The Match Made In Heaven... The Match Made In Hell... Bret Hart's first single's title... Andre the Giant's (and Paul Roma's) final WWF Pay-Per-View appearance(s)... the Road Warriors capturing the WWF Tag Team titles, making them the only team to win tag team gold in the AWA, NWA, WCW, and WWF... and the first official appearance of the middle finger on World Wrestling Federation television. SummerSlam 1991 has many memorable and historically-important moments. This isn't about any of them. This is about the money, specifically the details from Titan Sports' pay-off sheet for talent and agents for SummerSlam 1991 that became public after details and evidence from the Ultimate Warrior's 2006 lawsuit regarding The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior
DVD were released (including hand-written notes between Warrior and Vince McMahon) in January of 2014. These little-seen, privately-held sheets cast quite a story on the backstage details of the wrestlers, the managers, the agents, and even the ring crew, putting a monetary value to a performer's place on the card... or lack thereof. Here are the Top 10 Surprising Revelations From the 1991 SummerSlam Payroll Sheet.
Some Facts From The Sheet Before We Begin...
- The reason this particular payroll sheet has been released is because Warrior negotiated that his pay be equal to Hulk Hogan's on all pay-per-views, Saturday Night's Main Events, house shows, etc. with physical proof of such prior to SummerSlam 1991. - Warrior was not the only superstar who wrestled at SummerSlam 1991 who would be fired shortly after; he was just the first. Seventeen of the 40 wrestlers, managers, and referees on the show would be gone within two years. On the payroll sheet- which was produced two years or so after the actual event- those terminated from the company are marked with a 'z.' - The gross income from the gate at SummerSlam 1991 was $404,150; the total in talent payouts was $724,150, or 191% of the ticket sales. That number does not include merchandise, home video, or pay-per-view numbers. The pay-per-view buyrate numbers were a 2.7 (405,000 buys.) That number pales in comparison to SummerSlam 1989 and '90, but were on par with WrestleMania 7, also from 1991 (2.8 buyrate, 400,000 buys.) Still, SummerSlam 1991 was the last non-WrestleMania PPV for a long time that earned more than 400,000 buys. - Many of the payment totals are made up of "base-pay" and "draw"- which is essentially a fee promoters would pay their performers up-front the day of the event; the "base" pay would come later. It's interesting to see what the veterans on the card made with their draws versus the more-recent superstars.