In the next few months, you can expect to hear more about some wrestlers making the decision to stay with WWE. AJ Styles, The Usos, Mike and Maria Kanellis and Mojo Rawley are some of the names that have signed new contracts in recent months.
So, why are wrestlers staying in WWE when there is an opportunity to make money in AEW and elsewhere? I am told that there were very generous contract offers made to current wrestlers and some of them are happy to take the money because it provides stability. Some wrestlers have come to realize that they are not likely to be signed by AEW because there are only a few slots open for former WWE stars.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson expected to leave the company within the next several months but I’m told that nothing is a given because Vince McMahon is willing to offer more money than ever to wrestlers in NXT and on the main roster and it doesn’t matter if you are on the bottom of the card or in a main event spot. The company is trying to prevent as many wrestlers as possible from leaving to avoid the perception that WWE had in the late 90s when so many stars left to go to WCW. It is working to some degree because two wrestlers I spoke to this week were considering their options elsewhere but they are now strongly considering staying with WWE.
I asked about Mojo Rawley’s contract. I wasn’t given specifics but I was told that he was given a very generous deal. Most of the new contracts being offered are for 5 years with a significant raise and that is enough for some people to stay in WWE even if they are not used much.
As much as we hear about people grumbling about not being on TV every week, not everyone is negative about this. I’ve heard from WWE wrestlers who are happy to take the paycheck while not working as much.
One wrestler told me: “At this point, it’s about putting money away for my family. I may never make this kind of money again so I thank AEW for raising the pay scale for everyone. I would love to have a bigger role but I will gladly take the checks and extend my bump card by not being on the road as much.”