Updated, 13:17 (20/07/20)
The Speaking Out movement has brought forward some fantastic ideas, from some fantastic people, of how to make real change.
But we at TWM recently learned of something that shocked us all – the true nature of wrestler pay.
To clarify, the following is not representative of every single British promotion – as we do know of many who pay wrestlers fairly and evenly – but we are aware of several who are culpable of this.
For years, you could be forgiven, as a wrestling fan, for assuming wrestlers would make anywhere from £150-£200 per typical independent wrestling show. But that couldn’t be further from the truth – and the truth is horrifying.
We were told, just a few days ago, of wrestlers being paid £20-£30 per appearance, which includes being on-site for around six to seven hours – while being banned from selling their own merchandise.
Work that out into a per hour pay, and you’d get paid more for working in a BooHoo-run factory in Leicester.
We have also heard of others who are earing £80-£100 at certain shows, but that’s from bigger, supposedly more established names, which begs the question just how can we make an industry that pays almost slave labour wages fairer without addressing this injustice?
These men and women, who put their bodies and lives on the lines for us, do it for seemingly very little any money whatsoever. Even working this basic pay out to a yearly wage, or someone doing a show every night, and it’s still below minimum wage.
Our respect level for some of these people has gone up, more than we thought it would ever do, while our respect for those paying such pathetic wages has gone down…even further than before.
It’s time wrestlers were paid a fair and equal wage, or all of this proposed, incoming change, will have been for nothing. So, if we’re really going to be Speaking Out, let’s speak out on everything that needs changing, not just a few parts of it.