While Hulk Hogan is better known as being the face of the WWE in the 1980s, in the 1990s he may have made more money than he ever did under Vince McMahon.
Hogan jumped ship to WCW in 1994, signing a big-money deal with Eric Bischoff and the company, immediately being placed at the top of the card.
He entered into an immediate feud with Ric Flair, then-WCW Champion and a former WWE Champion. The pair were going to wrestle at WrestleMania 8 in a dream match, but Vince McMahon pulled it due to bad house show performances.
The details of the bumper contract Hulk Hogan signed in 1994 has always been kept under wraps. It was known that he was making big money, earning a cut of the pay per view money and had creative control written into his contract – which he used at the absolute worst times.
Due to his huge star power, and with offers from the WWF and NJPW, the ball was in Hogan’s court. His contract was the biggest seen in wrestling, and earned him millions-upon-millions over his 6 years with World Championship Wrestling.
Hulk Hogan’s WCW Contract
Upon joining WCW, the New England Sports Network reported that Hulk Hogan’s WCW contract was for $600,000 or 40 percent of the company’s earnings for every PPV.
With four pay per views broadcast (at the time), this gave Hogan a guaranteed $2.4 million per year, not counting his base pay rate, merchandise sales and other revenues of income. This made him the highest paid wrestler of all time.
WCW were always quiet on the deal, but former head of the company Eric Biscohff recently confirmed the terms of that contract were largely true.
“As far as to how much Hogan got, that was a close report by New England Sports Network. His deal called for four pay-per-views a year at half a million dollars a pay-per-view.“
“And in addition to compensation for the pay-per-view, those pay-per-views included — I think it was three or four weeks of television leading into the pay-per-view. And I think there was a Clash of Champions or two in that schedule as well, all under what is essentially a $2 million contract. That was basically the deal.”
“Now there was some other licensing and merchandising caveats — which by the way, didn’t really matter because we weren’t generating any revenue anyway in licensing and merchandising.“
“Not enough to matter, at least. But if you boiled the meat off the bone and get right down the basic facts of Hogan’s deal, the original deal called for four pay-per-views a year at half a million dollars a pay-per-view.”
“The approach was, having Hulk Hogan would get us more press, more publicity that we can’t afford to pay for. It will increase our viability internationally.“
“Both for international television distribution, which was a very big target for us, we knew that was a way that we could really increase our bottom-line revenue without any incremental costs associated with it other than having Hogan a part of it.“
“So we would spread Hogan’s $2 million throughout the various revenue streams that WCW had in hopes of monetizing it and improving our bottom line. And as it turned out, it worked.”
This deal worked out well for both Hulk Hogan and WCW. Hogan made absolute bank, while also drawing huge numbers of fans to watching World Championship Wrestling.
His first pay per view in WCW smashed the record for their highest buy rate, and continued to go up until the ill-fated Starrcade 1997.
Hulk Hogan remains one of the greatest WCW Champions ever, even though his last match in the company saw him win the title in deplorable fashion. He signed a new deal with the company in 1998, which saw even more eye-watering figures thrown around…
Hulk Hogan’s WCW Contract Leaked
Hulk Hogan signed a new contract with WCW in 1998, a year after his incredible run as the leader of the NWO and as the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
The actual contract he signed has been leaked, with some huge numbers thrown around for the Hulkster. This included a $2 million signing bonus, 25% of the gross for the tickets to Nitro, up to $1.75 million per pay per view, plus first class air travel to WCW events.
The details of the contract are down below, as well as an image of Hulk Hogan’s leaked WCW contract.
Signing bonus: $2,000,000
•Will perform at 6 PPVs per year and will be the “featured wrestler”
•Will get 15% of domestic PPV cable sales for WCW PPV or $675,000 [whichever is higher]
•Advance for PPV agreement is $1,350,000 three-times a year
•Pay between $250,000 to $1.75M if buy rate is above 1.5 (up to 3.5+)
•25% of Nitro/Thunder Gross Arena Tickets or $25,000 (whichever is higher)
•25% of gross arena tickets for any house show
•$100,000 consultant fee starting during year four
•Royalty rate of 50% on all merchandise sold directly by WCW to any consumer incorpoarting Hogan’s likeness or character
•50% of Actual license Fees received by WCW for Hogan’s likeness or character
•$20,000 per month promotional fee for wearing nWo shirt (or at least 25% of WCW’s net receipts and actual license fees for generic non-talent specific nWo merchandise.
•100% of the Hogan hotline revenue
•First class air travel,. first class suite hotel, limo transport and $175 per diem
If you’re interested in seeing more leaked wrestling contracts, click down below to check out the leaked contract the WWE gave to the Ultimate Warrior when he returned to the WWE.