Over the course of the last couple of decades, the wrestling business has made some wrestlers seriously rich. It should be noted, however, that no one on this list has a higher net worth than the boss himself, Vince McMahon. Vince stands alone with a net worth of $1.2 billion as of 2015. So to answer some questions, yes, Vince does have enough money to sign a couple of wrestler paychecks every month.
Wrestlers on this list made a fortune working for Vince. Most of these wrestlers however, also managed to make some serious cash outside of the wrestling business whether it be in movies, TV shows or endorsements. For these wrestlers, making serious money came through hard and devotion for the wrestling business (except if you’re The Rock, which we will discuss in this article). Here are the 15 highest WWE net worths in history! Let us know who you think will be the future number one. Enjoy!
15 Bret Hart: $14 million
No real surprise here. Bret’s wrestling career spanned over two decades from 1978 till 2000. Bret announced his retirement on WCW Nitro, September 6th, 2000. Following his retirement, Hart would continue to cash in working with several independent wrestling promotions. In 2009, The Hitman shocked the wrestling world by resigning a deal with the WWE. Like many other WWE legends (including his long time rival Shawn Michaels), Hart is currently under a “Legends contract”. Bret is required to make a certain amount of appearances for the company per year, whether it’s as an ambassador for the brand or an appearance on television. Safe to say that at the age of 58, Bret is set for life.
14 Bill Goldberg: $14 million
Goldberg is the only wrestler on this list that made most of his profits outside of the WWE. Throughout his career, Goldberg has been very sensitive when it comes to his on-screen character, his former WCW boss Eric Bischoff even 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's contract earning a million less at $2.5 million per year). The wrestling business wasn't Goldberg’s only major form of revenue though, 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.
13 Mick Foley: $15 million
You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Foley is quite the rich man. Like Bret, Foley certainly did his time in the wrestling business starting his career way back in 1983. Mick finally announced his retirement from wrestling 29 years later, after doctors wouldn’t clear him to fight at SummerSlam against Dean Ambrose. Foley has also made some big time profits outside of the ring becoming a multi-time New York Times bestselling author. He’s also appeared in various films and TV shows throughout his career. Today, Foley is still bringing in the revenue working shows across the US as a stand up comedian. He also appears on various independent wrestling promotions, not to mention appearances with the WWE from time to time. Not bad for someone who Ric Flair referred to as a “glorified stuntman”.
12 Jeff Jarrett: $15 million
This name may shock many of you, but believe it or not, Jeff Jarrett does in fact currently hold the 12th highest net worth in pro wrestling history. 30 years after his pro wrestling debut, Jeff is still active in the world of sports and entertainment, 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. Nonetheless, 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.
11 Brock Lesnar: $16 million
With Brock at the prime of his wrestling career, I only expect this number to go up in the upcoming years. According to reports, Lesnar is making $5 million a year with the company. No wrestler (asides from John Cena) comes close to this amount of money per year. You certainly had to believe it was something big, as Lesnar called the offer something he simply could not refuse. Brock also made a huge amount of money while in the UFC. Lesnar crushed winning and PPV bonuses making over $5 million in 2011. The former UFC champ became the highest earning MMA athlete. It’ll be interesting to see if the mayor of “Suplex City” can find his way into the top 5 slot in the next couple of years. Still only 38, this looks like a definite possibility.
10 The Undertaker: $16 million
This guy deserves every bit of his $16 million dollar net worth. The Undertaker is regarded as one of the most iconic figures in WWE history. His legacy stands alone at the very top. His professionalism and class behind the scenes also stands alone, because for years and years, The Undertaker was considered the locker room leader. This earned him the nickname of “The Godfather” of wrestling backstage. The Deadman earned most of his money from wrestling when his run with the WWE began, all the way back in November of 1990. Remarkable to think that over 25 years later, his gimmick is still hotter than ever. At the age of 50, it remains to been seen when Taker will finally hang up his boots for good.
9 Shawn Michaels: $17 million
Like The Undertaker, the Heart Break Kid is worth every single penny. Shawn Michaels predominantly made most of his money with the WWE. It's not hard to see why Michaels got rich with the company though, as the WWE Hall of Famer is considered the greatest in-ring performer in pro wrestling history. Shawn’s journey with the company started way back in 1987. Michaels' first stint with the WWE lasted more than a decade. HBK would leave in 1998 nursing several injuries. Four years later, Shawn shocked the world and made his return to the company on a permanent basis. His second run would last for another 8 years, and he would go on to wrestle his final match against The Undertaker in March of 2010. Today, Michaels is still under contract with the company as an ambassador for the WWE.
8 Chris Jericho: $18 million
Chris is one of only three wrestlers to make this list that are still actively wrestling today. Expect Jericho’s profits to only go up over the next couple of years, as the guy's showing no signs of slowing down. Jericho began his pro wrestling career way back in 1990, so it's truly remarkable to think that over 25 years later, he’s still competing at the highest of levels with the likes of AJ Styles. Chris has also made some serious cash outside of the wrestling business with his rock band Fozzy. Jericho has appeared in various television shows including Dancing with the Stars. The former undisputed WWE Champion has also done some films and some theater. Quite the resume for the 45 year old.
7 Kurt Angle: $20 million
Kurt Angle is the only person to make this list that is still actively wrestling outside of the WWE. However, just recently on March 8th, Kurt fought his final match for TNA in a losing effort to Lashley. This once again opened up speculation that Angle would be making a return to the WWE. Kurt wrestled his final match for the company almost a decade ago in a match against Sabu, on August 8th, 2006. Despite his time away from the WWE, Angle managed to stay active in the wrestling business earning him some serious cash. Kurt wrestled in Mexico, Japan and independently across the world. It remains to be seen if he has one last run left in him at the age of 47.
6 Big Show: $20 million
Believe or not, Big Show ranks as the wrestler with the second highest net worth amongst active wrestlers. The former WWE champ is expected to make another cool $1.2 million this year, one of the highest payrolls amongst the active roster. At the age of 44, Big Show is entering his 16th year with the company, and many wrestling fans believe this will be the last we will be seeing of 7 foot monster. If it is, Big Show can spend some time in his lovely Florida home valued at just over a million dollars.
5 Triple H: $25 million
It pays quite well to be the bosses son-in law. Hunter is currently making two different salaries; his first pay as an on-screen character at $1.5 million per year, and his second is another 1.5 million dollar pay for his contributions behind the scenes as an executive for the company. Do the math, this totals to a cool $3 million a year. This is a number that you can expect to only increase in the next couple of years, as Hunter’s role continues to increase as the years go by.
4 Stephanie McMahon: $25 million
Like in any other job, Stephanie grew in the company. She began to work in the New York WWE offices as an Account Executive in 1998. She later transitioned into an on-air role with the company. This lead Stephanie to a job in 2002, as the director of creative writing, and she was later promoted to Vice President of Creative Writing in 2006. In 2007, McMahon's hard work paid off, and she was once again promoted, this time to Executive Vice-President of creative development and operations. She worked under this role for a total of six years, when she was later bumped to executive status as the Chief branding officer for the WWE. Not bad for a girl that started off as a receptionist. She is currently responsible for further enhancing the WWE’s brand amongst advertisers, media, business partners and investors.
3 John Cena: $35 million
No real surprise here; John Cena is currently the holder of the highest net worth amongst active WWE stars. John is scheduled to make almost $3 million this year. Not to mention his bonuses and various other forms of revenue coming in from endorsements, appearances, movies and TV shows. At the age of 38, Cena is showing no signs of slowing down. The guy is still the face of the business and only scratching the surface on a potentially massive career in Hollywood. It remains to be seen if John can catch the next entrant on this list.
2 Stone Cold Steve Austin: $45 million
With a net worth of $45 million, Steve Austin is considered the most iconic wrestler in WWE history. The 3:16 era really began to whip into shape during the late 90s. His run as the face of the company would come to an end in 2003, following his match with The Rock. Austin would continue to generate income though, working on various films, TV shows and even video games. Today, Steve is still under contract with the WWE making sporadic appearances. He is also the host of the WWE Network show The Stone Cold Steve Austin Podcast.
1 The Rock: $160 million
In 1996, the WWE gave birth to an absolute mega star. The Rock would eventually dominate the landscape of the WWE, becoming the face of the industry. He would later take his talents outside of the ring, becoming one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. It is estimated Dwayne brought in $44 million in 2013 from wrestling, acting and endorsements. He topped this off by making another cool $54 million in 2014. With The Rock hotter than ever and just recently signing a mega deal with Under Armour, expect this number to once again skyrocket.
For those of you wondering, yes, The Rock is still getting paid by the WWE. Some believe he is getting paid between 2$-3$ million per year on a part time basis. It’s good to be The Rock!