Streaming gaming and Q & A sessions via Twitch has been a hot topic in the pro wrestling business for more than a year now.
WWE’s move to ban their contractors from using that and other interactive platforms on their own kicked off the discussion. It’s simmered in the background since that policy was implemented, bubbling up occasionally when someone leaves the company and starts streaming again, or when reports of pay disputes arise for wrestlers with a substantial online presence.
But how much money is actually at stake for talent and their bosses? A huge data breach and leak from October of this year gives us some idea.
The hack and subsequent release of more than 128GB of material from Twitch servers included two years worth of creator payouts (from Sept. 2019 - Sept. 2021). The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter lists the prominent wrestling-related names on that list.
“Over the two years, Saraya Bevis (Paige) was paid $478,224, Thea Trinidad (Zelina Vega) was paid $341,748, but is no longer allowed to do it. Cole was paid $318,080. Others listed were Impact Wrestling at $69,140, Tyler Breeze at $43,755, Evil Uno at $35,742, Colt Cabana at $32,479 and Xavier Woods (who also is no longer allowed to do it) at $25,431.”
As Dave Meltzer writes, “There is money in this, but if you aren’t Paige, Zelina Vega (who no longer can do it) or Adam Cole, it’s not big money.”
In addition to what they’ve said about the importance of their Twitch communities, those six figure numbers for Paige and Cole make it clear why both have been so adamant about continuing to stream. It’s also yet another reason why Cole’s decision to head to AEW makes sense.
Vega, on the other hand, seemingly gave up a decent chunk of change to re-sign with WWE — but it’s also entirely possible her newest deal makes up for her lost Twitch revenue.
No matter, these figures give us some context and new discussion points when we talk about wrestlers and interactive platforms.