World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is the largest professional wrestling company in the world, and across its history has aggressively acquired competitors to maintain its status. The company pays each wrestler a baseline income, called a ‘downside guarantee’, that it negotiates with each performer, plus additional payouts when events do well and a cut of merchandise sales that use their image.
Wrestlers get paid like a cross between prize fighters and entertainers, including performance fees based on a formula tied to where they appear in each event. Main event matches naturally pay more than those on the undercard. Talent also gets a piece of merchandise sales, including 5% of direct sales at venues and on the WWE website, plus 25% of revenue from the sales of products from third-party licensees.
Performance fees vary wildly by the size of the event and the profile of the match, with non-televised events paying the lowest and bouts in stadium supershows, such as WrestleMania, paying well into seven figures. Figures are tallied gross pay before taxes using WWE filings, an analysis of individual wrestler performance and sales metrics, and interviews with industry experts and analysts.
Here are the top 10 highest paid WWE wrestlers in the world.