WWE held their latest set of NXT tapings at Full Sail University on Thursday night, and the show was as equally newsworthy off-stage as it was on-stage. Chief among the rumors coming out of the NXT taping are those dealing with contracted talent pay.
PWinsder reports that WWE executives, including Senior Director of Talent Development Canyon Ceman, as well as several of the Performance Center coaches, were on hand to meet with NXT talent about their pay structure.
The report indicated that NXT talent was informed they would continue to be paid, according to their developmental contract only. This varies from the talent appearing on the main roster, who gets a downside guarantee as well as bonuses for show attendance, pay-per-view events and international tours.
Forbes revealed in March that many of the WWE talent make salaries into the six- and seven-figures.
“Last year Levesque [Triple H] made $1.1 million in executive pay, including incentives, plus another $1.65 million from in-ring performances. His total take-home of some $2.8 million made him WWE’s highest-paid executive last year; chairman Vince McMahon made $2.4 million.”
NXT sold-out The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York for their recent Takeover: Brooklyn show, headlined by NXT Champion Finn Balor’s title defense against WWE Raw star Kevin Owens in a Ladder Match. Performing on an event such as this leads to a main roster talent receiving a bonus, which is not the case for those performing on this show. The same will be in place when the NXT brand travels to the United Kingdom for a series of events in December.
While it would be easy to pinpoint this as an unfair practice, the report revealed that the NXT brand operates at a loss, forcing the company to pull money from other revenue streams to keep it running. Due to the lower salary being provided to NXT talent, the company also pays for their travel expenses when they do go on the road, including the cost for hotel and rental cars. This is reportedly not the case for main roster talent, who has to cover their own expenses when on the road.
A later report from PWinsider revealed that some NXT talents were given raises that brought their downside guarantee into the six-figures, and that any NXT talent who works a WWE main roster event will receive a bonus for that show.
Also revealed through the reports was the fact that NXT talents do make money for merchandise sales. There were recent reports that unsigned talent Leva Bates, who appears in NXT as Blue Pants, had fallen under scrutiny by other NXT talent for her ability to increase her fees outside of the WWE, as well as profit from selling her own merchandise.
The latest report also indicated that the WWE is staffing NXT’s Performance Center with fitness experts and nutritionists, as well as providing personal development education in financial management and professionalism. This reflects upon an investment the company is making in its younger talent, molding the future of the entire organization.
[Photo credit: WWE via YouTube]