wrestling / News

Ryback Talks About How WWE Negotiates With A Talent Whose Contract Is Expiring

January 16, 2021 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Ryback

– During a recent edition of Ryback TV, Ryback spoke with WrestlingInc.com’s Raj Giri about how WWE negotiates with talents who have contracts that are set to expire, including what tactics they use to get them to re-sign. Here are highlights, via Wrestling Inc:

On why it costs more to be a main roster WWE superstar: “The formula was if you were in development before you were traveling all the time, they would pay for your hotel and rental car for the first maybe three to six months so you don’t get an idea of the expenses. So, you really don’t understand how the road expenses are. Then, what they would do is offer you a new deal in that period. A lot of times, it was $150,000. It went up to $250 [thousand], somewhere in that range. What guys don’t realize, though, is they look at money and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s more than I make doing this.’ They sign that and then, they start paying for their hotels and rental cars. That’s why you see everybody riding together. It’s because they can’t afford to get their own. That money doesn’t go as nearly as far, but now, if you’re not traveling and you don’t have the rental cars and hotels five nights a week, your road expenses, food, and airports go down tremendously. So, you can stretch that money out a little better, but it’s not… you can make more than that in regular jobs.”

On how many times he renewed his contract in WWE: “Well, I always did three-year deals. It was Nexus as well and I was on developmental, still, with Nexus. I stayed on that one with my injury. They just kept me on that, where I went in a hole and I owed them all this money. When I came back, they weren’t paying me. I was working off the money I was paid when I was injured for a year-and-a-half. Then, we re-did the contract as Ryback once, and then, two was when I walked out. That was for another three-year deal on that, but I’ve signed multiple contracts over the years because of developmental or the two different stints in developmental. So, I think there have been four or five in total. Maybe four and then, the fifth one was where I turned it down and walked out.”

On WWE’s negotiation tactics: “Yeah, that was where I walked out on. They put the IC Title on me and literally, that week, brought me in to negotiate my contract. Literally, they do things for a reason. The money was super low. I think it was a $50,000 a year raise from what I was already at. We went back and forth on figures and whatever it was – it ended up being $1.65 million for three years. That wasn’t horrible, but I wanted way more still. That was when they wanted to sign over everything I already trademarked. I said no because I knew what I was getting already and I wanted to do the supplements and the feedmemore.com. That’s where I quit talking and walked out.”

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Ryback, Joseph Lee