Only a select few have “the honors” of being blacklisted by the WWE. The entries on this list have been neglected by the WWE for various reasons which we will discuss in this article. The final entry will certainly shock you the most as it features the price the WWE paid for WCW when they purchased it in 2001. The price turned out to be so low that wrestlers like Chris Jericho claimed that had they known it was that low, they might have bought the company themselves.
This article also looks at the net worths of some controversial figures that are pretty much blacklisted from the WWE. This list includes Chris Benoit, Chyna, Jeff Jarrett, Vince Russo and CM Punk. The list also includes wrestlers that made most of their earnings away from the WWE. Here are 15 shocking net worths the WWE wants you to forget about. Let us know which entry shocked you the most. Enjoy!
15) Chris Benoit: $500,000
Chris Benoit was quite the journeyman before his passing. The Montreal native spent 22 years in the wrestling business making his debut way back in 1985. Benoit spent some time with Stampede Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, WCW, ECW and his final stop in 2000 with the WWE. Despite his long journey as a pro wrestler, Benoit only started to make some serious money as an upper card talent in 2004 following his Royal Rumble and World Heavyweight Championship victories. Only 3 years later, Benoit was found dead in his Atlanta residence.
14) Macho Man: $8 million
Sad to see one of the most ionic wrestlers in history of the business pass away so early at the age of 58. To make matters worse, Macho Man had not been seen on WWE television because of a falling out with the company. Despite the past, Randy Savage was rightfully inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame by his brother, Lanny Poffo. Macho man was able to accumulate some serious cash before calling it quits for good. The former WWE champion made a heck of a lot of money working for the WWE and WCW. He also made some additional money as an actor and working endorsement deals for companies like Slim Jim. On May 20th, 2011, the WWE universe lost a tremendous man; Savage died in Seminole, Florida.
13) The Ultimate Warrior: $1.5 million
Thankfully, before his passing The Ultimate Warrior was able to settle his differences with the WWE. On multiple occasions Warrior and the WWE went to court; twice in 1996 and 1998 for contract disputes, followed by another lawsuit by Warrior in January 2006, filing a lawsuit against the WWE for an improper depiction of his career in The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD. The case was dismissed 3 years later. Sadly, on April 8th, 2014, Warrior fell to his death after sustaining a heart attack. This just a day after his return to RAW after 18 years. It was a scene that wrestling fans will never forget.
12) Ted Turner: $2.2 billion
Despite losing out to Vince McMahon during the Monday Night Wars battle, Ted Turner is still filthy rich. In fact, the media mogul is worth over $1 billion more than Vince McMahon, whose net worth stands at $1.12 billion. Turner is a pioneer in the television industry, as he founded one of the most popular channels on all of television, CNN. This became the first ever 24/7 new channel. The media tycoon also founded TBS. As you can probably tell, money was certainly not the issue when selling World Championship Wrestling.
11) Vince Russo: $350,000 in 1999 with the WWE
In Russo’s final year with the WWE in 1999, Vince was paid $350,000 per year (now, that was a heck of a lot for a writer at the time). Russo’s seven year run with the company came to an end after a disagreement on a working schedule with Vince McMahon. Following his departure, Russo tried using a similar system in WCW, this time however things did not work out according to plan for Russo. After a miserable run with WCW, Russo made his return to the WWE briefly in 2002, but his run came to an end after he and other WWE writers clashed on a storyline for the WCW Invasion. Russo turned down a $125,000 salary from the WWE as a stay-at home advisor to work a full-time position with TNA at a reduced salary of $100,000 per year.
10) Kurt Angle: $20 million
Despite his departure from the WWE in 2006, Angle currently has the 3rd highest net worth amongst active wrestlers at $20 million. Kurt only trails Big Show and John Cena. The former WWE Champion currently ranks 9th on the all-time net worths list amongst wrestlers; quite impressive. The former Olympic gold medalist was offered a massive contract from the start, despite no prior experience. The WWE saw a huge amount of star power in the Pittsburgh native. With Angle’s ten year run with TNA coming to an end, it’s only a matter of time before Kurt makes his long anticipated return to the WWE.
9) Jeff Jarrett: $15 million
His net worth may shock many of you, but believe it or not Jeff Jarrett holds the 12th highest net worth in pro wrestling history. 30 years after his pro wrestling debut, Jeff is still active in the world of pro wrestling, this time taking a corporate role. Jarrett is famously remembered for allegedly blackmailing Vince into giving him $300,000 after the WWE had forgotten about his contract expiration. To this day, the former WWE star still claims it wasn’t done with bad intent.
Jeff managed to have quite the career with WCW. He would later create TNA Wrestling, the closest rival the WWE’s ever had since the purchase of WCW. After losing steam with the company, Jeff once again started a new promotion called Global Force Wrestling. If Jarrett can somehow finally rival the WWE, expect his net worth to skyrocket to newer heights. I don’t expect to see the WWE acknowledge any of Jarrett’s accomplishments in the Hall of Fame.
8) Goldberg: $14 million
Goldberg is one of the only wrestlers in the world to have this high of a net worth despite wrestling outside of the WWE for the majority of his career. Throughout his run in the wrestling industry, Goldberg has been very sensitive when it comes to his on-screen character. His former WCW boss Eric Bischoff, referred to Bill as a “business monster”. Although it rubbed many wrestlers the wrong way, this attitude and mindset turned Goldberg into a very rich man. His run with WCW went from September 22nd, 1997, till the WWE purchased WCW from Time Warner. The WWE decided they would not be buying out Bill’s contract. Goldberg was the highest paid wrestler on the roster making $3.5 million a year (the closest to Bill was Bret Hart making a million less at $2.5 million per year). The wrestling business wasn’t Goldberg’s only major form of revenue; movie and TV show appearances made the former WCW star filthy rich. Still today, Goldberg is actively working in the wrestling and entertainment industry at the age of 49.
7) Torrie Wilson: $18 million
Torrie Wilson blows away the competition with an insane net worth of $18 million. This is a higher net worth than the likes of WWE icons Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Torrie became a huge star for the company during the WWE’s “golden age” in the 2000s. Even before that, Torrie won Miss Galaxy in 1998. Wilson later grew to superstardom after gracing the cover of Playboy magazine. She became one of the top sex symbols in all of WWE. The former WWE Diva also added to her net worth with TV appearances and modelling gigs. Her recent relationship with baseball star Alex Rodriguez, once again put her back into the mainstream spotlight.
6) Stacy Keibler: $4.5 million
Like Torrie, Stacy used the WWE for some big time exposure while getting filthy rich with the company. Stacy departed after only 5 years with the WWE to work on the ABC hit show Dancing with the Stars. Keibler later rose to mainstream fame being involved in a high profile relationship with famous actor George Clooney. After ending their relationship in 2013, Stacy would later marry the Future Ads CEO, Jared Pobre. The couple has a daughter together, Ava Grace, born on August 20, 2014. Asides from motherhood, Keibler is an active spokesperson for various companies including her most recent gig as a spokesperson for Babybjorn, which sells baby products.
5) Brock Lesnar with the UFC: $5.3 million in 2010
During his brief run with the UFC, Brock Lesnar became the highest paid star in the company earning $5.3 million in 2010 for just two fights. Lesnar took part in five of the UFC’s highest selling Pay-Per-Views, in which he main-evented 3 of them. In 2010, Lesnar became the UFC’s highest paid fighter, and he also made ESPN’s list of the top 30 paid athletes in sports. After concurring the UFC, Lesnar returned to the WWE, instantly becoming a mammoth draw for the company. His return was so successful that Lesnar decided to retire from the UFC and join the WWE on a part time schedule.
4) Hulk Hogan with WCW: 1998 contract details
Hulk’s contract almost broke the internet when it was released by Maxim; the face of wrestling had a surreal contract in 1998 with WCW (the terms were ridiculous). Get ready for it: Hulk made a $2 million signing bonus by simply singing a contract sheet. He made 15% of every PPV event he wrestled in, which was a minimum of $675,000. Hogan also made a whopping 25% of all ticket sales for Nitro, Thunder, or any other untelevised event he was guaranteed at least $25,000. Finally, he received $20,000 per month just for wearing an NWO shirt on TV or in a photoshoot. Has your mind blown up yet?
3) Chyna: $1.5 million
Despite her reckless encounters, Chyna managed to sustain a good net worth until her recent passing in April of 2016. Chyna began her career with the WWE in 1997 as a member of Degeneration-X. She would go on to become the face of the women’s division capturing the championship once and claiming the Intercontinental Championship on two different occasions. Things went south for Chyna after she was released by the WWE in 2001. After making a pit-stop with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Chyna made her debut in the adult entertainment industry in 2004, but to this day, the WWE remains quiet on anything relating the former superstar.
2) CM Punk: $7.5 million
You can expect CM Punk’s net worth of $7.5 million to skyrocket once he makes his debut with the UFC. Like Brock Lesnar, PPV buy rates will make Punk a very wealthy man, as wrestling fans across the world will tune into Punk’s first fight with the company. It has now been over two years since Punk’s last appearance on WWE television. Oh, how time flies. It’ll be interesting to see how the future will play out for the former WWE Champion.
1) WCW: Sold for around $2 million
The amount is yet to be confirmed, but according to rumors the WCW was sold for $2 million. This shocked so many former wrestlers, including Chris Jericho who said in an interview that had he known it was such a low price, he’d put in an offer. Many other wrestlers have said the same thing, as its sale price was absolutely shocking. With a net worth of $1.12 billion, buying WCW was a joke for the WWE’s CEO. WCW’s video library sold for an additional $1.7 million. What a purchase this was changing the landscape of pro wrestling forever.