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WOR - Dave notes that while AEW is on a hot streak their payroll costs have increased tremendously while their TV rights revenue is similar to the extended deal signed in May of this year. More notes on talent in the text post.
Dave says Punk (Punk is the most expensive), Danielson, Christian Cage, Paul Wight etc are on big deals. While the increased costs will have been offset to an extent by live gates and the start of Rampage (and will be further increased by the four quarterly specials next year), there are those in the industry who think they are spending themselves into trouble.

In relation to the comments by Brian Cage, Dave says everyone at the mid-level and up thinks they belong in the main event. While WWE want to get AEW guys to stop the narrative about talent all going one way, realistically most of their current and up-and-coming stars know they will not be used right there and have a lot less creative freedom. Jericho is more valuable than he has ever been but towards the end of his run there he was seen as someone who should just be putting over younger talent.

Dave did bring Lance Archer up as an example of someone who has done well in AEW but is not featured week to week as someone who could be of interest. Vince let him go years ago and he is older but WWE seem to no longer be opposed to signing and using older talent.
 

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Holy shit, you guys think big show and Christian are not good investments?
Go watch the vlogs and behind the scenes shit, all the younger guys go to Paul and Christian and Mark whenever they need advice.
Those guys are the glue you need to get a real roster going, guys who know storytelling and on camera wrestling.
Tony could also keep aew afloat with just pocket change.
 

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To be honest, based on what I've seen/read, I think Mark Henry justifies his employment more than Paul Wight so far. Henry is doing seminars backstage with young guys to help them improve and is at the front of the community outreach program. Wight is commentating on Elevation and has done one squash match. Not sure if he's as active with the young guys backstage, I'd hope so.

On the main topic, Khan is so ridiculously wealthy that even if AEW lost $2m in a year, it's virtually nothing for him. As a businessman, profitability will be on his agenda though, so there will be a method behind allowing the payroll to skyrocket. A combination of live event sales and expectations regarding their next TV deal are probably part of that. After doing a 0.53 demo on Dynamite, if Khan was to renegotiate the TV deal right now, he could expect a massive increase. WWE RAW, which Dynamite just beat, is getting $265m per year while Dynamite is getting $43.75m per year. Even if they increased it to $100m per year, that'd swallow up the payroll increases.
 

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Neither Brian "I'm having a hard time constructing a sentence with more than 2 words in it" Cage nor Lance "I sing along to my own entrance music" Archer will make any money for the company ... like ... ever. They wish they were has-beens, but they never even were.

Paul Wight and Christian Cage on the other hand are (or were, if you wanna nitpick) actual stars. They were never megastars, granted, but their names have a certain value and gravity in the business, and I see why Tony attributes a certain value to their signings.
 

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Punk already paid for his contract in T-shirt sales and PPV buys. The next rights deal will be much bigger than the current one and the Khans are filthy rich. This is a non-story.
this

’there are those in the industry…’

those in the industry have never seen TKs bank balance and have no idea what wealth means as opposed to ‘rich’
 

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"Dave says everyone at the mid-level and up thinks they belong in the main event."

To me, this is the key line. They have brought in a lot of guys that were frustrated by their usage in WWE, as well as actual stars now, and there is no possibility to feature everyone on TV every week. That breeds jealousy and frustration. But that is just natural I guess.

Remember in WCW when all the young guys were frustrated because they kept bringing in older ex WWF guys to main event?

Personally I think stuff like this is a result of giving every kid a participation trophy and convincing them they were special when they are just average.

Interesting to see a more negative story from Uncle Dave as soon as they start featuring more actual stars.
 

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To be honest, based on what I've seen/read, I think Mark Henry justifies his employment more than Paul Wight so far. Henry is doing seminars backstage with young guys to help them improve and is at the front of the community outreach program. Wight is commentating on Elevation and has done one squash match. Not sure if he's as active with the young guys backstage, I'd hope so.

On the main topic, Khan is so ridiculously wealthy that even if AEW lost $2m in a year, it's virtually nothing for him. As a businessman, profitability will be on his agenda though, so there will be a method behind allowing the payroll to skyrocket. A combination of live event sales and expectations regarding their next TV deal are probably part of that. After doing a 0.53 demo on Dynamite, if Khan was to renegotiate the TV deal right now, he could expect a massive increase. WWE RAW, which Dynamite just beat, is getting $265m per year while Dynamite is getting $43.75m per year. Even if they increased it to $100m per year, that'd swallow up the payroll increases.
Yes, but that is three years away I believe. If AEW is losing $10-$20M per year, that is a loss that is considerable. That said, these signings were not just at a whim. Khan (or anyone else starting a competing organization) had to be willing to run at a loss for a few years.
 

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"Dave says everyone at the mid-level and up thinks they belong in the main event."

To me, this is the key line. They have brought in a lot of guys that were frustrated by their usage in WWE, as well as actual stars now, and there is no possibility to feature everyone on TV every week. That breeds jealousy and frustration. But that is just natural I guess.

Remember in WCW when all the young guys were frustrated because they kept bringing in older ex WWF guys to main event?

Personally I think stuff like this is a result of giving every kid a participation trophy and convincing them they were special when they are just average.

Interesting to see a more negative story from Uncle Dave as soon as they start featuring more actual stars.
There were two periods of resentment:

1994-1995: Hogan comes in and with his power tries to turn WCW into WWF. Dugan, Honkytonk Man, Earthquake, Beefcake, Savage, and Kamala arrive.

1997 Onward - Ossification. To get to the main event, one had to be earning “main event money”. The only exception was Bill Goldberg. Others like Chris Jericho saw their career prospects permanently limited by this otherwise iron rule.

On the second point, that is where AEW has to differ.
 

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Anyone else think this is an intentional leak to anyone like KO who might feel bad if he doesn’t get to come to AEW when his friends are there?
 

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I suspect the aim is to bargain for a stronger and more lucrative contract by 2023. They are hoping for it. Signing these big stars given the opportunity will allow them to grow between now and 2023, giving them greater leverage.

I believe that TKs financial advisors have carefully calculated this. But we all know how things can go wrong if the predictions do not come true.
 

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The next TV deal should rectify this but still, they really do need to cut some of the deadweight. They've made a ton of signings of very dubious value. Most of them probably aren't big money signings, but they add up.
 

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The next TV deal should rectify this but still, they really do need to cut some of the deadweight. They've made a ton of signings of very dubious value. Most of them probably aren't big money signings, but they add up.
Many are on pay per appearance contracts with the freedom to work elsewhere. A lot of exaggerated ideas about this idea of a bloated roster.
 
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