Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter
In a cost-cutting measure, World Wrestling Entertainment is letting go of yet another wrestler from the “Tough Enough” contests. They released the bountiful Nidia back in November, co-winner of the first Tough Enough. Tough Enough 2 co-winner Linda Miles (Shaniqua) was released shortly there after, mostly due to attitude problems. The sultry Jackie Gayda was released in early-July along with her husband in a shocking move. And WWE finally gave up on the poster boy of Tough Enough as Maven was released in July as well. The latest Tough Enough castoff to be let go is none other than Tough Enough 2004 winner Daniel Puder.
Puder being let go is a salary issue and he wasn’t even making as much as some people thought he was. He had a $250,000, 4-year contract with WWE, so it could have been $250,000 over four years, not per year. Only the first year was guaranteed though. It was advertised as a $1 million dollar, 4-year contract by WWE when they made the contest, however, it is public fraud on WWE’s part and they can get it away it too with the fine print in the contracts they have the participants sign. So when it’s all said and done, Puder made between $50,000 and $75,000 for his one year under WWE contract. In comparison, Ashley Massaro will make $250,000 for her first year with WWE.
Despite Puder’s 5-digit salary, WWE still deemed it too pricey and so thus they are letting him go, and with 90 days to spare to coincide with the end of his one year guarantee with WWE, which expires in December. Puder has the option of accepting a developmental contract and transfering to the Georgia developmental promotion, however, he’ll only make $750 a week. That’s the same deal Tough Enough losers Ryan Reeves, Nick Mitchell and Mike Mizanin have. He has not yet made a decision on whether to accept the developmental deal or not as of last word, so there is a possibility he may stick around to train in the WWE minor leagues, but it’s not likely.
Puder was really, really close to being a part of the group of the 20 unfortunate talents to be let go by WWE back in July, but Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer and Danny Davis stuck up for him by saying that he wasn’t given enough time and that he was working hard on improving. He stuck around in OVW this past summer, but WWE has finally decided to just pull the plug on him and let him go. He may tryout for the next UFC “Ultimate Fighter” competition.