The net worth of celebrities and professional athletes have always intrigued the common folk. Just how rich are these people, and how did they attain such levels of wealth? This information often serves as a barometer of comparison to evaluate their success amongst their peers. There is endless deliberation over the true value of this data and what it all really means when determining who is worth more than whom, and why.
Sports entertainment superstars are seemingly both professional athletes AND actors at the same time and thus, a parallel intrigue is noted in regards to who earns more, who is worth more, and why. What determines why one performer is more handsomely compensated versus another? We can assume company faces like John Cena reign amongst the highest earners, though how much does that really equate to in dollars and cents? What effect did the collapse of WCW have on the bank accounts of both stars and executives and how was this overcome, if even at all? And what about those long departed from their time in the ring or behind the scenes? How have they succeeded in sustaining or even growing their wealth?
The aim of the following article is to recap the most shocking net worths of past and present stars in the world of sports entertainment.
15 Eva Marie: $2.5 Million
Eva Marie poses quite the conundrum for the WWE. An undeniable physique has garnered her some perhaps undeserving success and is often the focal point of quite some controversy. The Diva has yet to hit her full potential in the ring and many question if she ever will. Despite her tactical shortcomings, she has worked her way onto the main roster on more than one occasion. She also plays a starring role on the hit reality series Total Divas. The WWE is banking in on her highly marketable profile in the meantime, with hopes that she paces her way to stardom in the ring as well. Outside of the squared circle, the starlet models, acts and profits off of many lucrative endorsement deals.
14 Seth Rollins: $4 Million
Seth Rollins was at the top of the totem pole prior to tearing his ACL during a live event in Ireland which has left him sidelined since November 2015. Rollins progressively worked his way through the independent circuits to WWE developmental territory NXT, all the way to the headlining marquee on the main roster. With that steady ascent comes significant pay increases and Rollins is currently benefiting from his heightened status within the company, with an estimated net worth of $4 million. Arguably the best performer today on the roster, Rollins is in line to earn substantially more in the near future, provided his rehab goes according to plan and he can return right where he left off.
13 Booker T: $5 Million
Booker T has sustained a prosperous career with the WWE after his time in the ring came to an end and it shows with his an estimated net worth of $5 million. He serves as an integral part of the analysis team surrounding live TV events and pay-per-views. He has also made use of his experience in professional wrestling by launching and overseeing his own independent promotion known as Reality of Wrestling. Revered as an arduous worker, he was one of the very few successful transitions when Vince McMahon bought out WCW. King Booker would win five World Heavyweight Titles on his way to a well deserved Hall of Fame career. Hard work pays off.
12 Ric Flair: $5 Million
The Nature Boy has a well documented history of brutal divorces which has led him into bankruptcy on more than one occasion. In fact, three divorces have left him with relatively little to show for (an estimated net worth of $5 million), considering his career in professional wrestling spans across four decades, and this, as a marquee talent. Flair struggled with substance abuse episodes as well along the way, further hindering his bottom dollar in more ways than one. As it stands today, Ric appears regularly on WWE programming, serving as the manager to his daughter Charlotte, the current WWE Women's Champion. Here's to hoping he can collect his dues on his last major run with company and retire comfortably after a spectacular career in the industry.
11 Dean Ambrose: $6 Million
A key figure in today's landscape, Dean Ambrose has yet to scratch the surface. Revered as an upper-card talent, Ambrose worked his way from the independent circuits all the way through WWE developmental territory NXT, and now to the main roster. His progression has generated steady pay increases annually and as he is only now entering his prime, it is believed that he stands to earn a lot more in the near future. The Lunatic Fringe has also worked his way in to some action flicks recently, following suit with many before him who have crossed over from the ring to the silver screen, with his most notable role coming in 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown.
10 Sting: $8 Million
The Icon is a newly inducted member of the WWE Hall of Fame, ironically in large part to his time outside of Vince's circus. With his most notable runs coming with WCW and TNA, Sting managed to win 15 World Heavyweight Championships. Often dubbed "The Franchise" due to his impenetrable loyalty to WCW over the years, Stinger carried the brand on his back through the highs and lows of their existence. His career in the WWE was short lived, as he suffered a serious injury during a battle with Seth Rollins, which finally forced him into retirement at the age of 56. At an estimated net worth of $8 million, Sting can heal and enjoy his retirement peacefully.
9 Kevin Nash: $8 Million
Kevin Nash was amongst the first granted a guaranteed contract by the WCW, fresh off the success he generated towards the end of his time in the WWE. As one of the founding members of the most notorious heel factions of all time, the nWo, Big Daddy Cool would see his role evolve not only on screen, but backstage. He was granted creative control by the powers at be at the time, which would result in eventual chaos behind the scenes. Nonetheless, his dual function as both match booker and top-level talent earned him generous pay days during his prime years, leading to an impressive estimated net worth of $8 million. His star power has also helped him score roles in major Hollywood motion pictures, appearing most recently in Magic Mike XXL.
8 Diamond Dallas Page: $8 Million
A late bloomer in the industry, DDP's story and rise to success remains amongst the most encouraging in all of pro wrestling. With a clear lack of direction early on in his career, Page broke into the WCW as a manager in the early 90s. It was not until the late 90s where he would carve his niche and pierce the main event ranks, north of 40 years old. Long removed from his time in the wing, the former WCW World Champion administers a successful life-enhancing yoga program dubbed DDP Yoga, helping him to an estimated net worth of $8 million. His practice has helped former troubled WWE stars such as Jake the Snake Roberts and Scott Hall regain control of their lives by successfully overcoming their most ferocious demons.
7 Rey Mysterio: $8.5 Million
Rey Mysterio was as influential as the nWo some would say, during the Monday Night Wars. He spearheaded a cruiserweight revolution which would redefine the industry, paving the way for the next generation. Every performer on the card was left with no choice but to elevate their game if Mysterio was on the bill. When he finally arrived in the WWE, he broke barriers when he would go on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on three separate occasions while standing at only 5 foot 6 inches. While currently wrestling with Lucha Underground, a return to the WWE for one last run has not been ruled out by Rey's own account and would only add to his estimated net worth of $8.5 million. Needless to say, his contributions have been compensated accordingly throughout his career.
6 Eric Bischoff: $12.5 Million
The former WCW executive played an undeniable role in altering the landscape of professional wrestling during the late 90s. Backed by Ted Turner's boundless income, Eric Bischoff virtually stole talent from his competition at will. He would cast his newfound acquisitions in more reality based storylines, forcing rival WWE and Vince McMahon to adjust their programming to stave off extinction. In the end, McMahon would prevail, though Bischoff's contributions would in fact help turn the corner from professional wrestling to sports entertainment. Eric has since found his way on the New York Times Best Sellers list and continued to excel in television production, leading to an estimated net worth of $12.5 million. In fact, he is the co-founder of BHE TV.
5 Shane McMahon: $35 Million
Shane O'Mac recently returned to television and has taken the WWE Universe by storm. He has received overwhelming fan support and is poised to make a solid run with the company after a seven year hiatus in which he ventured off into new projects away from professional wrestling. Shane O Mac remained on board as a minority share holder in the company while serving as CEO of a highly successful PPV project in China known as You On Demand, leaving him with an impressive estimated net worth of $35 million. Now fully invested back with the WWE and spearheading a changing of the guard known as The New Era, the sky on McMahon`s earning potential is limitless it seems.
4 John Cena: $35 Million
John Cena has cemented a legacy as one of pro wrestling's most prominent superstars. He has served as the face of the company for the better part of the last 15 years and has seen his star rise, as well as his bank account (estimated net worth of $35 million). He figures among the highest paid in annual salary amongst active wrestlers at roughly $3.5 million dollars, though he also benefits from numerous endorsement deals as well as a steady growing archive of Hollywood roles. Cena has successfully built his wealth during a time where the WWE has reached unprecedented heights in terms of global reach and that is all to his credit as a tireless worker.
3 Hulk Hogan: Between $8 Million-$25 Million
Arguably the face of sports entertainment, Hulk Hogan is without a doubt one of the industry's most iconic and recognizable figures. His legend transcends multiple generations and his contributions to professional wrestling are immeasurable. However, amidst all this success, Hogan has often times found himself down on his luck. A devastating divorce nearly led him to file for bankruptcy. He was also recently wiped clean from the WWE's archives following a controversial incident where he made insensitive racial comments publicly. In early 2016, The Hulkster was able to replenish his crippled bank accounts when he was awarded a large settlement following a law suit against tabloid company Gawker for the illegal distribution of a sex tape. Before the case his net worth was as low as $8 million. According to reports, after the case it looks like Hulk's net worth jumped back up to $25 million. Finally, The Hulkster catches a break.
2 The Rock: $135 Million
One of the pivotal characters of The Attitude Era, which would help dethrone rival WCW, The Rock is a superstar like none other. Today, he reigns as the quintessential Hollywood action star, becoming one of the highest earning actors in the film industry. Though without his time in the WWE, perhaps the doors of Hollywood may have never opened up to him. Nonetheless, Dwayne Johnson continues to electrify the WWE Universe with his sporadic cameos, as he is always welcomed back with open arms. Perhaps the Hulk Hogan of the modern era, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment has maximized his star power potential with ridiculous earnings due to his movie salary, WWE appearances and countless endorsement deals (an estimated net worth of $135 million).
1 Ted Turner: $2.2 Billion
Ted Turner made his fortunes prior to venturing into professional wrestling and some would be surprised to know that he has moved on from his failed endeavor without barely denting his bank accounts. Despite losing The Monday Night War to Vince McMahon, "Billionaire Ted" still holds a distinct advantage in the net worth department, outshining his rival by a whopping billion dollars (he's at an estimated $2.2 billion) Turner's decorated career in the media business has propelled him to unimaginable wealth, as he nestles on his earnings today at the ripe age of 77.