In a recent edition of the WINCLY podcast, former WWE Superstar TJ Perkins spoke about his time with the company, his contract and how his situation differed from many of his peers.
An interesting tidbit that Perkins shed light on is the fact that the 205 Live superstars are signed to NXT deals rather than WWE deals. There was some debate about this in the past as it wasn’t explicitly clear.
“We all had NXT deals. Mine was pretty big. They offered me two raises before I actually had a deal because they thought I might go somewhere else. I remember getting more than what was normal, but it was still an NXT deal.”
According to Perkins, though, being signed to an NXT deal wasn’t a bad thing at all. With main roster stars having to handle their own travel and hotels and manage certain costs, those on the main roster who are signed to NXT deals don’t have to worry about this. NXT contracts cover those things while still providing the same types of bonuses, leading to the perform storm in a way.
“If you’re on NXT and you’re wrestling on the main roster, that’s the best-case scenario [for some of the guys] because you’re making a lot extra and getting to keep a lot of it because you don’t have to handle rental cars and hotels and stuff like that.”
Perkins would also add that, while his situation was better than most as far as merchandise went, WWE could have and still could do more to help cruiserweights. Because the 205 Live roster is an afterthought as far as the main roster talent are concerned, not in terms of ability but marketing, it’s hard for them to justifiably have shirts and merchandise that can help their bottom line.
“I did really well at the gate. I think even to this day none of the cruiserweights lucked out as much as what I got initially. I got like six shirts and two action figures and some of the guys are just getting their first shirts and figures now, which sucks. That’s something that could have really helped the perception of the cruiserweights in terms of the fans if there was more stuff like that put out.”
The full podcast appearance can be found here and provides a bevy of insight about the creative team, Perkins being called the First Cruiserweight Champion and more.