When former WWE Superstar Austin Aries revealed on social media that he was making more money working independent wrestling shows in a matter of a few weeks than he did the final six months he was in WWE, it was shocking. WWE was always seen as the place to go for wrestlers looking to find the most success and be financially rewarded for their ascension in wrestling.
After the news went public, it made a lot more sense as to why there were rumors a number of WWE Superstars might want out of their contracts. Bad writing, hectic travel, less creative freedom and more dates for less pay would make anyone think the grass is greener on the other side. But, is what Aries was saying actually true? Or, was he just a fluke of an instance where guys who leave the WWE do better outside of it?
Recently, former WWE talent and now Ring of Honor (ROH) Champion Cody Rhodes, seems to have affirmed Aries claims. In a tweet on social media, Rhodes laid to rest a debate over independent wrestler salaries when he revealed the kind of money he's now making is double what he made before.
Hate to be tacky but I make triple per match now versus when I was with wwe & ROH offered me double my downside— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) October 18, 2017
Success shouldn't bother you
There are a couple ways to see this. First, Rhodes could be stirring the pot. If it's not true, it draws attention to the ROH and Rhodes and away from the WWE which to both ROH and Rhodes is not a bad thing. If it is true, it means that ROH paid Rhodes a lot, or WWE is paying certain talent very little.
An article suggesting some WWE salaries gives a bit better idea of what some of the wrestlers are making, so it's possible if Cody Rhodes was in the lower tier of wrestlers, he was likely making between $300,000 and $500,000 a year. This pay may not have been his downside, but if ROH doubled that pay, they've invested a lot in Rhodes as the face of their company.
So too, if this kind of money is available outside the walls of WWE, Neville, Aries, Rhodes, and a rumored unhappy Nia Jax may only be the tip of the iceberg of people who look at other options.