- WWE Salaries
- WWE Income
- WWE Bonuses
- WWE Taxes
- WWE Endorsements
A look at how much WWE Superstars make in a year, from their base salary to extra income from things like royalties and merchandise sales.
Wages in the WWE are a hotly debated topic. While most WWE contracts are public knowledge, the exact amount each superstar is paid is usually not. In this article, we will take a look at some of the known salaries in the WWE.
While the average WWE superstar salary might not be as high as you think, the top tier wrestlers can make some serious cash. In fact, the highest paid WWE superstar made $15 million in 2020!
Here is a breakdown of WWE salaries by tiers:
-WWE Superstars: $500,000 – $1 million
-WWE Main Eventers: $1 million – $3 million
-WWE Top Stars: $3 million – $5 million
-WWE Legend/Part-Timer: $5 million+
WWE Legends are a special group of Superstars, who have helped shape and define WWE over its storied history. These larger-than-life personalities made an indelible mark on the business, entertaining millions of fans around the world and helping to turn WWE into a global phenomenon.
As such, WWE Legends are greatly respected by today’s Superstars, many of whom grew up watching and admiring these iconic figures. In addition to their in-ring accomplishments and contributions to WWE, Legends also serve as invaluable mentors, offering guidance and advice to the next generation of Superstars.
Although they are no longer active in the ring, WWE Legends remain an important part of the company, appearing on WWE programming and contributing to various charitable causes. They also frequently make appearances at live events, giving fans the opportunity to see their favorite Superstars from yesteryear in person.
WWE Legends are compensated handsomely for their contributions to the company. They receive a base salary as well as a percentage of merchandise sales and live event revenues. In addition, Legends are often given generous contracts that guarantee them a certain number of appearances per year. All told, it’s not uncommon for Legends to earn millions of dollars each year from their association with WWE.
The WWE has a number of different television programs that air on various networks throughout the week. Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and NXT are all weekly shows that air on the USA Network, while WWE Main Event airs on the WWE Network. 205 Live, which features cruiserweight wrestlers, airs on both the WWE Network and USA Network.
While the WWE’s highest-paid superstars are typically wrestlers who compete on these programs, there are a number of other personalities who also earn a good salary. Announcers, for example, play an important role in making these shows entertaining to watch. Here is a look at how much some of the WWE’s top announcers are paid per year.
Michael Cole: $1 million
John Bradshaw Layfield: $1 million
Corey Graves: $600,000
Renee Young: $500,000
Booker T: $500,000
The average WWE superstar makes between $500,000 and $1 million per year, with the top tier wrestlers making over $5 million per year. However, the average wrestler only wrestles for a few years due to the physical toll it takes on the body. Let’s take a look at how WWE superstars make their money.
WWE Live Events
WWE superstars make a good living performing in front of live audiences around the world. But how much do they make?
There are a lot of factors that go into determining a WWE superstar’s salary, such as number of years with the company, WrestleMania appearances, and merchandise sales. The average WWE superstar made $522,000 in 2016, but the top earners brought in much more than that.
The highest paid WWE superstar in 2016 was Brock Lesnar, who earned $12 million. Lesnar is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and has main evented several WrestleManias. He is also a draw for live events and merchandise sales.
The second highest paid WWE superstar was John Cena, who earned $8 million in 2016. Cena is a 15-time world champion and is considered the face of the WWE. He also appears in movies and television shows outside of wrestling, which helps increase his earnings.
Ronda Rousey was the third highest paid WWE superstar in 2016, earning $3 million. Rousey is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and one of the most popular athletes in the world. She only wrestled for a short time in the WWE, but her name recognition helped her draw big crowds to live events and generate high merchandise sales.
WWE Television Rights
The WWE’s main source of income is the sale of its television rights. In 2014, the WWE signed a nine-year, $1.2 billion deal with NBCUniversal for the right to air its programming on the USA Network. This agreement represents a significant increase over the previous five-year, $usc380 million deal that the WWE had with NBCUniversal. The new deal will give the WWE an average of $us130 million per year from 2014 to 2021, which is more than double what it was receiving under the old contract.
In addition to the USA Network, the WWE also airs its programming on Syfy, which is owned by NBCUniversal. The WWE’s programming is also available in more than 170 countries and 35 languages worldwide.
WWE Merchandise Sales
WWE actually generates a lot of income from merchandise sales. In fact, this is one of their most profitable areas. WWE superstars get a percentage of the merchandise sales that feature their likeness. The amount they receive varies, but it is usually around 5%. This may not sound like much, but it can really add up when you consider that WWE superstars are featured on a wide range of merchandise, including t-shirts, action figures, and posters.
WWE offers a variety of bonuses to their superstars. While the base salary for a WWE superstar is $500,000, there are many opportunities to make more money. For example, main event wrestlers can make up to $1 million per year, while top superstars can make up to $5 million per year. These bonuses are in addition to the money that superstars make from merchandise sales and live events.
WWE Performance Bonuses
WWE offers four types of performance bonuses, which are generally given out based on a combination of fan reaction and backstage feedback. These include bonuses for “Match of the Night,” “Match of the Year,” “Promo of the Month” and “Body Part of the Month.” While the exact amount paid out for these bonuses is not public, it’s safe to assume that they aren’t significant given WWE’s financial state in recent years.
In addition to the above performance-based bonuses, WWE also offers a number of other financial incentives to its Superstars. These include a base salary, a share of merchandising revenue, pay-per-view bonuses and, in some cases, equity stakes in the company.
WWE Royal Rumble Bonuses
In addition to their base salary, WWE Superstars receive a bonus for appearing in a “main event” match on Raw or SmackDown. A main event is typically defined as a match featuring the top stars of a brand. For example, The Rock appearing on an episode of Raw in 2019 would be considered a main event.
In recent years, WWE has also begun paying bonuses for Royal Rumble Match appearances. These bonuses are typically $10,000 for each Superstar that appears in the men’s Royal Rumble Match, and $5,000 for each Superstar that appears in the women’s Royal Rumble Match.
WWE WrestleMania Bonuses
WWE WrestleMania bonuses are an additional amount of money that WWE Superstars earn for competing at WrestleMania. In recent years, the bonuses have been $100,000 for main eventers, $50,000 for mid-carders, and $25,000 for everyone else.
The bonuses are usually paid out in the form of a lump sum after WrestleMania, but in some cases they are paid out over the course of a few months. The bonuses are in addition to the Superstars’ regular salaries and any other income they earn from WWE (such as PPV bonuses or merchandise royalties).
In 2019, it was reported that Roman Reigns was the highest-paid wrestler in WWE, earning a base salary of $5 million plus PPV and merchandising bonuses. It is unclear if he also received a WrestleMania bonus that year.
WWE Tax Brackets
Just like any other business, the WWE has to pay taxes. In order to do this, they have to withhold taxes from their employees’ paychecks. The amount of taxes that are withheld depends on the employee’s salary and the number of dependents they have. The WWE has four different tax brackets, which are as follows:
-Up to $10,000: 10%
-Over $50,000: 30%
The majority of WWE superstars make less than $500,000 a year, which means they would fall into the first or second tax bracket. If a superstar makes $1 million a year, they would fall into the third tax bracket. And if a superstar makes more than $5 million a year, they would fall into the fourth and highest tax bracket.
WWE Tax Deductions
WWE superstars are given a lot of leeway when it comes to taxes. They are able to deduct many of their expenses, including travel, training, and gear. In addition, they are also able to set up their own retirement plans and deduct a portion of their income.
The amount of money a WWE superstar makes each year can vary greatly. Some superstars make millions of dollars while others make hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the majority of WWE superstars make an annual salary that is well above the average American worker.
WWE superstars make a lot of money from their endorsements. The amount of money they make from their endorsements vary greatly. For example, John Cena has made $5 million from his endorsements while Roman Reigns has only made $1 million.
WWE Superstar Endorsements
In addition to their salaries, WWE superstars can also make money through endorsements and other business ventures. The biggest moneymaker for WWE superstars is endorsements. Endorsements can range from deals with mainstream brands like Kmart to more niche companies like Cold Stone Creamery. Many WWE superstars have endorsement deals with multiple brands and can make a substantial amount of money from these deals.
In addition to endorsements, some WWE superstars also have their own businesses. The most successful WWE superstar entrepreneurs are able to leverage their name and popularity to create businesses that are successful even outside the world of professional wrestling. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for example, has parlayed his wrestling career into a very successful acting career, and has also started his own apparel line and clothing company.
WWE Legend Endorsements
WWE legend endorsements are a lucrative way for retired or semi-retired wrestlers to make money. Endorsements can be for anything from clothing lines to video games, and they often pay very well. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is estimated to have made $5 million from his endorsement deal with Under Armour.
The WWE has also been known to endorse outside brands as a way to generate additional revenue. In 2018, the WWE signed a deal with Mattel to produce a line of action figures based on WWE superstars. This deal is reported to be worth $27 million.
While the WWE does not disclose how much its superstars make from endorsements, it is safe to say that the company’s top earners are raking in a significant amount of money from these deals.