AEW appears to be having more and more success compared to its competitors. Dave Meltzer of WON recently reported that the new wrestlers at AEW are earning larger incomes compared to the NXT wrestlers at WWE. Even though it varies from wrestler to wrestler, overall it is becoming the new normal for even the new “lower card” stars at AEW to earn more than most of the NXT wrestlers.
AEW’s contracts come with different levels i.e. the wrestlers appearing on AEW dark are usually signed to per date agreements. The company has different contracts that depend on the level of activity of the talents’ participation in the company. With Benjamin Carter being an exception, every other star is signed to one deal or another. The stars appearing weekly as well as the ones whose signings the company announces are offered weekly guarantees.
It has been recently stated that most of the stars being signed with NXT are going for short-term agreements. They are being offered a sixty-thousand-dollar (annual) downside guarantee with a five-hundred-dollar bonus for every episode they appear in, which might be increased to eighty thousand.
The increase will be effective in January, with a significant increase in bonuses as well. Several people working in WWE were reported to be pleased with the company making a move towards short-term contracts. According to some, it will keep the money from” stockpiling” and “hoarding” talent.
But over at AEW, even the lower card AEW wrestlers are most probably making at least that same amount. That is when they choose to sign a new contract with pro wrestling’s “Number 2” promotion. This is saying a lot because NXT has been the biggest launching pad for big-name wrestlers for the last five years or so.
Before AEW Dynamite began airing on TNT, NXT was the main place for the majority of the world’s popular indie talents. Throughout the years, WWE has mostly made use of non-broadcasted live events to train new talents for the main roster. But now that live events are not as popular anymore, WWE does not need to have as big of a roster so it can run a small number of live events every week.
Consequently, forthcoming stars have a tough time determining whether they should be going for a lower spot on the AEW or choosing NXT. But since hosting traditional events is not as popular anymore, newer talents often gravitate towards AEW, which seems to have fewer limitations compared to NXT.
It is also much easier for stars to appear on Dynamite, whereas it is much harder to get on WWE’s main roster. AEW seemingly provides its stars much more exposure on national TV. All in all, it is apparent that AEW stars can earn a better income for a much less grueling work schedule, compared to what they have to do in NXT.