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Rumors On TNA Knockout Salaries

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#1 Darren Grett

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:02 PM

The August 2011 issue of the UK based wrestling magazine Power Slam reports that there is a sizable pay discrepancy among the female performers of TNA Wrestling.

The magazine states that Christy Hemme and Mickie James are the highest-paid female talent in the organization: each earn more than $100,000 per year. Meanwhile, the rest of TNA's female wrestlers and personalities (Angelina Love, Brooke Tessmacher, Cookie, Jackie, Madison Rayne, ODB, Rosita, Sarita, SoCal Val, Tara, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky and Winter) earn far less: $600 per appearance at most.

Karen Jarrett's salary is not stated, but the magazine indicates that she commands an above average appearance fee.

Hemme and James command the highest salaries because both were high-profile performers in WWE and thus are more valuable than the other women due to their name recognition. Though the magazine does not indicate which female talent earns more, it is noted that both make a similar low six-figure amount per year. Hemme, however, solely works televised events whereas James additionally appears on the company's live event tour.

Hemme's reported salary has drawn criticism from fans and colleagues as they feel it's exorbitant for a non-wrestling female personality. The Honky Tonk Man claimed last year that her contract renewal with TNA last year was for three years at an annual rate of $175,000. He also said that Eric Bischoff, a huge supporter of the former WWE Diva and Playboy cover girl, helped Hemme obtain the high-end deal. Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer would not confirm the veracity of the former WWE star's claim but did say the deal made her the highest paid female performer in the company.

Reports of Hemme's salary last year reportedly upset some of her female co-workers.

At the maximum second-tier rate, a TNA Knockout who appeared on every single television and pay-per-view event over the course of a calender year, 64 in all, would garner $38,400 at most. TNA solely covers airfare, leaving talent to cover all other expenses including lodging, wardrobe and medical. There is also no downside guarantee, thus meaning talent only get paid when they are used. And while the company holds numerous non-televised events, each tour features a rotation of two to five female performers.

Velvet Sky, who is arguably the organization's top homegrown female star, is believed to be earning the maximum rate of the second-tier salary cap. Her contract renewal with TNA last year reportedly called for her salary to be bumped from $300 per appearance to $600. However, she is an exception to the rule on salary hikes for female talent. Gail Kim, Awesome Kong and Shelly Martinez (a/k/a Salinas) have all publicly stated that they left TNA because organization officials denied their requests for a pay raise.


#2 ILWyep



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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:19 PM

He also said that Eric Bischoff, a huge supporter of the former WWE Diva and Playboy cover girl, helped Hemme obtain the high-end deal.

Bischoff was not in TNA during that time, I believe.

#3 Fenris


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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:31 PM

If that's true then Hemme needs to go, nothing she does(on camera, anyways) warrants that much money.
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#4 Fyzza



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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:32 PM

I'm with Fenris here; her announcing isn't as good as it was when she started. Borash (or Penzer) should replace her for good.

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#5 Master Blaster

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:33 PM

If that's true then Hemme needs to go, nothing she does(on camera, anyways) warrants that much money.

I agree. I like Hemme, but she's not wrestling and TNA doesn't need someone so costly for (backstage) interviews and ring announcing.

#6 Zeppelin4


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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:39 PM

I'm going to have to agree with everybody else, if Hemme is making all of that money and she is not wrestling she needs to go, TNA can't afford a heavy contract like that if every other wrestler gets paid much less.

BTW the article also forgot to state house shows as well, I'm pretty sure KOs get paid for those.

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#7 Omgitzjay



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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:42 PM

Bring back Rave and put her with him, and cut her pay a bit.


As far as 600 per appearence, I'm gonna assume they work at least 3 days a week and 5 days when they do tapings, and of course ppvs

The lowest they make if its 3 days a week is 1800
If it's a 5 day week it's 3000
and I'm a assuming they make 1000 on ppv appearances so 4000 if it's a 6-day week.

This is a lot of fucking money. LOL.

That's more than I'll EVER make.

#8 CriticalAttack


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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:47 PM

I'm going to echo what everyone else has said. Christy does a crappy job at announcing and obviously doesn't work her ass off like some of the other KOs. Also, what exactly made her a high-profile WWE diva? lol

#9 Dizzy


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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:48 PM

The Knockouts that make 600 are getting paid like crazy since they are always on the show. Hemme seems to make a little too much.

#10 Omgitzjay



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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:59 PM

People make it sound like they are getting paid 600 a week, they have more than one appearance a week, several house shows, tapings, ppvs and don't forget I'm sure they make something out of the autograph signings and stuff.

#11 Will



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:16 AM

Two problems with the article that gives its reliability a bit of a redflag:

1. the lack of talking about how Knockouts work house shows. I mean Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne are on seemingly every TNA house show

2. Hemme signed her deal in late 2008, WELL BEFORE Bischoff showed up. I remember it becuase TNA thought she would be there trish Stratus as she was feuding with Awesome Kong for the title and so signed her to this lucrative deal. She suffered that neck injury in early 2009 and had to retire soon after. Hell she retired before Bischoff got their as well.

That is why when asked TNA talents that need to be cut, Hemme is always on my list cause she costs to much and does little to make money for TNA

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#12 Bailian



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:19 AM

600 per appearance. Dayumn. I wouldn´t mind getting paid that much =D

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#13 KISSman



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:24 AM

Seems to me that Angelina, Velvet and Madison should all be getting paid a bit more. Where would the Knockout Division be without them? Hemme should get less.

#14 Boris The Blade

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:30 AM

Why dump on Hemme because she was smart enough to get a living wage. That makes no sense. Instead of demonizing her, how about speaking on a nationally televised show paying its talent $300 for a tv appearance in prime time. That's a straight JOKE.

I would have a hard time supporting any company paying top talent less than $40K, especially when expenses are not covered and the talent is quite literally putting their lives on the line for this product.

Man. This is really foul. Really, really foul.

And who is pocketing the national ad revenues, this I would like to know. TNA is making money, and with that short a roster, tapings in a static location, ppv revenue, merch revenue, tna on demand revenue, etc... there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to take advantage of young women (or anyone) in that way.

Edited by Boris The Blade, 26 August 2011 - 12:32 AM.

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#15 hitman007



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:35 AM

i think this story is BS plain and simplw which company in their right mind would hire a woman wrestler for that much? though this is tna folks lol

#16 thechairmen



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:49 AM

Whats a good contract deal in pro wrestling for women? Anyway if these ladies make $600 per appearence then 2 shows a week is $1200 depending on they're living situation like bills expenses or having kids im pretty sure tyey can live off that. The problem is i think its different per woman. Because say $30 or 400 probably ain't gonna cut it. Hell i make that per week
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#17 doover



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:50 AM

Tara is a high profile WWE veteran and legend. I highly doubt that she's only getting $600 a show.

Especially when she got her arm jacked up last year, and then signed a new contract not that long ago. Plus she rarely does house shows. I don't think Tara's hurting for $$$$.

#18 Boris The Blade

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:07 AM

Tara has several side businesses. Including a car-mod shop plus a restaurant. Whether she is or isn't hurting likely depends more on those two things, and not the shameful and paltry $600 she would get from a tv appearance.

Furthermore, they don't take entire rosters out for house shows. Its an abbreviated group. And they surely aren't making tv money at little house shows in Wyoming or BFE wherever. $3000 per week my arse.

While this obviously isn't confirmed, if its true then I would have to think long and hard about whether I would support a product that employs women so unfairly.

If I can live without Nike and Walmart, I can do without this too. But I'm sure we won't find out the truth.

Edited by Boris The Blade, 26 August 2011 - 01:09 AM.

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#19 doover



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:37 AM

Her car shop burned down, and she is in the process.of opening a restaurant. And by her own admission she works a limited schedule. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, she responded to a tweet that TNA pays for travel expenses and her wardrobe.

Anyway, this KO salary story rehashes itself about once a year or two. The last big story was the reason Kong left was because Christie and Tara was making so much money that TNA couldn't pay Kong more.

#20 Mr-Fabulous



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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:39 AM

I take this for what it is, a Rumor - Meltzer has guessed on TNA salarlies in the past also and failed miserably. I know that Hemmes deal was sign a couple years ago while she was training to be a wrestler and then she hurt her neck or something. You can tell TNA is trying to get something out of her due to the ring announcing and such. When her deal is up I would say her time in TNA is up also.