Though most of us don't take up professional wrestling at any point of our lives, we surely dream about being WWE Superstars. There's nothing like performing in front of live crowds (in front of millions on television), while aiming for WWE championship gold. However, some professional wrestlers don't seem to enjoy those luxuries us much as the dollars.
For many of us, we choose jobs because we love them -- and not for the money. I remember back in 2010 when John Cena and Batista had a promo leading up to their championship match at WrestleMania 26. Cena told Batista "I do this because I love it", while accusing The Animal of doing it for the money.
Well, Cena is definitely right in many cases. We've seen some wrestlers like Cena, Triple H and Chris Jericho work non-stop to get on top of the wrestling world. Others? Well, they chose to wrestle for the money at one point or another. Here is a look at 15 wrestlers who love the money but hate the fans.
You know how Ryback's phrase in WWE was "FEED ME MORE!"
Yeah, I think he meant that he wanted you to feed him more money. Ryback has a strong build of muscles, sure. Vince McMahon has always loved his giants (Big Show, Braun Strowman, Kane, etc.) but Ryback had a falling out with the company last year. He took a leave after frustration with not being paid enough and not receiving the big pushes he thought he deserved.
Last August, Ryback and the WWE officially parted ways and he was released. Despite being a solid mid-card wrestler, Ryback just wanted more money and the chance to be a top star. He didn't want to perform for millions on television and he didn't want to stay with the top company in an industry he loved. It was all about the money.
14 Vince McMahon
A questionable listing, sure. But allow me to try and quickly recap why Vince is more about the money and not what the fans want.
For example, he brought back Goldberg to headline all of these pay-per-views because he knew the former WCW star would be a huge money draw -- even though it's time for McMahon to start asking his full-time wrestlers to headline the big shows. That was all about money.
He signed Sting to have Triple H and Seth Rollins destroy him. That was also a publicity stunt to make money. He had The Undertaker fight at WrestleMania every year just to add more cash. He pays Brock Lesnar ridiculous amounts of money (to fight like five times a year), just so he can make revenue for himself.
Now, as for examples of him not liking the fans? He has tried pushing Roman Reigns as his top star for over two years now. Case closed.
13 Lex Luger
When Hulk Hogan left the WWE in the '90s, Vince McMahon handpicked Lex Luger to be the next star of the company. Luger had nothing but muscles -- and yet could not perform well as an actual wrestler. Nonetheless, McMahon pushed him like crazy as a true American hero and even gave Luger his own bus called "The Lex Express".
Fans never bought Luger as the hero, though. While he was with the WWE, Luger negotiated a contract with Eric Bischoff. Though it was for less money than he was making from WWE, Luger took the contract any way.
Luger, per Chris Harrington, made just over $440,000 with WCW in 1996. That number became $726,006 in 1997, $831,843 in 1998 and 1,371,899 in 1999. In his entire tenure with WCW, Luger took home just over $4.75 million.
This was despite not getting much of a push in WCW, either. He clearly wanted money and not the best possible career with the WWE.
12 CM Punk
Sportskeeda.com reported that Punk is worth around $8 million. He can give a big thanks to the WWE Universe for accepting him as one of the top Superstars of this decade. Too bad CM Punk is no longer part of the company and hasn't shown his appreciation for the fans who made him a legend, though.
Punk, who won three World Heavyweight Championships and a pair of WWE Championships, left the company for a reason back in 2014. He wasn't willing to listen to Triple H or Vince McMahon. He was sick of not headlining WrestleMania events and not being pushed as the main guy. We don't blame him for leaving, but it's clear his heart and money were more about the dollars than performing in the industry.
And just an FYI -- don't think he's going to be nice to his fans. There have been instances of him striking a fan and calling audience members homophobic slurs.
Stay Classy, sir.
11 Randy Orton
It may seem wrong to put Randy Orton on here, since wrestling is in his family's blood. The Legend Killer is a third-generation superstar and has been one of the most decorated wrestlers of the 21st century. He has four World Heavyweight Championships and nine WWE Championships -- and he's only 37 years of age. Orton has been able to work with the top names -- Triple H, John Cena and Undertaker -- just to name a few.
But Orton has made nothing but money in his wrestling career. According to Forbes, he's worth $15.5 million. You can say the money is just a side effect -- but Orton really doesn't care about fans that much.
Based on the internet, Orton hates being approached by fans. One time, a fan asked for a picture -- and Orton simply snatched the camera and broke it. Orton loves making the millions, but he doesn't love being approached by any fans.
10 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner was among the top Superstars in WCW as they rose through the ratings. Big Poppa Pump only cared about himself, however. He always got into beef with his wrestlers backstage and even called out Ric Flair during a promo as WCW was falling apart. But yeah, it's clear Steiner only chose professional wrestling because of the money involved.
According to Chris Harrington, Steiner made just over $2.73 million during his time in WCW from 1996-2000. That's not bad considering how he was often lost in the shuffle as WCW only pushed members of the nWo.
But again, Steiner was never able to get along with his coworkers and always caused up drama. There are many stories over the internet of Steiner telling fans to leave him alone when they try talking to him. He likes your money -- not your love for him.
9 Bret Hart
We love Hart and it's horrible how he got mistreated in the Montreal Screwjob. Yes, he's made it clear how many times he appreciated and loves the support from the fans. But leading up to his departure from the WWE, it was obvious that Bret Hart valued money more than performing for the fans.
In the mid '90s, Hart and the WWE agreed to a 20-year contract. However, Vince McMahon was in huge financial troubles as his company was losing to WCW during the Monday Night War. He begged Hart to go to WCW for his own benefit -- and Hart complied, of course.
Hart joined WCW for $3 million a year -- and his stint there was a huge disappointment. Bischoff and the company only worried about the nWo, and Hart had to retire after suffering a concussion in a match with Goldberg. If only Hart had stayed on with the WWE without being tempted to take more money from WCW...
8 Hulk Hogan
We won't even try to feed nonsense by telling you HulkHogan only did it for the money in the WWE. Vince McMahon loved The Hulkster and made him the face of professional wrestling across the planet. Hogan worked day in and day out to be the top star in the WWE -- and it helped him turn wrestling into one of the most popular forms of sports entertainment.
But let's be honest, Hogan decided to go to WCW for the money and nothing more. He was in the middle of a solid acting career went Bischoff came over and threw dollars and creative control power at Hogan.
According to a user from Reddit (via Maxim.com), here is what Hogan's contract looked like for WCW in 1998:
-A $2 million signing bonus
-15 percent of revenue from PPV events he performed at, plus $675,000 guaranteed
-25 percent of revenue from ticket sales any time he performed on Nitro, Thunder or house shows
-$20,000 per month just for wearing nWo merchandise
I think Hogan wanted all that money and power instead of pleasing the fans. Let's not kid ourselves. Oh, and why else do you think he went to TNA?
7 Scott Hall
Scott Hall formed the infamous nWo with Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash -- which was by far the greatest and most iconic moment in WCW history. But let's go back to his days in the WWE...
Hall, who went by Razor Ramon in the WWE, was one of the top heels in the company. The smug look, the mullet and the toothpick in his mouth -- there was nothing that could top it. He and Kevin Nash (who went by Diesel in WCW), were one of the most dominant tag teams. Of course, Hall and Nash were also part of The Kliq (along with Sean Waltman, Triple H and Shawn Michaels). They had plenty of power behind the scenes -- and Hall was making a reported $250,000 a year.
Though Hall got strong pushes, made lots of dough and was working with his close friends, he left WCW for one reason: Money. Eric Bischoff gave Hall more power in his contract, much more cash and less dates that he had to work at.
Please don't tell us he did what was best for him. Hall had no reason to leave the WWE except for more money.
6 The Ultimate Warrior
Despite not being all that talented in the ring, The Ultimate Warrior's awesome gimmick was enough to get him over with the crowd. Vince McMahon loved Warrior and gave him the push of a lifetime -- but that wasn't enough to keep the latter content.
Since he faced Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII, Warrior requested that he earned $550,000 -- which McMahon agreed to. However, Vince was infuriated that Warrior threatened to no-show SummerSlam and suspended him. Warrior countered by leaving the company altogether. Is that not evidence that he only stayed on so that he could get over half a million dollars?
Warrior clearly didn't care much for fans or their money. He made racial remarks to college students and was known for being a major jerk outside of the ring. Yes, you cheered him on. No, he didn't care for you -- but the money instead.
'The Animal' got over with the WWE crowd in 2005 as the enforcer of Triple H's Evolution stable. Batista then became World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania 21 -- putting himself on the path to greatness. But Batista eventually got frustrated with WWE's direction and left the company in 2010.
Despite beginning a successful career in Hollywood, Batista chose to come back in 2014. Why else? It had to be the money. Easily. Batista was pushed as a face and won the Royal Rumble -- which led to fans booing him out of the building. Batista grew frustrated and flipped off the crowd while taunting Daniel Bryan (the guy who fans wanted to see win the event).
Batista then left WWE once again just a few months after returning. He's been in WWE twice because of money. He's left twice cause he doesn't care enough about the fans, it would seem.
4 Ric Flair
The limousine ridin', jet flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin' son of a gun used to love being a professional wrestler. The Nature Boy began to build a name for himself in the '70s but became one of the greatest wrestlers in the world during the mid '80s and early '90s. Ric Flair was on top of the world.
But the 16-time World Champion eventually lost his magic to put on quality matches, but he wasn't willing to let go. He retired from WWE in 2008 then chose to go to TNA (which we assume was for money's sake). Also, many stories on the internet report that fans paid a lot of money for an autograph signing session with Flair -- who chose to no-show.
We love Flair, but does he love us? I think he loves the dollars more.
3 Kevin Nash
The WWE Hall of Famer has a remarkable legacy in WCW as well. Kevin Nash formed the New World Order with Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall -- which forever changed the history of professional wrestling. Before we continue, allow us to mention that Eric Bischoff signed Nash away from WCW by giving him a three-year contract worth $1.2 million a year.
Though the formation of the nWo helped WCW win the Monday Night Wars early, guys like Nash cared so much about money and power that they were among the reasons why WCW fell apart. Bischoff had no problem giving millions away to his best stars which came with creative control.
If Nash was more about money than fans, then he wouldn't have abused his creative control to keep making himself the WCW Champion. He wouldn't have been the mastermind of the Fingerpoke of Doom incident.
Nash just wanted money and power. Why else do you think the nWo grew stale which led to WCW's downfall?
Goldberg was among the very few legends that WCW developed on their own. Though the matches were anything but exciting, Goldberg's constant victories (via squashing opponents over and over again), got him over with the crowd. When Vince McMahon bought out WCW, Goldberg came over to WWE but didn't see eye-to-eye with the chairman and left in 2005.
But oh, why would a 50-year-old Goldberg decide to make amends and return in 2016? Probably because Vince McMahon offered a lot of money. Goldberg's ego would be too big to return to the WWE without a fancy contract.
If he truly were to return to wrestling because he felt entitled to doing it for the fans, Goldberg would have surely re-entered the ring some years earlier. He wouldn't come back to WWE over a year later.
1 Brock Lesnar
There's simply no denying that the WWE is a better place with Brock Lesnar. Has there truly been a bigger beast and man-made machine in sports entertainment industry? Definitely not.
But let's be honest -- Lesnar is a WWE superstar because of the money and not so much because he loves it. Forbes listed his 2016 earnings to be nothing more than $12 million. Yep, $12 million for a guy who got to squash Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania 32 and Randy Orton at SummerSlam before losing to Goldberg at Survivor Series in 1:26.
Lesnar left the WWE for a reason back in 2005. There's a reason he stayed in UFC before returning to WWE. There's a reason that he's stayed with the WWE since returning in 2012. Because money simply talks. Oh, and from stories we've heard -- don't try to approach Lesnar. Don't ask for an autograph.
He likes receiving money. He doesn't care much for you.
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