Hulk Hogan lives well off the money he made in professional wrestling. Sure, promoters like Vince McMahon made probably triple off Hulkamania but Hogan didn’t do too bad for himself. Especially during his last stint with WCW.
Chris Harrington, a wrestling fan and economics buff, purchased some documents that show just how much the orange goblin took from Ted Turner’s checkbook.
In looking through the docket of one of the racial discrimination lawsuits against WCW, he happened to buy a copy of a filing that turned out to have Hulk Hogan’s 11998 contract (his last one) with WCW. So he posted it to Scribd last night and it’s gotten some attention at places like Reddit.
At times there has been speculation that Hogan didn’t earn as much as some people said. Clearly, that’s not the case, as it looks like on a percentage basis, he was the highest paid wrestler in the history of the business even if Steve Austin made more money in his best years.
Some of the numbers and stats are absolutely mind-blowing, including these stomach-turning facts and figures. Hogan got a $2 million bonus just for putting his H.H. on the contract. Each year, “Hogan was to appear on six WCW pay-per-view events, for which he’d be paid $675,000 each or 15% of ‘domestic PPV cable sales received by WCW for each event,’ whichever was greater. So he was guaranteed $4.05 million annually in PPV payoffs alone. He was advanced $1.35 million every four months.
Now here’s the part that will piss off EVERY wrestling fan, even the hardcore Hogan supporters.
Payoffs for Monday Nitro and Thursday Thunder appearances were $25,000 or 25% “of the gross (after tax) arena ticket revenues,” whichever was greater, For exampled, as far as shows on this contract go, this means he made: $226,582.50 for the match at the Georgia Dome where he dropped the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Bill Goldberg and $232,683.75 for the “Finger Poke of Doom” off WCW’s all-time record gate of $930,735.
That’s right. Hulk Hogan made almost a quarter of a million dollars just to show up at Nitro, poke Kevin Nash in the chest, cover him for the three count, and celebrate. In case you’re unfamiliar with easily the worst fucking moment in wrestling history, here’s a sad reminder.
“This is what World Championship Wrestling is all about,” — Tony Schiavone.
Yup. Nailed it.