"I like to give the credit to our audience because our audience started a hashtag called #GiveDivasAChance and at that time our female division was branded as the Divas Division, and it trended worldwide for three days, and our fans' voices were so loud. They were saying they wanted more athleticism, deeper character development, enhanced storylines. They wanted more of our women. Their voice was so strong that our Chairman and CEO responded 'We hear you. Keep watching. #GiveDivasAChance'. Since then we have rebranded our Divas Division to the Women's Division and all of our women are called Superstars just like the men."
This is Stephanie’s take on what started the Women’s Revolution. Females are starting to thrive in the wrestling business and they’re even out-earning their significant others in certain instances. In this article, we take a look at current females out-earning their men. We’ll also take a look at seven that aren’t but have the chance to surpass their wages down the road. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see the likes of Charlotte earn the same amount as someone like Roman Reigns! In this day and age, it can happen.
Enjoy the article folks and like always, be sure to share it with a friend. Here are eight female WWE stars who are out-earning their men and seven who aren’t... for now.
15 Out-Earning – Alexa Bliss (Buddy Murphy)
This one seemed like the opposite early on. Bliss struggled to find relevancy with NXT while Murphy had the look and talent to excel with the company. Placed as the manager of the group, everything changed for Alexa striking gold as a villain. She really stood out on the main roster winning both Women’s Championships on Raw and SmackDown. While she won both titles, Murphy was still with NXT. Though finally, he was recently called up for 205 Live.
Despite the differences in success, Bliss said that there is no envy whatsoever from her man and that she’s proud of his latest 205 Live gig;
"He has worked so hard. He has been in NXT now for around five years. We were signed around the same time. I was signed a couple of months before him. To see the struggles he has gone through with the process, to know I wouldn’t be the Alexa Bliss I am without him and Blake, it’s nice to see him get the recognition he deserves and the opportunity because he is very talented. He is one of the most talented guys I know. This place is almost like a lottery: They always describe it to us like this upside-down funnel. A lot of people come in, but very few make it to the top. It’s nice to see him make that transition to 205 Live". She added, "It’s never once been jealousy. We are both happy for each other. He is there for me and happy for me. I’m there for him and proud of him.”
14 Isn’t... For Now - Peyton Royce (Tye Dollinger)
Still only 25, Peyton has a massive future on the main roster. She recently joined SmackDown Live and her popularity seems to be growing. As a matter of fact, her IIconics merchandise is one of the best sellers. Now that’s impressive.
Boyfriend Tye Dillinger got the promotion a year prior, however things haven’t been as successful as his time with NXT. Dillinger has had a tough go, though he recently reminded us all of his skill with a great match against Nakamura.
A true veteran, Dillinger isn’t too worried about his current situation, claiming a lot can change at any second;
"I kind of live by a certain credo: if I always stay ready then I never have to get ready. I've been living by that for the last 15 years. That's across the board in all aspects, especially in WWE. Things constantly change. You have to be ready at any moment and it could change for any reason. When that moment comes, you better be ready to deliver. That's what this industry is all about, that's what those moments are all about, and that's what we train so hard for."
Still, looking at potential, age is going to play a factor. Dillinger is closer to his 40s than he is his 30s (at the age of 37), while his partner is just getting started at 25. She’ll catch up eventually.
13 Out-Earning - Sasha Banks (Sarath Ton)
The Boss of the WWE, Sasha has to be among the top earners these days. A multi-time Women’s Champion, Sasha embodies the current Women’s Revolution with both the in-ring talent and her over-the-top persona.
When it comes to her personal life, Sasha has kept things on the down low. In fact, very few were even aware that she got married to WWE costume maker, Sarath Ton. Banks later admitted the reason why she kept things so low key, claiming the fans aren’t so nice when it comes to her man;
"I just think fans are just so crazy. I see what they write to him on Twitter, and I don’t like that stuff. If you’re saying he’s ugly, or he shouldn’t be with me because of this or that, that hurts me, you know? I just don’t like that he reads that every day, you know what I mean? And he’s such an amazing person.”
Age difference is another factor here. Banks still has lots of time to go; you can argue she might have a decade of wrestling left in the tank at 26. Ton however, is already halfway through his 30s at 35. Unless something drastic takes place, we expect Banks to out-earn her man for a long time.
12 Isn’t... For Now - Laurel Van Ness (Zack Ryder)
She’s currently earning her stripes on the indie scene. Van Ness grew to popularity with a tremendous gimmick during her brief Impact stint. It got her noticed and she continues to thrive these days on the indie scene. She left Impact leading to speculation that she might join the Mae Young Classic. We’ll just have to wait and see.
By the time she makes main roster money, Ryder might be out of the WWE. The talented 33 year old continues to struggle. Many suggest that Ryder might be better off without the guaranteed WWE money, resurfacing his value on the independents. As for Van Ness, her goal is to make the WWE;
"I'd be crazy to say no I haven't [thought about WWE]. It's always in the back of your mind for any wrestler. It was the only thing in my mind when I started with Tough Enough in 2014. But I've grown a little more open and found options I never knew I had before. Now, if WWE calls tomorrow, that would be amazing. If Ring of Honor calls tomorrow, amazing. But now I have options. … I never thought I'd say that. When I first started out wrestling in front of 100 people, I thought, 'Chelsea, you're better than this. You should be working in front of thousands!' But I was crazy. The things I've been able to do - main events, cage matches, all kinds of stipulations – the opportunities, they are at an all-time high."
11 Out-Earning - Bayley (Aaron Solow)
This one is quite lopsided as Solow hasn’t signed a WWE deal, while Bayley continues to enjoy the perks of a WWE contract. Despite her lackluster run, she also makes some decent bonuses when it comes to merchandise. Without a doubt, like Sasha, she’ll stick around for quite some time (she's still in her 20s).
Solow has appeared in WWE matches on a couple of instances. However, he wasn’t exactly thrilled with his latest involvement. Solow made the headlines for the commentators calling him “Mr. Bayley” as opposed to the actual match itself. A ticked off Solow had this to say;
“Wrestled tonight and my notifications are flooded with no comments about the match I had, but that the commentary team referred to me as “Mr. Bayley”. Thank you for completely negating 9 years of my life and defining me by who I am engaged to.”
Never one to shy away from controversy, Reby Sky, Matt’s wife, also commented on the matter;
“Otherwise known as the life of every female wrestler, ever, the moment she's involved with a dude in the biz.” Making such a statement, we’ll probably never see Solow on a full-time WWE deal. Though in truth, there is money to be made outside of the WWE these days.
10 Isn’t... For Now - Maria Kanellis (Mike Kanellis)
Lots of fans have thrown shade towards Mike Kanellis, especially due to his awful run thus far. Following a brief story with Sami Zayn, Kanellis fell down the card and was relegated to pre-show duty. He even most recently appeared at the Saudi Arabia Royal Rumble match, getting eliminated in record time.
Despite the lackluster run, Mike hasn’t backed down from the criticism claiming that he’s living the dream buying a new home and welcoming a baby. Here’s what he had to say when discussing the trials and tribulations between himself and Maria;
“In 2012, after an independent show, I watched @MariaLKanellis cry herself to sleep, because we literally had no money to eat, couldn’t even order a pizza. On Wednesday we move into our new house, our first house. Never stop dreaming, never give up, trust the process!”
It is hard not to respect such a statement. In truth, once Maria returns, we wish these two the best. However, some might speculate that Mike won’t be with the company by the time that takes place, leading to Maria out-earning her man. Nonetheless, no matter what goes down, Mike proved he can make a living even before his WWE deal with the likes of ROH and Impact.
9 Out-Earning - Natalya (Tyson Kidd)
This one is truly heartbreaking given the circumstances of it all. Kidd was forced into retirement following a devastating spot gone wrong during a dark match against Samoa Joe. Although it did cost him his career, Kidd was lucky he was able to walk away from the incident without being paralyzed. Doctors called it a miracle.
If he was still wrestling, Kidd would no doubt be out-earning Natalya. Instead, he’s forced to watch from the sidelines these days while Nattie continues to serve a purpose as a top tier veteran booked to Raw shows on a weekly basis. However, it isn’t all bad for Tyson. He’s an agent these days helping to set up matches behind the scenes. He’s making waves in the new role and he’s responsible for lots of great matches, including a recent encounter between Rollins and Miz, the highlight of the recent Backlash PPV event. Perhaps down the road, he’ll also extend his role to NXT helping out the younger stars.
As for possible animosity against Samoa Joe, Kidd holds zero grudges;
“I have zero animosity with Samoa Joe. I found him my first day back at WWE after my injury and we had a very good heart to heart. I wish him nothing but the best.”
8 Isn’t... For Now - Bianca Belair (Montez Ford)
A lesser known couple down in NXT, Montez Ford, one half of the Street Profits is set to marry Bianca Belair in the near future. For now, we imagine Ford is out-earning his partner, however given her potential, this can easily change. A polished athlete before her time in the WWE, the ceiling is quite high when it comes to her potential. Triple H has booked her in this regard thus far. Even most recently, NXT aired vignettes giving us more of an inside look on what she is all about.
She is going to be a star. Ford also has the look and skills to be a great performer, though Belair might triumph over Montez once she makes it to the main roster. She just has that look McMahon loves in his performers.
Mark Henry was the biggest influence in getting her foot in the door, though her brother, a high school football coach, was the one who encouraged her to join the company;
"He was into it hardcore," said Belair, as both watched WWE and WCW events and recreated moves they saw on television. Ultimately, Belair is thankful for her family and support base at home to keep her going. I owe it to my family," said Belair. "I owe it to my support system here in East Knoxville. It's just an amazing feeling to be able to come back."
7 Out-Earning - Mandy Rose (Tino Sabbatelli)
Another relationship some fans don’t know about, at the WWE Hall of Fame it was unveiled that Mandy Rose and NXT wrestler Tino Sabbatelli had become an item. Both are clearly at different stages of their careers. Though you can argue in terms of actual experience, that Tino merely has the edge. But hey, Vince was high on Rose since her Tough Enough days and for that reason, she was fast tracked onto the main roster. She recalls that day;
“I actually wasn’t in Houston for NXT, I was home in Orlando. I was ready to actually go home a little early for Thanksgiving, since we didn’t have any Florida shows. But I received the email that I’d be going to Raw and SmackDown, which was really exciting news, but I had to change all of the travel stuff. Was this going to be me just kind of showing my face, or just maybe… I really didn’t know what to think. I thought about all different scenarios.”
She’s making main roster money these days while Tino is still with NXT. Progress has been quite slow for the former NFL star. It also doesn’t help that he’s currently out with an injury. It remains to be seen if he’ll ever get out of developmental.
6 Isn’t... For Now – Lana (Rusev)
Since she signed a deal with the WWE, lots of internet based sources have linked Lana to only wanting fame out of her WWE deal. Well, it might be working especially since she started with Total Divas. Lana recently made the claim that females that watch the show are going up to Rusev and asking him if she’s her husband;
“I feel like a lot more women watch the show,” she said. Rusev told me a funny story where he was in a mall, and a whole bunch of these girls went up to him with their moms saying, ‘Are you Lana’s husband?’ He goes, ‘I am.’ That had never happened to him before. They didn’t even know his name, just that he was Lana’s husband. So that was kind of cool. WWE empowers men, but WWE and Total Divas is also empowering women. It’s a tremendous opportunity.”
When it comes to WWE, it is unlikely that Lana is going to catch Rusev, especially with the popularity of Rusev Day and the bonus he’s making off of merchandise sales. However, outside of the company, it is realistic to think that Lana might be able to catch Rusev whether it be with reality TV or other acting gigs, film or television related.
5 Out-Earning - Mickie James (Nick Aldis)
Mickie James returning to WWE was something she never thought would happen. Performing in front of smaller crowds, James was about to leave the business. Instead, she aimed at a career in the music business along with starting a family alongside Nick Aldis. She got the family and a WWE return. She remains on the main roster as a part of the Raw brand. Her husband Nick, continues on in the business.
Although he’s likely making less, Aldis has no desire to join his wife and a lot of that has to do with creative;
“What I find really interesting, I went to the Hall Of Fame last year, and it’s full of guys I used to work with and then people who used to work and are now in the office and they say they really wanted to sign me. I just come to the conclusion, whatever it is, until they resolve whatever the thing is, I wouldn’t want to be there anyway because they would just cut my b**** off.”
Instead, Aldis continues to enjoy his run outside of the WWE putting NWA back on the map. He is set to take on Cody in a high profile match at the All In event.
4 Isn’t... For Now – Naomi (Jimmy Uso)
A two-time Women’s Champion and first ever winner of the WrestleMania Battle Royal, Naomi has completely resurfaced her career during the Women’s Revolution. She always had the potential, though back in the Divas era, she was told to scale back her talents. Thankfully, those things are now in the past.
A big part of Naomi’s success is the constant support of her husband, Jimmy Uso. She discussed what it means to her having him on the road;
"He's my best friend, he's my soulmate, he looks out for me, he takes care of me, he makes sure I'm okay all the time," said Naomi. "And there's a lot of times where there are rough times getting through the travel, or injuries, or just different parts in our career where I know he's really made all the difference to me, having him there by my side. So, yeah, it's everything. It makes all the difference in the world to me. I honestly don't know if I would have lasted and gotten as far as I have, and as long as I have, and be as happy as I've been, if I didn't have him with me going through this together."
3 Out-Earning - Paige (Kalan Blehm)
Paige hit a massive rough spot during her WWE hiatus. However, she is now back and the future is looking extremely bright. Not only is she the current GM of SmackDown but you can expect her to get even richer once her film comes out. It is only up from here, as things are going pretty darn well for the former Divas Champion.
Even though she might be out-earning her new man, he’s likely more than proud of her, especially through all of the pain and struggle on route to this point. She recalls the heartbreak of retiring, only to get a new gig;
“It’s all secrecy. They didn’t want it to spoil it. They didn’t even tell me. They told me that I was going to SmackDown Live the next night. I had asked why, but they didn’t tell me. It was then they told me I was going to be the SmackDown general manager, but don’t tell anyone. We don’t even have the script yet. I go through this thing where when I do something big I tend to lose my voice. When I re-debuted I lost my voice. When I did commentary at WrestleMania I lost my voice, it’s like, oh my God. What is wrong with me? Fix your voice! They told me that they had to check my voice because today was a very big day. By then I had already drank a bunch of tea and cough drops. Once I got out there the crowd was great, and received a bigger reception than my retirement speech the night previous. I was like, ‘Wow, this is super cool. You still want me around.'”
2 Isn’t... For Now - Stephanie McMahon (Triple H)
Right at this very moment, Triple H is doing a lot for the WWE and he’s being paid quite handsomely. However, he isn’t making all that much more in comparison to Stephanie’s overall salary.
The Games makes a base of $650,000 along with some massive bonuses. Overall, Triple H made $3.2 million in 2017. Stephanie however, wasn’t too far from The Game in terms of salary. Stephanie finished the year off with a million less, $2.2 million and that’s one million more than brother Shane. The salary is based off of her role as a talent as well as being the Chief Branding Officer.
Looking towards the future, Vince wants Stephanie to be the face of the WWE. In fact, the Wrestling Observer made the claim that Ronda Rousey was signed to a contract just so Stephanie would get worldwide media attention while getting her mug on multiple platforms. There might be some truth to this, especially when you assess the fact that McMahon was the first to feud with Ronda and that she took part in her first WrestleMania and on-screen match.
As of now, Hunter’s out-earning Stephanie but who knows? This might change in the future as Stephanie becomes the most powerful figure in all of the WWE.
1 Out-Earning - Ronda Rousey (Travis Browne)
Without Travis Browne, Rousey admitted that overcoming her depression might have been impossible. Instead, she got his constant support and Rousey is doing better than ever these days living out her dream with the WWE. As is the case normally, Travis continues to watch from the sidelines and support his ultra-popular wife.
Rousey discussed most recently how important her husband is to her (along with his influence on her WWE run) and what the future holds;
"It really was myself and Travis [Browne] planning on settling down that made me decide that I needed to go for it. We're ready to start having kids soon and I was thinking about what I've left unfinished in my life because I want to entirely focus on having kids when that time comes. I took a long look at my life and thought that if I don't try and take a shot with the WWE, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I want to be an example to my kids about pursuing your dreams and being able to do anything. I guess this is my way of nesting and getting ready for children. I'm trying to prove to my unborn babies that they can accomplish any dream that they want to go after."