indy wrestling
Independent wrestler Lenny Lilac drops an elbow on opponent Jeff Black in a match for the PWA Hot Dog in the Bank Briefcase, which entitles the winner to an extra hot dog at any time of his choosing.

Professional wrestlers on the independent (or “indy”) scene are raising their voices in unison to demand that the minimum wage must be increased immediately to three hot dogs. 

Despite decades of inflation and a rising cost-of-living, the majority of indy wrestlers continue to work for the longstanding minimum wage of one hot dog (or, for vegetarians, one small tube of Pringles). 

“I can only live on one hot dog a week for so long,” said Canadian independent wrestler Precise Paul Wright. “I got kids to feed — kids who need hot dogs too!”

The Biden administration has signalled an intention to raise the base pay for every indy wrestler to a “living wage of wieners and buns” with “reasonable access to packets of ketchup and mustard.”

While a top talent who performs in the main event at a well-attended show could earn up to 250 hot dogs and even several handshakes, most mid-card indy wrestlers have to work “real jobs” during the week just to afford to buy their own hot dogs. 

Practically all indy wrestlers dream of one day getting signed to WWE, where they can get unlimited free hot dogs (and even sausage-on-a-bun!) in catering, earn six-figure hot-dog salaries, sign lucrative endorsement deals with Oscar Mayer, and so on. 

But most will remain in the indies, where some promoters are resistant to the idea of a wage hike. 

“I mean, I’m not made of hot dogs for frig’s sake,” said longtime promoter Ian Rotten (who, it should be noted, is only 87 percent made of hot dogs).

Added Mr. Rotten: “If you want to make it in this business, you gotta be hungry, and you can’t be hungry if you’re full of hot dogs.”


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