CONVERSATIONS WITH THE BIG GUY RYBACK
Ryback talking about WWE merchandise: “I remember working on top with John (Cena). We were the two merchandise guys and signing the $20 photos and signing big stacks of them every single show. I asked a lot of questions. There was a guy in merch that would give me a lot of info which they ended up firing him for. I asked him if he knew how much we were actually getting on these. He said they get them for pennies on the dollar because they buy them in massive amounts. They sell them for $20 to the fans and you get about 83 cents a photo. I had to get to the arena an hour or two early to sign these photos and just the cut is so limited but I asked questions and that probably was a major red flag with me.”
Ryback talking on video game income: “THQ went bankrupt. It was still the best selling game at that point. The video game pay went from $90,000 for what you would make on the game to $11,000. Mark Carrano was in there. I was brand new. I was making main event money which was probably lower than other main event guys got. They had Cena speak up, of all people, and he said guys, we have to tough this out. We have to be good soldiers for the company. I was pro John Cena up to that point because I didn’t know enough, even though I had some suspicions of stuff with my ankle injury. Then I said, f…, that guy is dangerous because that guy is making his money regardless and everybody else is just looking around at each other and it was one of those moments they knew they had us, because nobody spoke up on that and they paid us that rate for my entire time there. They never fixed it.”
David Starr talking about video game income: “I had a friend of mine that became very popular in the cruiserweight tournament and then got assigned to NXT shortly thereafter. He told me he heard stories from Hurricane and Billy Gunn that they were making bank on video games. This wrestler said they were going to include the 205 guys on video games. They offered the 205 guys apparently $2,800 flat and then somebody said no and they were told directly that the office is not going to like that.”
The full episode is available at this link.