How Do WWE Stars Make Money?

Have you ever wondered how your favorite WWE stars make their living? The answer can be complicated, because many of the biggest stars receive benefits above and beyond their salaries, and because the salaries vary

Darren Young & Nick

Darren Young & Nick (Photo credit: Climbing Kilimanjaro)

greatly between the true “star” wrestlers and less famous WWE competitors. Here is a look at how WWE wrestlers are paid:

Base Salaries
All WWE wrestlers are signed to a contract and paid a base salary. The contracts generally range from 1 to 5 years and the salaries vary widely. The biggest WWE names can make over a million per year, while the average WWE wrestler is more likely to make something just north of $100,000. The highest paid wrestler is Triple H, who draws a base salary of about $2,000,000 per year. Other superstars, like John Cena and Shawn Michaels, make about $1,000,000. Most other wrestlers hover closer to the $100,000 average, which sounds like a lot, but must take into account the fact that wrestling careers can be relatively short and physically demanding.

Licensing Deals
The gap between WWE’s stars and run of the mill wrestlers is even wider than the salary differences suggest. That’s because the stars’ contracts include benefits that pay off big time. Many of WWE’s biggest stars receive licensing deals to use their likeness in advertisements and WWE promotions. This can become a major source of income for top wrestlers like Triple H and John Cena.

PPV Bonuses
Additionally, wrestlers who participate in Pay Per View matches often receive bonuses on top of their base salaries. This again can be a major income boost for wrestlers whose matches are in high demand. In especially high profile PPV matches, this bonus can be as much as six figures.

Perks
The WWE also covers 100% of the costs of all in-ring injuries sustained by its wrestlers.

So in short, WWE wrestlers can expect to make at least $100,000 in any given year, with most receiving more once PPV bonuses, licensing deals, and other perks are taken into account. There is, however, a very significant gap in pay between top and average wrestlers. Most average wrestlers draw salaries very close to $100,000. Top wrestlers take in as much as $2,000,000.

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    1. […] wrestlers probably make closer to $250k to $500k at max. The usual WWE contract is supposedly one to five years and includes a base salary and perks (medical, financial management […]

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