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Sami Zayn reveals surprising first WWE salary

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Sami Zayn took a significant pay cut when he originally signed with WWE.

WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet. Signing with the company is the dream of every aspiring wrestler. Though one has to make many sacrifices to get this chance. For Zayn, this means sacrificing a big portion of his then income as well to get on TV.

The former IC Champion signed with the promotion back in 2013. He was assigned to the NXT brand originally where he won the NXT title. Sami made his main roster debut in a match against John Cena in May 2015.

Sami Zayn took a huge pay cut

The former champion told the story of his WWE signing during an appearance on the Whiskey Ginger podcast (H/t WrestlingInc). He revealed that he was making around $100,000 in the indies. The Canadian star took a huge pay cut when he signed a developmental deal with WWE:

‘I signed my first WWE contract for $39,000. Because it was developmental, but you obviously get to make money later, which is what happened. So, I wasn’t too nearsighted about it, thinking that I was worth so much more. You kinda understand when to take it on the chin, and when you’ll make it up.’

Sami Zayn started making more money when he started touring for the promotion. He also recalled his ‘light bulb’ moment that came with his first check from the road loop:

‘Within eight months, they started sending me on the road to do road loops. At that point, I was making only $50,000, but when the first check came in for the road loop, there was 6 or 7 grand in there. At that point, I had like a light bulb moment where I realized, ’˜Oh my god, I’m here to make money.’ Money is so not why I do this. Don’t get me wrong ’” I enjoy having it versus not having it.’

Written by
Martin MacDonald