It is no secret that during the time Jesse Ventura was employed under WWE he had his shares of success and problems, mostly problems and controversies. During the 90’s, Ventura sued the WWE for $1 million in revenues from various videotapes claiming that he never received royalties from the company.
Based on the information revealed in the lawsuit Jesse Ventura filed against WWE, here are the pay records for announcers during the late 80s until the early 90s:
– Ventura himself earned $133,317 in 1987, $142,902 in 1988, $181,914 in 1989 and $128,468 in 1990. Once he jumped ship to WCW, his pay went upwards of $300,000.
– Gorilla Monsoon earned $262,712 in 1987, $228,800 in 1988, $231,611 in 1989 and $231,611 in 1990. His pay included prelim money on all house shows, front office duty as well as for his role hosting two TV shows.
– Bobby Heenan earned $195,864 in 1987, $206,590 in 1988, $25,755 in 1989 and $240,000 in 1990. His contract went up to $275,000 guaranteed beginning in 1991 and included his services as both an announcer and a manager.
– “Mean” Gene Okerlund earned the most, getting $367,923 in 1987, $324,975 in 1988, $309,639 in 1989 and $330,539 in 1990. His salary was higher than the others because of a larger guarantee given when he jumped to WWE in 1983 with Hulk Hogan. As well, Okerlund was on the road more than other announcer due to having to do localized market interviews (though he traveled less than Heenan, who was an actual performer too).
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter