WWE: Money in the Bank, or all Hype?

Most people will never realize what it’s like to lose $350 million in a single day, but if you’re Vince McMahon you know the feeling all too well. However, before you start collecting money to give to the WWE CEO, let’s remember that despite that setback he’s still worth a cool $750 million. So while he got knocked out of the billionaire’s club, he’s still a full-fledged member of the multi-millionaire’s club.

English: Vince McMahon at a WWE Raw event. Bra...

English: Vince McMahon at a WWE Raw event. Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 242007. Taken by me. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World Wrestling Entertainment, thinking anything it does is money in the bank, has been busy lately securing television deals for its various programs such as Raw and Smackdown. While Mr. McMahon got the deals finalized with networks owned by NBCUniversal, the price he got was considered by analysts to be far lower than what he was looking for. As a result, WWE stock prices plunged nearly 43 percent in a single day, costing Vince his billionaire club card.

However, despite the rough financial spot in the road, don’t think the WWE is ready to tap out anytime soon. The WWE Network, an on-demand streaming service launched by the company earlier this year, is already approaching one million subscribers. Despite what will probably be an initial loss of $50 million for the fledgling network, McMahon and other WWE executives believe the network will eventually become a money-maker for the company.

So while Triple H, the Rock and John Cena have helped make the WWE what it is today, there are many other superstars who are helping take the company to even greater heights. In recent years, perhaps none are more well-known and liked than the company’s Divas. Whoever said sex sells sure knew what they were talking about, because it seems the wrestling fans simply can’t get enough of the beauties who fight it out every week for glory and gold. With the show Total Divas on the E! Network for the next several years, fans will continue to get their weekly dose of the ring beauties there as well as on the other shows in the WWE camp.

So while it’s not money in the bank that all of the company’s ventures will pan out as hoped, it’s a good bet Mr. McMahon and those associated with the WWE will continue to figure out what fans are wanting and deliver it to them on a regular basis. And whether or not you are a wrestling fan, you’ve got to admit the WWE is a captivating experience in sports entertainment that keeps fans coming back for more each and every week.

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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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