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Financial Screw UP's


Guest Kenta Batista
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Guest Kenta Batista

I mentioned how TNA needs to do some spring cleaning of their roster and get rid of talent that is overpaid and brings NOTHING to the table. Now we can all throw on out smark hats and debate about the worth of guys like Nash,Steiner, Booker T, Lashley, and some others but one of the people that stands above them all is Jenna Morsca. She is the girl from Survivor and Dixie is a huge mark for the show. She is getting paid close to (if not) 500,000 dollars ( I think it might be more) for her services to TNA, however she has done NOTHING since her arrival and has added NOTHING to the show. Is Steiner,Nash,and Booker T overpaid? Its debatable, but those 3 have provided some good stuff for the company whether its insane promos, making the young talent look good, putting on good/interesting matches that are talked about, or whatever it might be.

 

I mentioned how Jenna should be fired and a mark jumped in and said how she is not a waste of money. After about 5 paragraphs of me detailing exactly WHY she is a waste of money, I began to think of the biggest waste of money ever spent on a wrestler. Who is it? How do they stack up to overpaid performers of other eras (before or after theirs). Was the money, at the time a good idea or a bad idea and in retrospect did it add or take away from the product(ratings,buyrates,attendance,enjoyment of the product). Jenna is a waste of time,space, and money but she is not the BIGGEST financial fuck up a company has ever done in regards to investment in a wrestler.

 

Weigh in.

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Most of TNA's big contracts are subsidized by Spike TV so I don't think they take that big of a hit financially.

 

 

Biggest waste of money contract wise would be the 10 year deals the WWF gave to guys like Mark Henry and Big Show. Not in the smark "OMG FAT GUYZ SUX0R" way, but how there was never going to be an opportunity to make money off those deals.

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I really don't think those 10 year deals for Henry and Show were that bad. Henry's contract was fat by 1996 standards, but 2 years later most midcarders would get similar downside guarantees. Show, as a guy they kept going back to as a headliner, wasn't badly overpaid when the big stars were earning well in excess of $1,000,000 per annum. Ken Shamrock earned a similar amount two years earlier and was a bigger waste, as he never got to Show's level of stardom, but even then I'd say it was worth a punt at a time they desperately needed to create new stars to compete with WCW.

 

Really I think WCW owns this thread from the fat contracts for guys who were career midcarders like Stevie Ray and Scott Norton, to Eric Bischoff's friends like Rick Steiner and DDP, to the locker room cancers with favored nations clauses in their contracts like Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, to the political victim who was buried despite being the second highest paid wrestler in the company in Bret Hart, and finally to all the failed celebrity stunts like Jay Leno, Master P, Megadeth and the KISS Demon.

 

EDIT: Actually on second thought, McMahon's millions giveaway last year probably beats out all the individual acts of WCW incompetence I mentioned.

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Imho, "The Bisch" owns the record for most Financial Fuck-ups. Starting at the top. Hogan's contract was ridiculous. (600K per pay-per-view I've heard and they had to use him 6 times a year) and the fish Rotted from there on down. Bischoff put the squeeze on guys who were actually contributing - but thought nothing of paying off , what $500,000

to KISS to play 4 songs on a NITRO and then ensuring they (WCW) had to give the Kiss Demon a push no matter how hard the audience farted on it.

 

And lest we forget the 30 to $50,000 for changing over WCW to nWo sets live during a Nitro.

 

He will go down in history as the most irresponsible official of a wrestling company of all time.

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When WWE wants to cut costs, they always look at the roster as one of the first places, when really, their bigger expenses seem to be in the executive salaries on the corporate side.

 

This tends to fly under the radar for the most part. They cut a bunch of guys they admittedly weren't using but don't pay a lot, then turn around and give all the executives fat raises.

 

It's the age old business rule I guess, when there are expenses to cut always start with labor.

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Was there ever a bigger waste of money Michael Buffer in WCW? I suppose having him do intros gave the matches an air of legitimacy and a "big match feel." But who cares? Will it make a difference of one single fan whether it's Buffer or Dave Penzer doing intros? I wonder how much they spent on him. His fee these days is $25K per shot. I'm sure WCW wasn't paying that much but still, it's a ring announcer!

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That's one that annoyed me, especially since I professionally considered Buffer to be a pretty fucking terrible ring announcer. Never looked like he wanted to be there, had zero emotion or sincerity in his little monologues, expressionless stoneface, and he made more verbal errors than Lillian Garcia ever did. The only thing Buffer had was that God-given voice. He's the announcing equivalent of a wrestler with a great muscular body but absolutely no idea how to work.

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When WWE wants to cut costs, they always look at the roster as one of the first places, when really, their bigger expenses seem to be in the executive salaries on the corporate side.

To be fair, in their most recent round of cost cutting they laid off staff in all their divisions, so this isn't wholly true. Also, most of the top executives could easily find alternative employment for similar pay elsewhere, which isn't the case with most of the wrestlers.

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  • 9 months later...

FWIW in his book Bischoff claimed he "only" paid $250,000 for the KISS performance.

I never understood how that worked. Bands don't get paid that much for other TV appearances.

 

Would that include some licensing fee for the Kiss Demon gimmick?

 

You would hope so, but I'm pretty sure they paid the other acts who appeared on Nitro, too.
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From early on in the Meltzer thread:

 

WCW earned $55 million profit in 1998

Lost $16 million in 1999

Lost $62 million in 2000 (would have been $80 million but they wouldn't let Russo blow up a Corvette every week on Nitro)

I've never really been clear on how exactly this happens. We're talking about over a $100 million swing inside of 2 years from the end of 1998 to 2000.

 

Everyone knows the company had certain problems but I've never been clear on how any of it translates to that level of bleeding.

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The wrestler contract thing never made sense to me because wasn't their roster already pretty much ballooned to it's limit by 1998, when they are supposedly still making all this money? They had Hogan, Nash, Hall, Hart, Warrior (who had to be ultra expensive), Sting, Savage, Luger, Piper, and God knows who else all under contract then and it's a fair bet all those guys are making huge money + % of PPV to some of them (Hogan for sure), plus probably literally 300 other guys. And they were paying guys just to stay home and not work, some of them good money. And they still supposedly made $55 million. There was dumb shit like Booker T getting more per year than Flair, but eveyone knows that part by now.

 

It's not like they started paying Lash Leroux and Jim Duggan a million dollars a shot to do WCW Saturday Night, which is about the kind of absurdity you'd have to be talking about to put the blame for that kind of swing onto wrestler contracts. The contract situation was already nuts way before things fell apart.

 

Not saying it wasn't a factor but there's no way that kind of money can be passed off on that.

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