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Ted DiBiase Talks Royalties In WCW & WWE, Randy Savage’s Big WCW Contract

February 21, 2024 | Posted by Andrew Ravens
WrestleCon Ted DiBiase Image Credit: WrestleCon

On the latest episode of the Everybody’s Got a Pod, WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase talked about royalties from WCW, and WWE. You can check out some highlights below:

On Randy Savage’s $1 million WCW contract and whether he would’ve thought that kind of money could’ve been earned in wrestling: “It’s kind of like the old NFL and the new NFL. I’m sure there’s a lot of very old football players who were still alive — maybe not too many of them but like, back when the whole thing started. And talk about what they were getting paid. And when football season was over, it wasn’t like they could live off what they had earned. They had to go get a job. Or they had to work another job. Well, that’s the same thing with wrestling; that kind of money was almost unheard of, you know.”

On whether he got any of the money from NWO merchandise sales: “I don’t think so… and that’s that’s the other thing too. You know, I came at the very beginning. I was there when Hulk Hogan was still the guy. So this is years later, and having come out of having no contract, you know what I’m saying? To having to sign a contract, but there at the beginning, it was almost like you didn’t have anything to bargain with. There’s no way back then you could go, ‘Okay, Vince, I’d be happy to wrestle for you, but you’re gonna call me the Million Dollar Man, that’s how much money I want.’ And he’d have probably showed me the door…

“The thing is that WCW comes along, and now there’s competition. That’s the difference. And you know, I can’t remember exactly what my contract was for… I mean, it’s totally guaranteed. In other words, whether I was there or I wasn’t. It was almost like a no-cut deal. And this basically happened for me when I went to work there. And of course, Eric Bischoff, nice guy. But back then, he didn’t know squat about wrestling. And he’s the boss. You know, so he’s dependent on all these wrestlers basically to help him book the whole show. It was crazy. I mean, some of those meetings were insane. But, you know, he was able to offer the money to the guys because of Turner.”

On still getting royalty checks from WWE: “I still get a quarterly royalties check. Because they keep coming out with — you know, I haven’t had tights on for 30 years, right? And you know, they’re still making these new action figures that I see that the kids will bring in had me sign.”

On how wrestlers earned the most money on royalties: “Where most of us made the most money was — it’s on the form when you get your royalty check, and it lists — and that’s the other things. The percentages that we got there were ridiculously small. But anyway I still quarterly royalty check, and most of the money was made for most of us was what they call ‘electronics,’ the video games. The video games are the things that brought in the most money.”

On whether the merchandise money ever made him think about turning babyface: “I don’t know if I ever gave it too much thought. I mean, I was being paid well so. And again, the other thing with the Million Dollar Man character was — you know, first class airfare, limousines, all that stuff. It’s a tough job but somebody had to do it. Hogan and Andre were the only other two people that got that kind of treatment.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Everybody’s Got a Pod with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.

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Ted Dibiase, Andrew Ravens