World Wrestling Entertainment has a stranglehold on the professional wrestling (or sports entertainment, if you prefer) market in the United States. Other competitors have tried to take them down, but WCW is the only one that came close. These days, WWE is a global brand that is worth more than a billion dollars and Vince McMahon is at the helm with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.
Of course, that number has fluctuated a lot over recent years with stocks going up and down depending on how the WWE Network is doing. Things appear to be stable right now, and with the upcoming brand split and live SmackDown, you can expect higher ratings and more money for the WWE and its stars.
Contract details aren’t always available in WWE since the talent is made up of independent contractors and there’s obviously not a salary cap in the organization like there is in the NFL, so you have to rely on inner sources. These sources might not always be right, but stockholders will be privy to the information since they are invested in the company. But which of the wrestlers on the WWE roster are worth the most money and how much are they making these days?
Here are the 20 richest stars in the WWE and we only wanted to include current wrestlers that are at least present and putting on matches on a part-time basis. This means that Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan and others that would normally be on the list are not present this time around. We’ll also let you know how much they are making each year and what to expect in the future.
20 Kofi Kingston ($3 Million)
Kofi Kingston made his debut on the main roster with ECW back in December of 2007 and has been with the company ever since. Kingston had some title reigns and main event feuds early in his career, but then was relegated to the lower and mid-card levels of the roster. For years, Kingston was not being paid all that much in terms of salary (and not much merchandise for fans to buy). The past year has certainly changed, though, as Kingston is now part of The New Day. Between his long tenure and success/merchandise sales of the stable, Kingston now finds himself on the list with an estimated net worth of $3 million.
19 Dolph Ziggler ($3 Million)
Dolph Ziggler has been with the WWE for more than a decade now and has been given a few moderate pushes that include seeing him win the World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions. Those that stick around the WWE for a lengthy time tend to get treated well and Ziggler is no exception. Even though he sometimes complains about his exposure on television, he is reportedly on a $900,000 per year contract now plus travel expenses. It’s estimated that Ziggler is now worth $3 million according to reports, although that seems to be on the low estimate.
18 D-Von Dudley ($3.5 Million)
Although he hasn’t had a huge contract in ECW, WWE or TNA, D-Von Dudley has been wrestling among the three organizations for just over two decades. That sort of longevity in pro wrestling is rewarded, which is why Dudley is worth an estimated $3.5 million these days. That’s pretty impressive for a wrestler that has only held the Tag Team Championship in the WWE. At 43 years old, it’s doubtful that Dudley has a lot more years left in the ring, but at least he has some money to retire on.
17 Nikki Bella ($1.5-$4 Million)
One half of The Bella Twins, Nikki is actually the rich one out of the two according to reports. Bella (who is on a break now after a neck injury) has a contract that pays her $22,000 more per year than her sister, who has recently left the company, and includes first class travel accommodations. She’s the highest paid female wrestler on the roster by a longshot these days, and has been able to pad her net worth thanks to her starring role on the reality show Total Divas and her upcoming spin-off Total Bellas.
16 Seth Rollins ($4 Million)
The reports are that Seth Rollins is on a contract that pays him just north of $310,000 per year for the next three years. However, the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion is worth an estimated $4 million after pulling in $2.4 million in the past year alone. A lot of that had to do with exposure from being the champion, making appearances and selling an awful lot of merchandise since he’s a fan favorite despite being a heel. Rollins just returned from injury and you can expect his value to go up even more.
15 Mark Henry ($4.5 Million)
After going to the Olympics in 1992 and 1996 as a powerlifter, Vince McMahon knew he had to have Mark Henry and gave him a 10 year contract. Henry is still with the company 20 years later, although his workload has been much lighter in the past couple of years. Henry is still on contract and his salary has increased to more than $850,000 per year. According to sources, Henry’s net worth is estimated at $4.5 million, which seems to be a bit low considering how long he has been in the WWE.
14 The Miz ($5 Million)
Originally from Ohio, The Miz first became a public figure when he appeared on MTV’s The Real World in 2001. It was clear that he wanted to be a pro wrestler and he got his wish after competing on Tough Enough. Eventually, The Miz would debut in 2006 and has won multiple championships, including the WWE Championship, and headlined WrestleMania. The Miz is making around $700,000 per year now and it’s estimated that his net worth is currently at $5 million. Of course, much of it came from his main event run a few years ago, but he wouldn’t trade his career in for anything.
13 Roman Reigns ($5.5 Million)
You either love Roman Reigns or you absolutely love to loathe him (and since you’re on the internet reading this, probably the latter). Reigns is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion after winning the belt at WrestleMania 32 and appears to be the new franchise player of the company whether we all like it or not. Reigns has had a massive workload in the past year and the movement of his merchandise from casual fans caused him to earn more than $2 million in the past year. It’s estimated that the good year pushed his net worth into the top 20 at $5.5 million (and it’s only going to go skyrocketing).
12 Alberto Del Rio ($6 Million)
A veteran wrestler from Mexico that has become one of the biggest stars in his home country in addition to a star in the United States, Alberto Del Rio has lived up to his former rich guy gimmick with a high net worth. It’s estimated that Del Rio is now worth $6 million, leaving some fans to question why he’s worth so much. Well, main eventers end up making a lot of money, and for those that have only watched recently, Del Rio was a main event wrestler for longer than the WWE would probably care to admit. He also got a generous contract to come back to the company after leaving on bad terms for a brief period.
11 Bubba Ray Dudley ($6.5 Million)
Just like his tag team partner D-Von, Bubba Ray Dudley has been around for just over 20 years starting in ECW. Dudley was with the extreme organization for four years before heading to WWE for another six, then spending a decade with TNA. Bubba Ray got more exposure in TNA as Bully Ray than D-Von did, and was a main event player for a significant amount of time, winning their World Heavyweight Championship twice. Because of that, it’s estimated that Dudley is now worth $6.5 million and got a nice contract to return to boost the WWE tag team division.
10 Sheamus ($7 Million)
Being good pals with the upper management of the company has its benefits, as Sheamus can attest to. Sheamus started modestly in Irish Whip Wrestling where he was a two-time champion before coming to WWE in 2009. Sheamus quickly became a main event talent and there was a time where a lot of the hardcore fans liked him (if you can believe that). Sheamus received several pushes and moved a lot of merchandise, which has brought his net worth to an estimated $7 million. It also wasn’t that long ago that he was WWE World Heavyweight Champion, in what seems like a strange storyline now.
9 Kane ($7 Million)
It’s no secret that Vince McMahon likes large and imposing wrestlers, and Kane has been one of his centerpieces. Last year, Kane celebrated his 20 year anniversary with WWE and is still wrestling despite being nearly 50 years old and billed at 7’0”. Kane still has a nice contract with the WWE, even though he doesn’t push a lot of merchandise. It was estimated that Kane took home around $1.3 million in the past year alone, which has pushed his net worth to an estimated $7 million. It’s no wonder why he hasn’t retired at this point.
8 Randy Orton ($15.5 Million)
As a third generation talent, Randy Orton was considered a golden boy in the WWE that was brought in at a very young age (22 years old) and became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion when he was 24. Orton has been a main eventer since then and is highly marketable despite some past problems out of the ring. Orton also pushes a lot of merchandise with the casual fans and his 14 year run in WWE has put him at an estimated $15.5 million net worth. It’s also worth noting that he is still making around $2.5 million per year.
7 The Undertaker ($16 Million)
If someone in the past 25 years has had a question in the WWE locker room, The Undertaker is probably the first guy that they would want to go to. Nobody has been more loyal to Vince McMahon as a wrestler than The Undertaker, who had plenty of opportunities to take a huge payday to make a WCW return in the 1990s. Despite wrestling only about one match per year, the dead man is making $2 million per year from the WWE and has a current estimated net worth of $16 million. Rich man walking.
6 Brock Lesnar ($16 Million)
He only works about a quarter as much as most of the other wrestlers on the WWE roster, but there’s no doubt that Brock Lesnar puts butts in the seats. That’s why Vince McMahon and co. have been willing to give into his every whim when it comes to contract negotiations. Lesnar’s fat contract, merchandise sales and advertisements on his ring gear from Jimmy John’s have made him $6 million in the past year alone to bring his estimated net worth at $16 million. If the tales are to be believed, then Lesnar still has almost all of that money since he doesn’t spend it on anything.
5 Chris Jericho ($18 Million)
Chris Jericho is a renaissance man in the WWE that has been around in major professional wrestling since 1995, like a few other guys on our list. The only difference is that Jericho has a lot more money than most of his 20 year veterans because of what he does outside of the ring. Not only is Jericho in the rock band Fozzy, but he also has written books and has a successful podcast that is pulling in money. Jericho doesn’t need to return to WWE since he has an estimated net worth of $18 million, but it’s always nice to see him come back (especially as a heel).
4 Big Show ($20 Million)
As stated earlier, Vince McMahon is very loyal to big men that have a lot of longevity and Big Show is among them. Big Show still makes a base salary of $1 million per year and gets his own tour bus, and he made another $500,000 on top of that in the past year alone. If you haven’t seen him in person, Big Show is certainly a spectacle to behold and McMahon knows that people will come to gaze at him. The rewards over the years have resulted in an estimated net worth of a whopping $20 million, which is why he ignores “Please retire” chants.
3 Triple H ($25 Million)
He has been a main event talent with 14 world title reigns over his long career and he is married to the owner’s daughter, so you had to have known that Triple H would be towards the top of this list. Triple H, who is still wrestling in WrestleMania main events despite protests from internet marks, is seen as sort of a “final boss” in WWE. Triple H gets $1 million per year as a wrestler and bonus money to the tune of $700,000 per year as Vice President of Talent. After taking in some money from his stake of the WWE, Triple H made $2.8 million in the past year alone and is now worth an estimated $25 million, a number that will shoot towards the sky when he gets his inheritance.
2 John Cena ($35 Million)
When you have been the franchise player in the largest wrestling company for a decade, you are going to make a lot of moolah. John Cena isn’t exactly a favorite of the internet wrestling fans, but the casual fans love him and his merchandise (and memes) can be seen just about everywhere. Cena has done some acting on the side, but it’s his merch sales and main event runs (15 world titles) that have led him to be the highest paid full-time star in WWE today. Cena made $9.5 million in the past year and his net worth is now at an estimated $35 million.
1 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ($135 Million)
I wasn’t sure whether or not to include The Rock, since he has only had one match in the past two years (that lasted for a few seconds), but that’s still more matches in 2016 than Seth Rollins, John Cena and Randy Orton. Plus there’s a chance that The Rock will be back for a few more matches once his movie schedule lightens up. Speaking of movies, that’s obviously how The Rock has made most of his money, but he still gets paid big time just for showing up and talking at WWE events. His net worth these days is estimated to be $135 million, a number that will be nearly impossible for any wrestler to match.