How Much do WWE Wrestlers Make?
The best WWE wrestlers have the same celebrity status as well-known actors and singers having made over a million dollars each. WWE wrestling remains popular even with competition from the UFC. The lucky few who are rostered to the WWE can still make a lot of money from this entertaining sport.
A professional WWE wrestler has to train hard to keep in good physical shape and be an experienced wrestler, but their personality is as important since WWE is entertainment. Whilst there is no official requirement for training, most WWE wrestlers in the US attend the official Florida Championship Wrestling training centre where, just as gamblers learn the best keno strategies, talented wrestlers are put through their paces to become WWE’s next breakout star. The best will top the bill at events at huge venues, from Vegas casinos to sports stadium.
A wrestler will make money from their employment contract which confirms their base salary, any bonuses that can be earned. Contracts are unique to each individual and may be for a single year or up to 10 years. Pay is docked for every show they miss through injury or another issue. The WWE has stated the average wage for wrestlers is around USD500,000, but with no contract details ever released, this cannot be confirmed and other sources have stated that earnings can range from USD52,000 per year to USD5 million, though the terms and conditions are lengthy and include the possibility of early termination of a contract for many reasons. WWE wrestlers can make more money if they travel overseas for events. They also make money from royalties and Pay-Per-View events.
Highest-paid WWE wrestlers
John Cena is reported to be the highest paid male WWE wrestler, making USD10 million, whilst Brock Lesnar made around USD9.4 million in 2020. Extra income is made through sponsorship and endorsement deals.
Triple H, a part-time wrestler and one of WWE’s company executives, has an annual salary of USD1.6 million, with USD600,000 from bonuses. These bonuses can be a percentage of net ticket sales, as an incentive for wrestlers to promote their events. There is also a percentage to be made from pay-per-view sales, though this is different for each wrestler.
Royalties, merchandise, and endorsements
Only the biggest stars and the retired superstars receive a significant income from royalties. Wrestlers featured on merchandise can earn about 25 per cent of net receipts in royalties, but if there is more than one wrestler features on a particular item, the 25 per cent is divided evenly between them. Endorsements are specific to each individual.
Roman Reigns, the biggest star in WWE at present, earns in the region of USD3 million. With Brock Lesnar reportedly set to return for a WrestleMania 37 match he could make even more money than any other WWE wrestler.
The women’s salaries in WWE wrestling are far below their male counterparts. Ronda Rousey was the highest earner in 2019 with earnings of about USD1.3 million, though she has not wrestled for almost two years after she lost her Raw Women’s title to Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 35 in 2019, which means that Lynch is now the highest earner at USD1.6 million, with Charlotte Flair in third place with earnings of around USD500,00.