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Who Is The Highest Paid Knockout? – Two Reportedly Make Over $100,000

The August 2011 issue of the UK based wrestling magazine Power Slam reports that there is a sizable pay discrepancy among the female performers of TNA Wrestling.

The magazine states that Christy Hemme and Mickie James are the highest-paid female talent in the organization: each earn more than $100,000 per year. Meanwhile, the rest of TNA’s female wrestlers and personalities (Angelina Love, Brooke Tessmacher, Cookie, Jackie, Madison Rayne, ODB, Rosita, Sarita, SoCal Val, Tara, Traci Brooks, Velvet Sky and Winter) earn far less: $600 per appearance at most.

Karen Jarrett’s salary is not stated, but the magazine indicates that she commands an above average appearance fee.

Hemme and James command the highest salaries because both were high-profile performers in WWE and thus are more valuable than the other women due to their name recognition. Though the magazine does not indicate which female talent earns more, it is noted that both make a similar low six-figure amount per year. Hemme, however, solely works televised events whereas James additionally appears on the company’s live event tour.

Hemme’s reported salary has drawn criticism from fans and colleagues as they feel it’s exorbitant for a non-wrestling female personality. The Honky Tonk Man claimed last year that her contract renewal with TNA last year was for three years at an annual rate of $175,000. He also said that Eric Bischoff, a huge supporter of the former WWE Diva and Playboy cover girl, helped Hemme obtain the high-end deal. Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer would not confirm the veracity of the former WWE star’s claim but did say the deal made her the highest paid female performer in the company.

Reports of Hemme’s salary last year reportedly upset some of her female co-workers.

At the maximum second-tier rate, a TNA Knockout who appeared on every single television and pay-per-view event over the course of a calender year, 64 in all, would garner $38,400 at most. TNA solely covers airfare, leaving talent to cover all other expenses including lodging, wardrobe and medical. There is also no downside guarantee, thus meaning talent only get paid when they are used. And while the company holds numerous non-televised events, each tour features a rotation of two to five female performers.

Velvet Sky, who is arguably the organization’s top homegrown female star, is believed to be earning the maximum rate of the second-tier salary cap. Her contract renewal with TNA last year reportedly called for her salary to be bumped from $300 per appearance to $600. However, she is an exception to the rule on salary hikes for female talent. Gail Kim, Awesome Kong and Shelly Martinez (a/k/a Salinas) have all publicly stated that they left TNA because organization officials denied their requests for a pay raise.

  • StudDog

    CM PUNKS PROMO: How much are you getting for blowing Eric Bischoff? Oops soryy we know you do it for free.

  • The best thing Christy Hemme ever did was break Trish Stratus’ shoe with her head.

  • venom

    Christy is definately over paid. I thought Love would have been paid the most too.

  • Stick Stickly

    Mickie James is makeing 100k a year and she still needs fans to donate there money so she can make a shitty album i don’t know wht was more messed up that she asked for the money or that people actually gave her the money after reading this I lost all my respect for mickie James I don’t even care if shes good looking or a good performer shes just a greedy bitch

  • Dick Coxafloppin

    Christy Hemme = FAIL

  • Logan

    Oh and Christy was in a video game too!

  • Logan

    ………wow wtf Christy Hemme making more than Victoria/Tara?….DAMN!!!!!!!!F’ed up TNA. Mickie I can understand Christy not so much only memorable thing I remember of her is Playboy, winning the Diva search thing, and sitting on cream pie(haha) in front of The Rock.

  • Ajd

    They need to do like the nfl and nba….SALARY CAP!!!!

  • Hemme makes 100k and she dosent even wrestle?? Unless she does the ring announcing completly naked spread eagle in the middle of the ring she’s not worth it.
    No wonder TNA has issues…..

  • chris

    so if mickie is making that amount of money, why does she want us to help out with her kickstarter project?

  • JIR

    I really am not surprised Mickie James is understandable Christy Hemme is hot and has some talent and if she was able to secure that pay by any means well haters gonna hate her but she earned it

  • CC

    So in this report it states that Hemme and James get the higher money because of their name recognition through being ex-WWE, yet Gail Kim was refused a rise despite at the time she joined them, being an ex-WWE womens champion and high profile wrestler.
    Winter of course, was also ex-WWE, and while not as high profile as James, would surely be able to command more as well, based on the fame criteria.