WWE pulls in a lot of money and their Superstars deserve a big cut of that. How much do they really make?
Any average active WWE makes between 100–500k annually. Top WWE superstars like John Cena, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton however, bring home several million. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter went into this subject in a bit more detail.
“Regarding contract sizes, the very top people (by this meaning Reigns and Lesnar) are above $5 million per year on their guaranteed deal and another person is at around $4 million, but a lot of the top talent is now at $2 million and some at $3 million”
Apart from the $2-3 million fixed component, the wrestlers also earn variable pay from endorsement deals, movie appearances, merchandise sales etc. WWE also takes a cut of that money, of course. The main event superstars also get extras which can even hit millions with proper marketing.
WWE stars also have a “downside guarantee” in their contracts. This is the basic monthly income. It can be beneficial if someone is injured or creative has nothing for them. The average for an active roster rookie is in the 25k to 30K range.
Wrestlers also get an agreed upon amount of their merchandise sold and when WWE licenses their trademark out. For example, when “The Undertaker” is to be used in one of the video games, action figures or Walmart exclusive T-shirts. Highest earners here are the likes of John Cena, The Undertaker, Roman Reigns.
On an average, a WWE wrestler on the roster makes $500,000 a year, with top-wrestlers making $1 million or more a year, according to Forbes. WWE Superstars who make more do so usually because they are involved with other opportunities outside of WWE, which boosts their popularity in the WWE.