Many of the WWE Universe have the misconception that just because a WWE superstar has been signed to the biggest wrestling promotion in the world that they are obviously very rich. It doesn’t always work this way, as it all depends on the contract you sign with WWE since WWE stars are responsible for paying for their own flights and accommodations out of their own pocket unless otherwise stipulated in their contract. The Shield recently mentioned that they were trying to save as much money as they could when they first came to WWE so Dean Ambrose used to sleep on the floor in their hotel rooms because they weren’t earning as much money as they are right now.
It’s shocking how much many WWE wrestlers actually earn annually, compared to someone like Brock Lesnar who earned $12 million last year for a handful of appearances, because WWE considers him a huge draw. Every WWE star signs a different contract and many actually hold out for much better deals than others. While these stars are able to secure big money, some stars who have been with the company for decades are shockingly much less well off than many fans might have thought.
The following list looks at eight WWE superstars past and present that you didn’t know were earning very little money right now and seven that are filthy rich thanks to their time in WWE.
15. Poorer: Marty Jannetty
The years definitely haven’t been kind to Marty Jannetty. The former Tag Team star lost his way in WWE in the early 1990s and has since tried to remain part of the wrestling business, despite being way past his sell-by date.
Jannetty has recently been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons along with his long-lost daughter, who turned out to not be his daughter. Like many wrestlers who are still performing past their prime in the wrestling business, Jannetty is motivated by money. He hasn’t had a great few years and definitely isn’t at his healthiest anymore, but wrestling is the only thing he knows so it’s what he continues to do. Even WWE has given up trying to help Jannetty over the years.
14. Filthy Rich: Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle returned to WWE for the first time in more than a decade earlier this year when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and has since become the General Manager of the Raw brand, taking over from Mick Foley who needed to leave so that he could undergo hip surgery.
Many of the WWE Universe thought that money could have been the main motivation behind Angle’s return to the company he first found fame in as a wrestler, but it seems that money had nothing to do with it. After spending most of his life in the spotlight or in the wrestling business, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Kurt’s net worth currently stands at $20 million and that will only continue to increase as he continues to make appearances on WWE’s Raw roster.
13. Poorer: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler has been part of the WWE roster now for more than a decade and it has reached the point where the WWE Universe and Dolph himself is now talking about retiring from wrestling with WWE. It was thought that Dolph had always been smart with money so he would be able to live quite well after he left the company, but this may not be the case.
In a world where Brock Lesnar has a $30 million fortune, it seems that Dolph is only thought to have a net worth of around $1 million. This means that he has worked for the past decade for less than 10% of what Brock Lesnar took home for 2016. The WWE Universe has been grossly misled when it comes to Ziggler’s finances, and we’re sure he can’t be too happy about the discrepancy in pay.
12. Filthy Rich: The Big Show
A few years ago Big Show was part of a storyline with Stephanie McMahon where she claimed that The Giant was in so much debt that she was forced to buy his house for him and that was why he was indebted to her.
In reality, this definitely isn’t the case. The Big Show is another WWE star who has been around the business for long enough to know that there could always be problems around the corner, so he has learned to save up. Incredibly, his net worth currently stands at $22 million. So if he was thinking of following through with his rumoured retirement in the coming months, then at least the WWE Universe will know that The Big Show can definitely look after himself.
11. Poorer: Mick Foley
Mick Foley is a Hardcore Legend and someone who was seen most recently on WWE TV as the general manager of Monday Night Raw. Mick was thought to have a lot of money tucked away because he lives in a huge house with his own Santa Claus room, all of his children currently earn their own income and he was probably making some nice money from Holey Foley.
Despite this, Mick took to social media earlier this year to inform the WWE Universe that he needed hip surgery but didn’t have any health insurance. The surgery cost $600,000 and even though he was part of WWE’s current roster, he was only on a handshake deal with the company so they were under no obligation to pay for it. Mick ended up paying for the operation but in a statement he talked about how tough the last few years had been and the fact that he didn’t want to have to shell out the money, which means that he probably doesn’t have that much to waste.
10. Filthy Rich: Shane McMahon
It probably doesn’t come as that much of a surprise that the son of the millionaire that runs WWE is also a millionaire himself. Shane has never been someone who has followed in his father’s footsteps though, with the current Commissioner of SmackDown Live making the decision to leave WWE back in 2009 so that he can create his own legacy outside of the company.
Shane’s net worth stands at an incredible $35 million because he has become a business mogul in his own right and made a number of wise investments over the past decade. It seems that Shane has obviously found his way back to WWE as well over the past year, but he also attempted to make a difference on his own and has now proven to his father that he could.
9. Poorer: Joey Mercury
Joey Mercury recently made headlines because The Shield revealed just how much input he had for the group when they were coming through the ranks. The trio claimed that Mercury was the fourth member of the group behind the scenes before stating that they missed him.
Joey has worked for WWE for a long time, but like many WWE stars, he lost his way a few years back because of struggles with addiction and almost lost his house. CM Punk stepped in and bought his house to stop him from becoming homeless before helping him to get his job back in WWE, something that has helped Mercury stay on track over the past few years. Unfortunately he lost his job as a backstage executive for WWE again earlier this year.
8. Filthy Rich: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho was never going to be a man who was out of money since he splits his time between touring with his band and performing on WWE TV. It was estimated last year that Jericho’s net worth is around $18 million which should be enough to tide him over in the years to come.
Jericho is a sure-fire Hall of Famer someday and a man who has left and returned to WWE so many times now that the WWE Universe has come to accept this as part of Y2J’s character. One day Jericho will leave WWE for the last time and it’a nice to know that the former World Champion has been taking precautions to ensure that he and his family are safe in the years to come.
7. Poorer: X-Pac
X-Pac made a name for himself as part of D-Generation X in the 1990s before being introduced to a whole different audience alongside former WWE star Chyna in their homemade videos. Despite being able to continue his wrestling career over the past few decades and being good friends with Triple H and Shawn Micheals, it seems that X-Pac is another WWE star who is struggling financially.
X-Pac has lost a lot of his savings over the past few years to his addiction and even turned to Diamond Dallas Paige to help him through many of his problems. It seems that addiction has hit X-Pac quite hard over the past few years and he is still said to be having issues with this problem now. He still wrestles on the independent circuit to gain income.
6. Filthy Rich: The Undertaker
The Undertaker has been part of the WWE roster now for almost three decades, despite having a wife and family at home. Undertaker has been able to make sure he saves some of the money he has earned so that he’s prepared for retirement.
Undertaker doesn’t appear ready to walk away from the business just yet, but with a net worth of around $18 million, it seems that money isn’t the thing that is keeping Undertaker around. The Phenom will be able to continue to create a regular income when he does finally retire from the company in the coming months as well since he has recently begun attending conventions and charging around $100 for an autograph. This could become a regular money generator for The Deadman in the years to come.
5. Poorer: Sabu
It’s shocking that after having a career at his level for that many decades, Sabu is having to beg the WWE Universe to help him to pay for an operation that he desperately needed. Sabu has been putting his body on the line for the crowd for most of his life, so it was obvious that he would need hospital treatment at some point.
Sabu did finally get the help he needed but the reason he is so poor at the moment despite still working in the wrestling business is because of his own addiction problems. It has also been an issue for a number of former wrestlers, but Sabu is one of the more known ones now since he was basically begging for help with an operation that he needed to have to improve his health.
4. Filthy Rich: Batista
Batista obviously knew what he was doing throughout his career and after finding success in WWE, The Animal decided to follow in the footsteps of The Rock and John Cena and made the switch over to starring in movies.
Obviously, Batista wasn’t as big a name as the two aforementioned stars, but he was still able to land starring roles in James Bond’s Spectre and the Guardians of The Galaxy saga, which has definitely not left him struggling for money. Batista is now up there as one of the richest former WWE stars in the companies history, although he still has quite a way to go until he reaches the heights of Dwayne Johnson. He has plenty of time to try to catch him as he continues to be offered parts in upcoming films.
3. Poorer: Goldust
Goldust probably wouldn’t be considered poor with a net worth of $2 million, but when they think that he has been part of WWE TV now for more than three decades and that is all he has to show for it, it’s rather shocking.
Goldust looks as though he could be the next WWE star to announce his retirement, but knowing that that is his entire net worth is perhaps why Goldust is holding off on the official announcement and hoping WWE will offer him another job behind the scenes instead. It’s sad that there are wrestlers who haven’t been in the business as long as Goldust or made the impact that he has over the past few years who are now walking around with much more money in the bank than he has.
2. Filthy Rich: Brock Lesnar
For a superstar that only appears on WWE TV when he wants to, despite being the Universal Champion, it seems that Brock is doing quite well with his current WWE deal. The Beast only appeared on WWE a handful of times last year and earned $12 million, making him the highest earning WWE star for 2016.
Not only that but Lesnar has a private jet, so unlike all other WWE stars who have to pay for their own flights and accommodation, Brock doesn’t have to do any of this, he just flies to the city where WWE needs him next. His net worth is currently heading towards $30 million, and for someone who rarely wrestles and doesn’t perform as part of the UFC roster anymore, that isn’t too shabby.
1. Poorer: Ric Flair
Ric Flair is the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer as well as one of the biggest living legends in WWE history. The Nature Boy has been around the business now for almost five decades and in that time he has made quite a lot of money.
However, Ric wasn’t very smart with this money in his early career and managed to lose a big chunk of it to women, bars and gambling before he lost another big chunk of it in four different divorces over the past few decades. Flair owed $35,000 to Highspots back in 2010 before someone anonymously paid the money for him. He later admitted that he was forced to borrow $800,000 from Vince McMahon a few years ago as well, which goes to show that his high-flying lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
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