While the organization says the average wrestler on the main roster makes $500,000 per year, top performers are said to make well into the seven figures. Determining an individual wrestler’s pay isn’t very easy to find. While there’s rumors, actual numbers aren’t reported.
However, Forbes recently penned a piece trying to get to the bottom of the question.
Numbers for Triple H (real name: Paul Levesque) are definite, because he’s an executive at the company, and his pay is broken down in WWE’s latest proxy, filed earlier this month. According to Forbes, he made $1.1 million in executive pay in 2014, including incentives, plus another $1.65 million from in-ring performances, bringing his total take-home t0 $2.8 million and making him WWE’s highest-paid executive. Chairman Vince McMahon made $2.4 million.
Forbes says WWE stars are paid a base salary, plus shares of WWE revenue streams from merchandise and gate receipts. The bonus money, however, is difficult to pinpoint an exact number.
In lawsuits and SEC filings over the years, some of the WWE wrestlers’ base salaries have been revealed, and they range from $52,000 to $1 million per year.
Then, from bonuses, a wrestler would receive a share of gate receipts for house shows, where in the past, guys like Hulk Hogan would take home $90,000, while lesser known wrestlers might not top $25,000. They’re also entitled to royalties generated from those live events.
And lastly, royalties from merchandise and video sales also bring in movie. Brock Lesnar’s 2003 contract, for example, gave him a 30% share, rather than the typical 25%.
Head over to Forbes.com for the full breakdown.