It sucks to be Joey Ryan now... - Photo by Barry Shimauchi of Wikimedia Commons.
TNA's locker room is up in arms over the company's decision to pay them for only one appearance at dual TV tapings where they may wrestle twice, which will lead to an effective pay cut for most of the roster, who are mainly on per-show deals.
For well over two years now, this site has helped expose how TNA's treatment of talent is appalling and how working conditions in the company are absolutely deplorable for the majority of their homegrown wrestlers who weren't ever big stars in WWE. Not much has changed since this problem was brought to the public eye.
However, one would hope that Shannon "Daffney" Spruill recently winning an out of court settlement from TNA would be a wake up call for the company that they should never again, under any circumstances, refuse to pay for the medical bills of their talent when they unfortunately suffer serious workplace injuries.
Those that were hoping that TNA would offer their under-appreciated workers more than that belated concession, will be sad to hear that the promotion's cost cutting is hitting their poorly paid wrestlers in the pocketbook yet again.
Though there has been a lot of praise for moving TNA's television tapings out of the Impact Zone in Orlando and taking them on the road every fortnight, to pay for this added expense, there's been an effective pay cut for most of those appearing on Impact.
Dave Meltzer had all the details in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
"There has been a lot of locker room unhappiness when word got out that for the TV tapings, they would be paid as if it was one show, even if they appeared on both shows taped. Most wrestlers in the company are on per-show deals, and since they rotate people at house shows and run limited crews, the only shows that the full crew, or at least the main crew, is consistently on would be the TV’s. Before they were mostly taping one show at a time in Orlando, whether live or on tape. Now, they are taping two shows starting this week in Chicago, but the vast majority will be getting paid for one show and thus make half as much over the course of a year for television shots."
On paper, moving the tapings on the road seemed like it would be a win win situation for everyone involved, as it would lead to the wrestlers working in front of hotter, larger crowds, but overall it's a net negative for them, if the price of this aesthetic enhancement is lower pay. The move is unlikely to significantly increase Impact's TV audience and even if it did, the company doesn't give performance related ratings bonuses anyway.
The sad consequence of this move is that TNA performers will continue to avoid going to the hospital when they pick up a minor injury or even a concussion at a house show, because they can't afford to pay for the emergency medical bill that would be accrued, and will gut it out instead, especially when it still isn't explicit company policy to cover such necessary treatment.