AEW opened their doors to change the pro wrestling world, and they’ve significantly invested in talent. They have spent heavily on high-profile signings along the way.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that talent is paid based on annual contracts, with the total talent payroll being around $104 million per year. Someone familiar with the budgeting reportedly mentioned that pay for some includes per match figures.

The actual number is believed to be slightly below $104 million, but not by much. To break even, they likely need at least $125 million per year from Warner Brothers Discovery, but until deal is signed, nothing is certain.

According to the SmackDown Hotel website’s database, AEW currently has 192 active wrestlers. Dividing $104 million by the total roster salary gives $541,666 per wrestler, which is high due to guys like Okada taking multiple million-dollar paychecks per year.


Kazuchika Okada’s contract with AEW is a three-year deal worth an estimated $13.5 million. Will Ospreay’s AEW contract is for 3 plus years, confirmed to be 7-figures per year as well.

WWE Superstars on the main roster can expect a minimum base salary of $250,000, according to Triple H. The listed salaries for top WWE Superstars range from $8.5 million to $2 million annually, but the average is nowhere near $500,000.

Tony Khan is spending lot of money but isn’t raking much back in. The AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view was barely profitable. We will see what kind of deals he signs in the future, but All Elite Wrestling is spending heavily to keep a stacked roster.

What’s your take on AEW spending so much on their roster? Let us know in the comments section!

H Jenkins

H Jeknins is a News Correspondent at Ringside News, keeping wrestling fans updated with timely and accurate reports on all things wrestling.

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