Dax Harwood reveals salary on WWE main roster, reflects on 24/7 title win

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/01/20/dax-harwood-shares-salary-on-main-roster-reflects-on-24-7-title-win/

Dax Harwood recently spoke about his pay on the WWE main roster.

On his new podcast, FTR with Dax Harwood, the former WWE wrestler spoke about his time on the main roster and the realities of the expenses that come with the schedule in comparison to what he was paid: (Transcriptions by Andrew Thompson)

If you look back at 2019, I was number one, Baron [Corbin] and Cash [Wheeler] were tied for number two as far as most matches in 2019 for WWE and so we were on the road every single week, four days a week, five days a week, and so when you think I’ve signed this million dollar contract or whatever, it’s not that lucrative. Our contracts were at the very bottom dollar. I mean, I’ll tell you mine. I don’t know about Cash’s. But our first contract for the main roster was $125, $150, $175 (thousand) across the three years and that was it. 

No expenses at all… There’s the potential of making more than that and breaking that $125 barrier and that $125 ceiling with merch and pay-per-views and stuff like that and house shows as well but that’s what we had signed and that is a lot of money, that’s a lot of money to me right now but you gotta think about it, if I’m on the road five days a week, and I’m spending breakfast, lunch and dinner all five days a week, let’s not even talk about snacks or whatever. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, five days a week on the road while my wife is at home cooking and paying for groceries for her and my daughter and then I’m paying for rental cars and then I’m paying for hotels. I’m not making as much money as you think… When I heard a lot of the fans say, ‘They could’ve just sat back and had catering and made their money,’ it’s not that simple. Money is one thing but there’s always been something that I wanted to do for professional wrestling and being there at that time was not gonna allow me to do that. 

In the spring of 2019, WWE introduced the 24/7 Championship as a comedy-based championship that could be defended at any time and resulted in multiple time changes on a weekly basis.

In the summer of 2019, Dax and partner Dash Wilder/Cash Wheeler won the championship together after pinning R-Truth during a segment on Raw in Toronto before immediately losing it back to R-Truth in the same segment.

Dax reflected on the title and lack of desire to be associated with it:

Obviously, wasn’t too happy (about becoming WWE 24/7 Champion) and I know a lot of people are gonna say, ‘Oh, big surprise. You’re not happy.’ There was a lot of things we still wanted to accomplish as a tag team (in WWE). I mean, in 2023, there are still a lot of things we wanna accomplish as a tag team. But, being co-24/7 Champions was not on our bucket list of things to do so, that championship was taken as a joke. It was some comic relief of a two-hour television show and I would have much rather not have it. I don’t want that on my résumé, I don’t even want to bring it up. I should have told you (show co-host) off-air not to bring it up. But, you know, here we are. 

The full episode can be heard on FTR with Dax Harwood.

The wrestlers still paying their own hotel bookings and flights. That’s crazy.

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Am starting to feel I hear more from/about Dax than some members of my own family these days…

I know one of the big things that AEW did and does differently when they started was covering flights / hotels / trans in cities. A little thing that went a long way with some people.

I think its all relative to pay. For example, would you rather be paid 350K a year and cover your own hotel, or be paid 200K a year and have that covered. Now I just made these numbers up, but my point is personally I would ultimately look at what I’m taking in at the end of the year in the two scenarios.

If it was up to me I’d give the wrestlers a budget per week. You can’t just blindly pay for 100% of their hotels or else people would likely stay in 5 star hotels in the penthouse getting unlimited room service. But to tell them, “you are eligible for reimbursement up to $1000 week” that would be fair ('Im just using $1000 for conversation sake, whatever an appropriate amount would be).

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I can see why this guy is good friends with Punk. Every interview I see from him, he is whining and complaining about something.

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It does seem that every time he does an interview or a podcast etc. he’s complaining about something.

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Maybe it’s time someone who’s an active wrestler needs to.

Earning $125k isn’t small fry but they work like mad, weeks away from home and their bosses earn millions.

I’ve only listened to the first episode but I don’t think he said anything he shouldn’t

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The WWE pay structure is completely ridiculous and I applaud anyone who has the guts to speak out against it.

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Depends who you are….AJ styles for example was reportedly getting paid about 3mil per year. WWE pay some talent amazingly well, others not so much. If you are in the high end of that, you’re laughing. If you’re on the low end, concerns are legitimate. To say in a blanket statement (not saying you did) that “the system” is good or bad is just hyperbole either way because it all depends on who you are and what you are paid.

I see things like this every so often, and I still have no concept of how much money a wrestler makes in real, relatable dollars. After their salary, merch, and pay-per-view paydays and then after they pay for (and write off) all of their expenses and get their tax returns filed, what is that $150,000 salary the equivalent to for an average working schmuck?

Also, for those who have an issue with the bosses making significantly more than the workers, that is a perfectly valid complaint, but it is a much larger issue in corporate America than just WWE.

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Vince McMahon compared FTR to Tully and Arn and meant it as an insult.

If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about Vince and what he thinks about tag teams, I’m truly not sure what to tell you. Also, with Vince back in full force, it increases the probability that FTR most likely stays in AEW for the long haul. It’s great of TK that he’s giving them time off to rest, I’m personally hoping that we get FTR in World Tag League later this year, but I’m doubtful it happens.

Also, no, it doesn’t shock me that WWE folks have to foot the bill for their own transportation and housing when on the road.