Chris Benoit’s contract renewal time period with WWE has come up and according to reports, his new offer was no where near the amount he was earning before. Many have compared this situation to that of Christian who made a decision to not accept a new deal with WWE when they offered him less money as well. Christian was not issued a 90 day no compete clause because his contract actually ran up.
It should be noted that with WWE’s new TV deal with USA blocking the chance to earn advertising revenue, it means there is less money to throw around inside the company. Because of this, top names like Chris Jericho (who walked away from the company for the time being) and Chris Benoit (who could be walking away soon) are no longer getting downside guarantees that they were getting just a few years ago in the $600,000-$900,000 a year range. Adding in the fact that with poor buyrates for Pay Per View events and low attendance at House Shows recently, the WWE isn’t very strong financially at the moment.
Because of this situation, WWE has been put in a position where they are now offering new deals at half the amount many workers were used to earning just a few years ago. This means workers earning in the range of $600,000-$800,000 a year are now being offered deals around the $180,000, $200,000 or $250,000 a year range. Some reports have even stated that Benoit’s new deal was possibly even under $200,000 in terms of a downside guarantee with the potential to earn more later that year. At this point, many workers who have been with WWE in the last few years or so that have saved their money well can either choose to re-sign, take time off or look at a deal with TNA that could be pretty close to what they would earn in a downside guarantee with WWE (although more potential is always there with a WWE deal in terms of a push helping to increase a downside guarantee).
It should be noted that Chris Benoit leaving WWE is purely RUMOR right now and some sources believe that he will re-sign as the market in Japan (the place he’d most like to go) isn’t all that good right now.
News Derived From: Wade Keller @ PWTorch.com