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WWE Contract Structure, Prince Devitt To WWE?, Stopping The Push Of Roman Reigns, Stars Causing Injuries

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here
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How does the WWE contract system work? How does it differ from someone in the main event, to someone in the midcard, to even someone who rarely appears?

WWE Superstars and Divas are signed to Performer's Contracts, independent contractor agreements that include downside guarantees and structured bonus payouts. The downside guarantee is money they make for as long as the contract is active. The only time a worker would not collect this money would be due to a suspension. Bonuses are paid depending on appearance. For example, if a worker appears on a show, they are paid a flat $500 bonus. They are also paid a percentage of merchandise sales using their character's likeness, bonuses structured on pay-per-view buys and other factors not easily explained. Pay-per-view bonuses also vary depending on where a worker is placed on the card, as main event talent receives more than an undercard worker. One factor that hasn't been addressed is how WWE will handle pay-per-view bonuses with the evolution of the WWE Network. This has been a topic of discussion backstage over the last month and one that has caused concern regarding the new direction.

It seems Prince Devitt is on his way to WWE do you think he has what it takes to be at the top of the card?

We reported on February 16, 2014 here on that WWE reached out to Karl Anderson and Prince Devitt from New Japan Pro Wrestling. According to a source, neither were interested in signing at the time. The issue had to do with the fact that they didn't want to go the WWE Performance Center for seasoning. If they were guaranteed an immediate call up, they might reconsider, however, they had no interest in working in WWE's developmental system.

Why did the WWE give Roman Reigns such a massive push in the Royal Rumble only to back off and keep The Shield together?

Vince McMahon was set to push Roman Reigns to the moon while Triple H wanted to wait and keep the faction together. It's been a difference of opinion that has spilled over to television and became quite obvious to anyone following closely. However, there was also concern over a singles match between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt on Monday Night Raw, in which the crowd turned and some WWE officials took it as a sign Reigns wasn't ready for a push on his own. Vince feels that all three Shield members will eventually do well when they are broken up. I agree the booking has been problematic and it's affected their build for Wrestlemania.

As we've seen multiple times in the past year with Alberto Del Rio and his botched spots resulting in injury to WWE superstars, I understand this is a profession where injuries are common but are there any repercussions for injuring another performer?

First I want to note that Christian was indeed concussed in the Fatal 4-Way match on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw after the botched kick from Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio was spoken to about the spot backstage and has been in and out of the company doghouse. There is not a set disciplinary procedure for a worker that consistently causes injury, however, they are dealt with accordingly. The one constant is it's always the injured worker that gets the worst end of the deal. No matter how much of "tongue lashing" the botching superstar gets from Vince or Hunter or a WWE producer, it doesn't make up for what the injured worker loses. Think of Nikki Bella on the Tamina super kick that was featured on Total Divas or Jack Swagger concussing Dolph Ziggler during the biggest push of his career. How about Aksana injuring Naomi on the brink of her biggest push or as we see now, more problems for Christian, who has been injury plagued over recent years. Injuries are part of this business and no matter what happens to the people that cause the injury, no one is effected as badly as the people that are injured.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: What point (if any) does Vince McMahon meet developmental talent when a worker is brought to the main roster? - One thing that would probably surprise you about Vince McMahon is he is very “hands on” with his roster. He’s not oblivious to signed talent, including talent in his developmental system. As far as some type of “warm and fuzzy, we’re so glad you’re here” meeting, that doesn’t happen but if Vince wants something out of a particular worker, he will make sure they get the message. Everyone knows Vince has final say.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, March 28, 2014.

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