If you've ever wondered how AEW contracts work in terms of talent paid to appear on Dark or extras, Cody Rhodes offered some insight.
Appearing on AEW Unrestricted, Cody was discussing some year two talent who he expects big things from and listed wrestlers like Ricky Starks, Sammy Guevara, Anna Jay, and Red Velvet.
He was slightly confused as to Red Velvet's contract status, which led to the following exchange between Cody and co-host Aubrey Edwards.
Cody - I don't even know if Red Velvet works here, yet.
Aubrey - She does. That might be breaking news.
Cody - She's on an 'agreed to appear,' right?
Aubrey - I don't know what tier she's on. She ain't All Elite. She's not getting a graphic.
Cody - Jeff is very particular about who gets a graphic.
When asked by Tony Schiavone to clarify the contract tiers, Cody offered the following details, "'Agreed to appear' is tier zero, meaning you will get a bonus, and Tony is super generous. If you ask some of these extras what they're making down there...my dad would've lost it. It's the COVID era, they have no other work because there are no Indies. Tier zero is a signing bonus and exclusivity to us in terms of, we get a first option on you and we guarantee you X amount of dates. The exclusivity is case by case. The goal is, you don't want to pay someone who has agreed to appear and keep giving them their weekly versus tier one, which is our base contract agreement. We have tier one, two, three, four, and tier Jericho. Everyone is given a choice of things that are important to them, different pieces of the pie."
Cody mentioned AEW Games as being a piece of the pie and how Aubrey is part of that division.
AEW has consistently used Independent talent on AEW Dark, but that doesn't mean they have a tier-one contract with the company. An "All Elite" graphic on social media seems to confirm a tier-one contract.
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