WWE is the place to work for aspiring pro wrestlers that want to make as much money as possible. The majority of prospects entering the wrestling business hold a love for the industry out of fandom from childhood but money is still a major priority. The love of the sport can only go so far when you're struggling to pay bills and risking your health on a weekly basis with a job that requires you to put your body on the line. The bad luck of injuries doesn’t know how much money you’re making and will strike at any time. WWE offers the stability of being financially taken care of.
The pay in the WWE is still quite difficult to figure out. There’s no official system that gives us the easy formula to find out how much a superstar makes but luckily, the salaries are often leaked online. Forbes has recently taken up reporting facts on pro wrestling and WWE’s contracts have been one of the topics they’ve tackled. That has given us more of an insight into the numbers many of the performers we are watching make at the end of the year. Very few wrestlers get into the elusive seven figure salaries of making over a million dollars in a calendar year but that’s the dream.
Most of the names earn about what you would expect and what they are worth. John Cena is making over $9 million dollars thanks to a decade of being the top guy that does everything required of him. The younger talents make considerably less, but they will attempt to change that through their work and rising name value. Currently, a number of the contracts do seem a bit strange with some wrestlers commanding way more than their position dictates and others just flat out getting shafted by the system. We’ll look at both sides of the spectrum to break down which eight wrestlers are most overpaid and which seven are drastically underpaid.
15 Overpaid: Mark Henry ($877,000)
14 Underpaid: Luke Harper ($90,000)
13 Overpaid: Zack Ryder ($535,050)
12 Underpaid: Paige ($65,500)
11 Overpaid: The Miz ($712,000)
10 Underpaid: Sami Zayn ($7,000)
9 Overpaid: Sheamus ($1.3 Million)
8 Underpaid: Cesaro ($80,145)
7 Overpaid: Kane ($1.3 Million)
6 Underpaid: Bayley (Low NXT Starter Package)
5 Overpaid: The Undertaker ($2.25 Million)
4 Underpaid: Roman Reigns ($2.1 Million)
3 Overpaid: Brock Lesnar ($6 Million)
2 Underpaid: New Day ($574,200 total)
1 Overpaid: Randy Orton ($1.6 Million with Travel Benefits)
Randy Orton’s career is a very bizarre one to look back in retrospect. Orton's in-ring work was on point and his standing in the company definitely portrayed him as a main eventer, but it just never felt he was on the level John Cena. Orton didn’t even appear to be as valuable as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan during their peaks. There was something always lacking, preventing Orton from being a legitimate face of the company. WWE still managed to pay him like one with a salary of almost $2 million. Orton's use before his recent injury saw him as an occasional main eventer/upper midcarder but not of someone that would be worthy of such a massive payday. In bonuses, Orton also gets personal travel benefits like his own bus while on the road.
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