Money is a huge factor in any field of entertainment. It goes without saying that every wrestler in the business wants to get famous and make money, but a majority also do it for the love of the game.
On the other hand, some wrestlers seem to be in it just for the money. As wrestling continues to grow worldwide, earning more and more money via pay-per-view events, television deals, and live shows, more wrestlers are leveraging their star power to make as much money for themselves as possible--that is, they went their piece of the pie.
But this isn't just a recent phenomenon. The 90s wrestling boom saw its share of greedy wrestlers, as well. While most of the wrestlers do it for the love of wrestling, some only look at it from a financial perspective.
Here are the 15 wrestlers who were only in it for the money.
15 Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley is defintely one of the real powerhouse wrestlers of the past decade or so, as the hard-hitting mixed-martial arts specalist was sort of under-utlized by the WWE who could have built him to become a main event star, but wasted his potential. Lashley was obviously pushed as a very strong face at first, winnig the US Title within a year of his debut and then going onto win the ECW Title and defeating enormous wrestlers pretty easily. Lashley would then be involved in THAT McMahon vs Trump match at Wrestlemania 23 where he'd be victorious for Trump against Umaga, but later complained about being under-paid. In reality, he was actually being paid pretty well and earned around 1 million dollar in 2007, inspite of being "injured" and was let go of in 2008 for his tantrums. He later joined TNA, where he quickly became one of their highest paid wrestlers and has gone back to MMA recently, where he can make more big bucks and open up some more side-businesses to secure a good life ahead after his wrestling career, as he's quite the shrewd man behind that monstrous look.
14 Ken Shamrock
Ken Shamrock was already a well established star in the UFC before making his way into the WWE, as the former UFC Superfight Champion was signed up by Vince McMahon when Shamrock was feeling uneasy in UFC and made his way to wrestling to make the extra bucks. Ofcourse he was promoted and built like a monster, as Shamrock would absolutely pummel through most of his opponents with his stiff, hard-hitting style and won the Intercontinental Championship too in the process. Shamrock was a major heel during his time, but bailed on the company when UFC came calling again in 1999 as he went onto resume his MMA career. But he made quite the bucks in his WWE stint as he himself revealed, and was probably one of their top earners at the time as he is another case of a non-wrestler wrestling only to make more money for himself.
13 Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio might be a very talented wrestler, but he's also a very shrewd man who also scans the future ahead of doing anything and in recent years has been doing all the events just to make more and more money. Del Rio obviously found fame when he arrived in the WWE in around 2011 and was instantly pushed as a main eventer, winning the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships in the next few years. He'd leave the company amidst an altercation with a backstage guy, but was brought back with a big terms in 2015. This terms included not only a huge pay, but also giving him an allowance to leave the company whenever he wants. His 2nd stint was obviously not that good (apart from wooing Paige) and he left the company a few months back upon violating their Wellness Policy, and has now been doing Indy shows to make money. He's actually pretty rich, as he made 1.5 million last year and had indicated his intentions on doing some shows in the next few months and open his own MMA promotion, which will allow him to quit wrestling. Del Rio has had a business point of view in him for years now, and with all that money he had made in the recent years he now has a lot of options to invest it in.
Nailz is a wrestler who is rarely remembered by anyone, as he was a decent mid-carder in the 90s who played the gimmick of an ex-convict who feuded with the Big Bossman during the early 80s. That turned sideways for him when after his match against the Bossman at SummerSlam 1992, Nailz stormed into Vince McMahon's office and attacked him over him being underpaid in the company. He was soon released and even lost a lawsuit against the company, before being signed up by WCW who paid him incredible amounts of money to literally do nothing. He worked only a couple of matches in the 2 years he was in the company, making almost $200,000 in those times for doing absolutely nothing. It's rather obvious that Nailz was a greedy man which made for the demise of his WWE career, but he was also lucky to fool WCW and get all that cash for doing absolutely nothing at all.
11 Sycho Sid
Sycho Sid had the figure and intimidating nature which was quite a hit in the 90s, and decided to make a whole lot of figure because of his popularity and the fact that every promotion wanted to have him. He started out his career in WCW and became pretty popular which caught WWE's eye who came calling, and Sid jumped ship to Vince McMahon's promotion in 1991 and was given quite a hefty push. He even main evented WrestleMania VIII against Hulk Hogan and was the main heel of the company and heading into the right direction, before he jumped ship AGAIN to WCW for more money. This time he stayed in the company for only a year, before making his way back to WWE in 1995 and was again pushed as a monster, winning the WWE Championship in the meantime as well. But he had enough with the promotion towards 1999, moving to ECW for a short stint (before leaving because of monetary problems) and then again joining WCW till his retirement. Sid's constant jumping ships definitely allowed him to earn big bucks with all the signing fees and big contracts, allowing him to make some really big bucks which was the reason he was in wrestling anyways.
10 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner might have a big mouth he loves to utilize to spur controversy nowadays, but he's actually a very rich wrestler because of what he has made in the past. Steiner's popularity rose during his WCW days, as he started out with brother Rick Steiner as the two had a successful tag team before heading onto his singles career, as the dominating, muscular man had quite the reputation for his wrestling. Steiner earned quite a lot of money in WCW, as he earned almost 2.5 million dollars in 5 years at the company and was one of their highest paid wrestlers. But when it folded up, he went to WWE for a while where he made quite an amount of cash, before going onto wrestle for TNA. He was not only a vital part of TNA's story-lines, but was highly paid by the promotion as well and even after leaving the company, he has done indy shows where he makes a lot of cash. Steiner might be a talented wrestler, but considering how long he's stayed in the business and his demand for more fortune, he's in it only for the money as his hateful rants don't showcase any love for the sport as Steiner is investing those money to side-businesses to ensure a lavish future ahead for Big Poppa Pump.
9 Jeff Jarrett
Jeff Jarrett has always seemed to be as more of a businessman than an actual wrestler, as he's always seen professional wrestling as a mean of making more profitable money and make himself richer. Jarrett was actually a popular man in the WWE during the 90s where he spent most of his time in the promotion but was never happy with his pay(inspite of it being pretty good). He received a $175,000 to drop the Intercontinental Championship to Chyna, before heading to WCW the next day after signing a $425,000 per contract. He'd be there for around 2 and a half years before it was bought by the WWE, but there was no place for Jarrett there anymore. He instead opined to create his own wrestling promotion in Total Nonstop Action(TNA) with his father and was its owner for quite a number of years. He made a ton of money at TNA, before leaving a few years back as he has started another promotion called Global Force Wrestling(GFW) and his ability to do all this only goes to show how rich he actually is. Jarrett is all about the business standpoint of wrestling, as he only wants profit and make more and more money for himself.
8 Lex Luger
Lex Luger was quite the star attraction of promoters in the wrestling industry during the 90s, as the apparent "successor" to Hulk Hogan when he came into the WWE was actually a bonified WCW guy at the time. He couldn't really become that big in the WWE, slowly moving to the mid-card and then out of the company. His controversial move from WWE to WCW in 1996 was completed amidst rumors that Bischoff had promised to pay a lot of money to him, and that did come true a few years later when it was revealed that Lex had received almost $4.7 million in his 5 years in the company, getting more than a million a year in the last two years. Luger had made a whole load of money after his transfer from WWE to WCW, and was only in it for the money only as he could never make it as big as Sting or the NWO guys in the WCW, but was a highly paid player nonetheless because of his personality. Sadly for him, Luger was later involved in various law-suits and arrests which probably took away his money and now works for the WWE with their Wellness Policy, but when he had it coming, he had a whole lot of money on him which kept him in the game for that long.
"The Animal" Batista might have been one of the real powehouses in the WWE during his time, but he looked to get disinterested in the product once the fame caught up to him. Batista was a real monster heel at first with Evolution, before turning face and starting his run as a top singles star in the company and all the money, fortune and popularity he got outside the WWE got to his head as he started to look towards other options rather than WWE. Once he solidified himself outside of the WWE, he decided to look into a career in acting as he got some opportunities in Hollywood and quickly when some chances came along, he bailed on the WWE and left for Hollywood. The Multi-time World Champion would return again in 2014 to win the Royal Rumble upon his return, but wouldn't be able to win back the WWE Championship. He'd have a short reunion with Evolution to take on The Shield, but left again after a few months. Batista earned a hell lot of bucks in his time in the WWE, as his 2nd stint of a few months probably got him a lot of money and he just came back because of it, and one can presume that he's in it for the money as he recently said that he'll only return to WWE TV "if the offer is something meaningful" which means they have to book him strongly and pay him a lot of money.
Goldberg might have been a sensation in the 90s as the main attraction of WCW, but one can't deny that he made a whole lot of money because of his position in it. Goldberg might not have been paid that much in the beggining, but his stock continued to rise once he attained popularity as he was paid 5 million dollars in 1999 and over 3 million in 2000 by WCW. Not only this, but once WCW had folded up, Goldberg went to the WWE where he only wrestled for over a year and got 1 million dollars for that as well. That money itself can settle one for life, and going by the popularity he received in the entertainment business afterwards, Goldberg definitely did it for the money once he got the taste of it. He's scheduled to return soon for a match against Brock Lesnar, and he's defintely doing it for the money this time and not because of his love for wrestling.
5 Scott Hall
Scott Hall had great potential to become a main event star for WWE when he first came in, but was grounded to the mid-card to remain as the Intercontinental Champion and never got the push he truly deserved. Hall would become frustrated because of this and when WCW came calling with big money and a better offer, he didn't blink an eye before leaving with Kevin Nash to form the Outsiders, and later the NWO. But Hall would soon be blinded with the ton of cash he was making in WCW, ruining not only his promising wrestling career but his life as well as he received over 4 million dollars in his 5 years at WCW and washed it all away on drugs and alcohol to live a short, lavish life. He'd be resigned by the WWE for a while after WCW was bought by them, and afterwards only made appearances for money and not for the love of wrestling as he constantly needed money to fullfill his obsession before he was properly rehabilitated. Hall now works in a Legends contract for the WWE to earn his livelihood, but he completely threw his career away once he saw the huge bucks flow in from WCW.
4 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan might be the reason on why wrestling has become this popular, but it goes without a doubt that personally Hogan is quite the greedy man who after attaining fame only thought about how to build himself into a bigger superstar. The Hulkster revolutionized wrestling with his "Hulkamania" gimmick in the 80s and was Vince McMahon biggest asset at the time as he was paid quite lavishly for his performances as he received 10 million dollars a year during his Hulkamania peak. He had to slowly leave because of newer talents coming into the company in the 90s, but got a bumper offer by WCW who paid him almost 2 million dollars in 1996 to kick-start his heel persona in the NWO. He would receive a grand total of 13 million dollars in his next 5 years in the company, making him a very, very rich man. Hogan would obviously get back his place in the WWE a few years later, again making a whole load of bucks from Vince McMahon and whenever he needed a money boost, he came back to the WWE. Hogan also has won a lot of money through lawsuits in his life, as he grew greedier with his popularity and after a point of time was only doing it for more and more money and less for the actual betterment of the promotions he worked for.
3 Kevin Nash
Kevin Nash debuted in the WWE as the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels, but his character of "Diesal" got over with the fans that convinced Vince McMahon to put him as the face of the company for a while as he won the WWE Title and was paid very handsomely for his position in it. But the WWE went at a loss with him as champion, so he had to make for someone else but was still pretty prominent but WCW offered him a LOT more to get him on their end. McMahon wouldn't match that amount, and Nash headed to WCW where he would later get creative control too(infamously breaking Goldberg's unbeaten streak because of it). Not only this, but he'd be one of their highest paid stars as well, getting paid almost over 1.5 million dollars from 1998-2000 and received almost 6 million dollars during his time at the company. After WCW folded up, Nash would make sporadic returns to the WWE while also spending a hefty amount of time in TNA and remained in wrestling to make sure the cash was flowing as Nash never seemed to be interested in wrestling great matches and didn't seem to have that love for it which others did.
2 The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior's growth in the WWE is mostly because of how strongly booked his character was by the WWE, but that wasn't in the mind of the Warrior who took his position for granted after attaining popularity in the company. During his peak years, The Ultimate Warrior attained almost $650,000 for his Wrestlemania VI triumph against Hulk Hogan and received $550,000 for having a match against Randy Savage at Wrestlemania VII as well. But he started to become greedier with each passing year, as he wanted more and more money from Vince McMahon and work lesser dates to which Vince agreed at first, but later bucks him after the SummerSlam event in 1991. After a lengthy absense from WWE, The Warrior returned at Wrestlemania VIII but this stint wouldn't be fruitful at all, as he'd be fired again soon after. He'd return again few years later for another stint, but all that steroid use took away his wrestling capability as The Warrior was ruined with his greed for money and after a point of time showcased that he was only in it for the money and not for the love of it with all those disgusting acts which shadowed him from WWE for quite sometime.
1 Brock Lesnar
"The Beast" Brock Lesnar is not only a beast in the ring, but he's a very rich man outside it as well as Lesnar received his first shot at fortune when he was signed to a $250,000 developmental contract by the WWE. The former NCAA champion would quickly make way to the main roster, where he not only became the fastest and youngest WWE Champion, but got around 1 million dollar per year till he left for UFC. He became a blockbuster at UFC, so when he returned to the WWE in 2012, he was now at a 5 million dollar per year contract inspite of working only limited dates and wrestling barely even 5 matches a year. Lesnar's latest contract apparently gives him 6 million a year, as he has been in wrestling for the money for a long time now as he has grown into a lazy worker over the past few years and is always built to win in the limited matches he wrestles in a year. Lesnar is undoubtedly the hottest thing about sports-entertainment right now and with this amount of money in him, he'll never go away from wrestling even if he doesn't like wrestling and its fans very much.
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