Plenty of the people on television get paid too much to do their jobs. Athletes arguably have it even better, making millions and millions of dollars for their few minutes per game on the field, but who are we to question what billionaire team owners want to pay their talents? Since professional wrestling is a combination of sports and entertainment, we feel more comfortable in judging Vince McMahon and the other wrestling promoters of the world for paying their talents exorbitant amounts of money, since in many instances the talent’s ability to entertain was blatantly and dramatically lesser than the price tag they were demanding.
We can hardly blame Vince McMahon alone for this. Vince offered Marc Mero the first guaranteed contract in wrestling history back in 1996, and that’s where the idea of getting paid too much for doing nothing started to become a thing in sports entertainment. However, when you look at the facts, Vince’s competition is often far guiltier of this than he is, and WCW superstars take up a big portion of our list. Some of these wrestlers are legends and icons who made the entire wrestling industry millions, but once you look at the specifics of their contracts, you realize even the star of the show can be bizarrely overpaid. Keep reading to discover which 15 wrestlers were given the most money to do the least actual work.
15 The Undertaker - $2M Per Year
14 Marc Mero - First Guaranteed Contract
13 Bret Hart - $2.5 M Per Year
12 Disco Inferno - $300K Per Year
11 Bam Bam Bigelow - $400K Per Year
10 Brock Lesnar - $2M Per Year
9 Stevie Ray - $250K Per Year
8 Ice Train - $200K Per Year
7 Dennis Rodman - $1M Per Year
6 Swoll - $350K Per Year
5 Dustin Rhodes - $500K Per Year
4 Mark Henry - $1M Per Year
3 Tank Abbott - $650K Per Year
2 Kevin Wacholz - $100K Per Year
1 Kevin Greene
Kevin Greene was perhaps the only athlete in history to have concurrent careers in the NFL and a major wrestling company. He played for the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers while also wrestling in WCW for several matches per year. While Greene was a minor sports celebrity, he wasn’t exactly on Dennis Rodman’s level, and his one or two matches per year were typically treated as significantly less important despite his equally high caliber opponents. Somehow Greene netted up to $500,000 per year for his dozen appearances, and in fact the final year when he made the most money was also the year he did the least and barely wrestled at all. The NFL eventually mandated he stop wrestling if he wanted to continue his football career and he did as he was asked, but he probably made enough money that he could’ve stopped doing both and retired early.
Sources: WCW Contract & Payroll Records, Total Sport EK
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