Wrestling is a multi-million dollar industry, with the biggest wrestlers earning huge sums of money
Brock Lesnar was the highest paid WWE wrestler in 2023, earning over $4 million from the company
The average WWE wrestler base salary is in the region of $100,000 to $500,000 per year
Wrestling is a multi-million-pound industry. The biggest names in the sport are known all over the world and rake in cash in the process. Events are frequent and lucrative for those at the forefront.
WWE’s Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania are known to fans far beyond the wrestling sphere. These are showpiece, pay-per-view occasions which attract an audience outside the usual sports betting fanatics.
Highest Earning WWE Wrestlers In 2024:
5) Becky Lynch
Born in Limerick, Becky Lynch had a turbulent journey to WWE.
Lynch began training to be a wrestler way back in 2002, teaming with her brother on occasion, and developed a sufficient reputation to compete across Europe and North America.
In 2006, however, a head injury caused a six-year hiatus from wrestling, but Lynch recovered to join WWE in 2013.
The ascension from that point was drastic, with Lynch seeing her popularity surge in the late 2010s.
In 2019, she won the Raw Women’s Championship and SmackDown Women’s Championship, becoming the first person ever to hold both titles at once.
Some will be familiar with Lynch under her nickname ‘The Man’. For a short period after the birth of her child with Colby Lopez, Lynch utilised ‘Big Time Becks’, too.
4) Seth Rollins - £2.82 million
Known under the ring name of ‘Seth “Freakin” Rollins’, Colby Lopez debuted as a professional wrestler way back in 2005.
His personal life has hit the headlines in recent years – Lopez got into a relationship with Becky Lynch in 2019, and the couple have since had a child together and got married.
A career which began with Ring of Honor led to a deal with the WWE in 2010. It didn’t take long for Lopez to enjoy success at the developmental level, first with FCW and then the rebranded NXT.
Soon after, he was victorious in the Tag Team Championship, and became the 19th Grand Slam champion as he racked up a comprehensive list of honours.
Alongside his successful wrestling career, Lopez has also featured in various films and video games. Those endeavours have helped to boost his net worth into the £7 million range.
3) Randy Orton - £3.2 million
A legend of WWE, Randy Orton reportedly pocketed £3.2 million in 2022.
No stranger to controversy, Orton is a third-generation wrestler, and became the youngest champion in WWE history at 24 years of age. He debuted as a professional wrestler in 2000 following a couple of years in the marine corps.
Orton has the most appearances on pay-per-view of any male WWE wrestler plus has 10 WWE Championships to his name, which is second only to John Cena (13) all-time.
Some of Orton’s moves have transcended the WWE fanbase, with the iconic RKO becoming a staple of meme culture.
Having been in the spotlight for over two decades, it is no surprise Orton has amassed almost £10 million of net worth.
2) Roman Reigns - £4.02 million
Even for hugely successful WWE superstars like Roman Reigns, their salaries are a long way shy of the highest paid UFC fighters. Roman Reigns is the ring name for Leati Joseph Anoa'I.
WWE’s undisputed world champion at the time of writing, he is onto his fourth reign. Wrestling wasn’t always the focus for Reigns, however.
At first, getting into the NFL was the goal after playing college football for Georgia Tech. Brief summer stints with the Vikings and Jaguars proved that wasn’t to be, though, and Reigns retired from the gridiron after a season in the CFL.
Over the last few years, Reigns has collected records on a regular basis, and has headlined WrestleMania on six occasions.
Tied for the largest salary in 2024, Reigns is one of the highest earning wrestlers of all-time, with a net worth few can rival.
1) Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is one of the faces of WWE and has received millions for his appearances since returning in 2012.
Currently a ‘free agent’, Lesnar features for both the Raw and SmackDown brands, and has frequently been among the favourites at the top US sportsbooks throughout his career, amassing a CV with numerous unique achievements.
According to various sources, Lesnar’s net worth is in the £20 million region as of the start of 2023. He has been a prominent figure in the sport since the turn of the century, competing in MMA and gracing UFC betting odds from 2007 to 2011.
Standing at 6’3 and weighing in at around 130 kilograms, Lesnar also tried his hand at American football with the Minnesota Vikings in 2004.
An accident while riding his motorbike disrupted his NFL entrance after impressing at the combine, and he was ultimately cut by the Vikings after appearing in a few preseason games.
Lesnar’s record stands out even when placed alongside the greatest wrestlers of all-time.
The Webster native is the only person to have claimed all the heavyweight championships, and in 2005, he became the youngest performer to win the WWE Championship after excelling at the University of Minnesota.
Immensely successful from a sporting and financial perspective, Lesnar continues to collect a massive salary each year.
Previous Top 10 WWE Salaries (2022)
Brock Lesnar - $15 million
John Cena - $13 million
Roman Reigns - $10 million
Braun Strowman - $8.5 million
Seth Rollins - $7.5 million
Randy Orton - $7 million
Drew McIntyre - $6 million
Bobby Lashley - $4.5 million
The Undertaker - $3 million
Dolph Ziggler - $2.5 million
Average WWE Salary
The average WWE salary is somewhere around £400,000 per year.
Some earn considerably less, of course, with reports suggesting there are WWE wrestlers on under £100,000 per year. At the upper end, the big names are well into the millions.
This sort of pay gap is nothing new in sport. The same disparity can be seen between the lowest and highest earners in the Premier League, NBA, NFL and many other high-profile leagues.
Just because someone is an option in WWE in-play betting doesn’t mean they are raking in millions each year. Still, even the lower salaries in WWE are well above the average earnings in the USA and UK.
Sale of WWE
Following seven decades under the McMahon family, WWE was sold in April 2023 to Endeavor Group Holdings. Endeavor also owns UFC.
They will be merging WWE and UFC in a $21 billion sports offering, described as a ‘global live sports and entertainment company’.
This huge move leaves Endeavor with a 51% controlling stake, while the remaining 49% is split across WWE’s shareholders.
Vince McMahon departed the company in July 2022, but it proved to only be a brief hiatus, as he returned on the board of directors in early 2023.
Inevitably, McMahon’s reappearance provoked rumours of a sale, even though he was adamant he was just aiming to negotiate a new television rights agreement.
Amazon, Netflix, Liberty Media and Disney were among numerous organisations who reportedly had an interest in purchasing WWE.
There were reports and counter-reports, including suggestions WWE had been sold to a Saudi Arabian investment fund. Ultimately, though, it was Endeavor who sealed the deal.
McMahon spoke soon after the sale, saying, "Together, we will be a $21-plus billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse with a collective fanbase of more than a billion people and an exciting growth opportunity.
“The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands."
WWE’s worldwide brand is going to remain a part of online betting going forward.
It has been immensely profitable over the last few decades, and has traded on the public stock exchange since 1999. Such revenues have led to enormous salaries for the stars.
Exactly how the company will operate, and how this will impact the product, has yet to be revealed.
McMahon seems like he wants to remain involved in a creative capacity, but only time will inform us of what Endeavor is envisaging for WWE into the middle and latter part of this decade.
This is huge news in the world of sports-entertainment, and something which is bound to split opinion among wrestling fans all over the world. The money at stake is immense.
Some will be wary of McMahon talking about other ‘strategic mergers’, while others will undoubtedly be excited by what could prove to be a revolutionary combination of two widely popular combat sports.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*