave a company before his contract runs out that he performed poorly on purpose so as to get his wish?

Thanks

Well, in 1997 Shawn Michaels whined a LOT about wanting to go to WCW and join the nWo, but no matter how badly he tanked it and messed around he was never going to be let out.  Kevin Nash supposedly tried a similar tactic in 99 once he lost his job to Russo.  It doesn't seem like a very effective tactic.
As for buyouts, no.  Even if they could pay out the money end, standard contracts in both promotions had a 90-day no-compete clause anyway.  There have been cases of promotions letting people out of a contract, like Davey Boy and Neidhart after Montreal, but that's a rarity.  Plus TNA and WWE sharing contract information with each other turned into a lawsuit last time it happened, so I wouldn't hold your breath.  

Contracts

Hey Scott,       Long time fan, read all the books, etc.  I have a question about contracts in wrestling.  It is understandable that the three biggest companies of the last 25 years or so, WWE, WCW and TNA would make sure their signed talent can’t just jump to another promotion if they are unhappy. However, the smaller promotions, specifically ECW and Ring of Honor do not do this.  WCW cherry picked Mysterio, Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Raven, Sandman and Mike Awesome, who was the World Champion at the time!  WWE grabbed Austin, Taz and all three Dudleys.  For ROH, WWE grabbed Punk, Bryan, Claudio and Tyler Black, who like Awesome, was the champion of the entire promotion.  TNA grabbed Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness.  My only guess is that these smaller promotions cannot have the same protection because they cannot guarantee the pay on a contract, similar to Bret’s situation with Vince in 1997.  What are your thoughts?

Hey, WCW was the first company to really do guaranteed contracts in general.  WWF had to follow suit because otherwise they’d lose all their talent to the guaranteed money in WCW, but the smaller promotions have never really worked on much more than a handshake deal.  There’s really no reason for a company like ROH to sign guys to long-term deals because they can’t support someone full-time, and if they can’t pay the contract than it would cost them more in legal fees to go to court with it than it was worth to them.  I think ROH does limited deal type of contracts now, but I haven’t talked to anyone from the new regime in a while so I don’t know the details.  But really, if someone gets snapped up by WWE, it’s not going to hurt them too much because their entire business model is DVD and word-of-mouth anyway and everyone is replaceable.  TNA does contracts because they basically have to, otherwise WWE would raid them up and down just to fuck with them. 

Contracts

Hey Scott,       Long time fan, read all the books, etc.  I have a question about contracts in wrestling.  It is understandable that the three biggest companies of the last 25 years or so, WWE, WCW and TNA would make sure their signed talent can’t just jump to another promotion if they are unhappy. However, the smaller promotions, specifically ECW and Ring of Honor do not do this.  WCW cherry picked Mysterio, Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Raven, Sandman and Mike Awesome, who was the World Champion at the time!  WWE grabbed Austin, Taz and all three Dudleys.  For ROH, WWE grabbed Punk, Bryan, Claudio and Tyler Black, who like Awesome, was the champion of the entire promotion.  TNA grabbed Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness.  My only guess is that these smaller promotions cannot have the same protection because they cannot guarantee the pay on a contract, similar to Bret’s situation with Vince in 1997.  What are your thoughts?

Hey, WCW was the first company to really do guaranteed contracts in general.  WWF had to follow suit because otherwise they’d lose all their talent to the guaranteed money in WCW, but the smaller promotions have never really worked on much more than a handshake deal.  There’s really no reason for a company like ROH to sign guys to long-term deals because they can’t support someone full-time, and if they can’t pay the contract than it would cost them more in legal fees to go to court with it than it was worth to them.  I think ROH does limited deal type of contracts now, but I haven’t talked to anyone from the new regime in a while so I don’t know the details.  But really, if someone gets snapped up by WWE, it’s not going to hurt them too much because their entire business model is DVD and word-of-mouth anyway and everyone is replaceable.  TNA does contracts because they basically have to, otherwise WWE would raid them up and down just to fuck with them. 

Contracts

Hey Scott,       Long time fan, read all the books, etc.  I have a question about contracts in wrestling.  It is understandable that the three biggest companies of the last 25 years or so, WWE, WCW and TNA would make sure their signed talent can’t just jump to another promotion if they are unhappy. However, the smaller promotions, specifically ECW and Ring of Honor do not do this.  WCW cherry picked Mysterio, Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Raven, Sandman and Mike Awesome, who was the World Champion at the time!  WWE grabbed Austin, Taz and all three Dudleys.  For ROH, WWE grabbed Punk, Bryan, Claudio and Tyler Black, who like Awesome, was the champion of the entire promotion.  TNA grabbed Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness.  My only guess is that these smaller promotions cannot have the same protection because they cannot guarantee the pay on a contract, similar to Bret’s situation with Vince in 1997.  What are your thoughts?

Hey, WCW was the first company to really do guaranteed contracts in general.  WWF had to follow suit because otherwise they’d lose all their talent to the guaranteed money in WCW, but the smaller promotions have never really worked on much more than a handshake deal.  There’s really no reason for a company like ROH to sign guys to long-term deals because they can’t support someone full-time, and if they can’t pay the contract than it would cost them more in legal fees to go to court with it than it was worth to them.  I think ROH does limited deal type of contracts now, but I haven’t talked to anyone from the new regime in a while so I don’t know the details.  But really, if someone gets snapped up by WWE, it’s not going to hurt them too much because their entire business model is DVD and word-of-mouth anyway and everyone is replaceable.  TNA does contracts because they basically have to, otherwise WWE would raid them up and down just to fuck with them. 

Contracts

Hey Scott,       Long time fan, read all the books, etc.  I have a question about contracts in wrestling.  It is understandable that the three biggest companies of the last 25 years or so, WWE, WCW and TNA would make sure their signed talent can’t just jump to another promotion if they are unhappy. However, the smaller promotions, specifically ECW and Ring of Honor do not do this.  WCW cherry picked Mysterio, Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Raven, Sandman and Mike Awesome, who was the World Champion at the time!  WWE grabbed Austin, Taz and all three Dudleys.  For ROH, WWE grabbed Punk, Bryan, Claudio and Tyler Black, who like Awesome, was the champion of the entire promotion.  TNA grabbed Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness.  My only guess is that these smaller promotions cannot have the same protection because they cannot guarantee the pay on a contract, similar to Bret’s situation with Vince in 1997.  What are your thoughts?

Hey, WCW was the first company to really do guaranteed contracts in general.  WWF had to follow suit because otherwise they’d lose all their talent to the guaranteed money in WCW, but the smaller promotions have never really worked on much more than a handshake deal.  There’s really no reason for a company like ROH to sign guys to long-term deals because they can’t support someone full-time, and if they can’t pay the contract than it would cost them more in legal fees to go to court with it than it was worth to them.  I think ROH does limited deal type of contracts now, but I haven’t talked to anyone from the new regime in a while so I don’t know the details.  But really, if someone gets snapped up by WWE, it’s not going to hurt them too much because their entire business model is DVD and word-of-mouth anyway and everyone is replaceable.  TNA does contracts because they basically have to, otherwise WWE would raid them up and down just to fuck with them.