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Forbes List Of Highest Paid WWE Wrestlers

  • 01-04-2016 8:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 487 ✭✭

    Interesting article in Forbes detailing the top 10 salaries of WWE wrestlers for 2015. There have been a lot of fake lists doing the rounds over the years but considering the amount of research Forbes are known for doing I'd say this is quite accurate.

    1. John Cena ($9.5 million)
    2. Brock Lesnar ($6.0 million)
    3. Triple H ($2.8 million)
    4. Randy Orton ($2.7 million)
    5. Seth Rollins ($2.4 million)
    6. Roman Reigns ($2.1 million)
    7. The Undertaker ($2.0 million)
    8. The Big Show ($1.5 million)
    9. Kane ($1.3 million)
    10. Dean Ambrose ($1.1 million)

    Couple of interesting bits
    Plenty of Internet ink has been spilled on the subject of whether WWE’s stars are underpaid. From some perspectives that certainly seems to be the case. We figure that last year WWE paid its in-ring talent roughly $50 million, or just 8% of its $659 million in total revenue. Contrast that with the NFL and NBA, which share around half of league revenues with their athletes. Putting wrestling up against pro sports is obviously a case of apples and oranges, particularly in the sense that pro athletes benefit from collective bargaining while wrestlers are independent contractors who usually don’t even have agents to negotiate their contracts. But wrestler pay hasn’t risen nearly as much in recent years as that for other athletes and entertainers, and that’s in spite of WWE revenue surging, up 36% from $484 million in 2012.
    That spending power comes via WWE’s undeniable financial success. The $1.3 billion (market cap) company made a major gamble on its WWE Network two years ago, moving away from the decades-old pay-per-view model. The online-only network got off to a slow start, but as of the end of 2015 WWE was averaging 1.2 million paid subscribers, putting the company ahead of its projected break-even point. Last year WWE’s media division tallied $390 million in revenue, up 33% from $292 million the year before. And other parts of the business are thriving as well, with consumer products revenue up 26% to $98 million.

    Heading into WrestleMania 32, WWE’s stock price sits at just over $17. That’s down from the $20-plus prices of six months earlier but is still well above the $11 floor that WWE shares hit after the company’s stock tanked in the spring of 2014. Some analysts are touting WWE as a top growth stock pick in 2016.

    Another interesting Forbes article detailing how WWE contracts work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 60,518 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

    Sheamus would surely be in the top 10.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac

    There's a serious drop-off there after Brock Lesnar. Daniel Bryan must have felt a pinch in 2015.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,772 ✭✭✭byronbay2

    Absolutely pathetic pay, if true. Only 2 wrestlers making over $3m? Slogging their guts out all over the world and making an absolute fortune for WWE. They need to create an NFL-type union ASAP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,166 ✭✭✭Stereomaniac

    Yeah I'd believe those numbers. Wrestlers have traditionally been underpaid in the modern era since the sport became so widespread popular. Sure Vince can get away with doing it I guess.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,484 ✭✭✭Chain Smoker

    Can't decide if Reigns is seriously overpaid or not there. His face is all over a ton of merch, regardless of how over he is, he's surely getting a healthy return on that.

    Rollins is a bit surprising to be honest, even with all the main events he's had. Well earned though, guy had a fierce amount put upon him over the past year (who'd've guessed a year ago that he'd be expected to be doing weekly 15 minute promos for half the year)

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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 12,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭jaykhunter

    8% of its $659 million in total revenue

    Bravo, Vince. Wow, that's some serious criminal underpayment there! Very impressive!

    Worth noting that even if gross revenue is up, profits are down from years past, and the ~$80m it cost to get the Network running won't be paid off for years (i.e. to get back to 2010 levels of money)

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Music Moderators, Regional Midlands Moderators Posts: 24,125 Mod ✭✭✭✭Angron

    Does that list take into account the royalties (or whatever the word would be) that the wrestlers get for merch? I know that'd buff up certain wrestlers figures (Cena, Brock, Dean).