WWE is a global phenomenon and has been for quite some time. As the popularity of professional wrestling has grown over the last 30 years, mainly due to Vince McMahon’s WWE (formerly WWF), so have the paychecks…at least for some. While the mid-card guys still make a good amount of money, the main-eventers have the chance to make millions upon millions of dollars per year. Some of that money comes from a base salary, but the big money comes from the big events. For instance, being in a main event at WrestleMania could set you up for quite a long time. Take
Take WrestleMania V, for example, which saw Hulk Hogan make a reported $2 million for his main event match against “Macho Man” Randy Savage. That was just one match for the Hulkster. If a career goes in the right direction, there’s serious money to be made in the wrestling business. In a recent report, WrestleZone highlighted 10 individuals from WWE that have made a ton of money. Here’s a quick rundown.
Well, this one is quite obvious. As the majority owner, chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon has created an empire. For the last 30-plus years, McMahon has essentially dominated the world of professional wrestling. His duties behind and in front of the camera keep him extremely busy, but being that busy has certainly paid off for the boss. McMahon’s current net worth is $750 million.
As a third-generation WWE superstar, Dwayne Johnson, known to wrestling fans as “The Rock,” learned the family business and learned it well. As one of the most popular WWE stars of the Attitude Era, The Rock took his success from WWE and became one of the most marketable men in Hollywood. Johnson’s net worth today is estimated at $125 million.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Speaking of the Attitude Era, there was no bigger star in the industry at that time than Stone Cold Steve Austin. He turned his rebellious attitude on WWE programming into a cash cow for WWE…and for himself. He easily sold the most merchandise during that time, performed in some of the biggest matches in WWE history, and his feud with Vince McMahon probably saved the company. Today, Austin is worth in the neighborhood of $45 million.
For the last 10 to 12 years, John Cena has been WWE’s golden boy. Easily the biggest star in the company in the 2000s, Cena is on the verge of breaking Ric Flair’s all-time record for world heavyweight championships held and has also had some recent success on the big screen in movies such as Trainwreck and Sisters. Cena is now worth around $35 million.
Triple H has had a great career with WWE. He just performed at his 20th WrestleMania and has also taken a very big role behind the scenes in WWE. He is in charge of the NXT brand of WWE and still serves as a major on-air personality. Being married to Stephanie McMahon can’t hurt either and he is currently worth $25 million.
Although Kurt Angle hasn’t been with WWE for quite some time, he took the fame he received from working in WWE and parlayed that into getting massive contracts from TNA. The real-life Olympic gold medalist is worth around $20 million.
The Big Show
Brought into WWE back in 1998 as a major free agent from WCW, the Big Show (real name Paul Wight) has accumulated big money. He’s also worth around $20 million.
Speaking of big free agents brought into WWE from WCW, Chris Jericho makes the top 10 as well. Once thought of by many as someone who could never become a major player in WWE, Jericho proved all the doubters wrong by becoming one of the biggest stars of the 2000s. With the money he’s made with WWE and his band Fozzy, Jericho’s estimated worth is $18 million.
One of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history, Shawn Michaels is also one of the richest wrestlers in WWE history. The three-time world champion known affectionately as “Mr. WrestleMania” has also found success in life after wrestling in the world of reality television. Michaels is worth around $17 million.
Over the last 25 years, the standard for WWE has been set by The Undertaker. Known as one of the most respected men in WWE history, he’s not taken advantage of some of the outside success that others on this list have enjoyed, but a net worth of $16 million isn’t necessarily a negative thing.
Noticeably absent from this list is Hulk Hogan, arguably the biggest star in WWE history. Hogan’s net worth took a huge hit after his divorce in 2007, but if he ever receives that $140 million settlement from Gawker, there would be a new No. 2 on this list.
[Image via WWE]