Pro wrestling is a lot like other performing arts; it’s not really considered a sport by many people, but that doesn’t mean participants don’t work hard for each and every show. WWE wrestlers might seem to be paid well, but they are considered independent contractors who are paid depending on attendance numbers, merchandise sales, and pay-per-view match purchases. Because their travel expenses are not covered, many wrestlers spend a good portion of their annual salary in order to cover expenses. In spite of this fact, many current and former WWE entertainers are still millionaires. Here is a list of the wrestlers who are the wealthiest. Not seeing favorites like Hulk Hogan? Remember that a lot of older wrestlers lost vast amounts of their fortunes due to divorces and exorbitant spending.
10. Mick Foley – Net Worth: $15 million
You might know him as Mankind, Cactus Jack, or Dude Love. But did you know he was worth this much? Keep in mind that Mick Foley always had a story to tell. So what did he do shortly before his retirement from the WWE in 2000? He wrote a book! His book Have a Nice Day was published in 1999, debuted at number 3 on the New York Times’ Bestseller list, and moved to the number 1 slot a month later. In addition to being a published author, Foley also performs stand-up comedy. With how many stories he has, it’s really no surprise.
9. The Undertaker – Net Worth: $16 million
Real name Mark Calaway, the Undertaker has been part of the WWE company for over 2 decades. What likely helped his paychecks was his impressive 21-0 winning streak at Wrestlemania. While he’s now mostly retired from professional wrestling, he still occasionally makes appearances at WrestleMania events. He’s definitely an icon in this business.
8. Shawn Michaels – Net Worth: $17 million
Also known for years as the Showstopper and the Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels initially retired from the WWE due to a back injury in 1998. He came back in 2002, and kept wrestling well into his 40s. In spite of drug problems, he was able to clean up his act and wrestle for over 30 years. He’s currently retired, but who knows if that’ll stick.
7. Chris Jericho – Net Worth: $18 million
Real name Chris Irvine, Canadian wrestler Chris Jericho has had a 20 year WWE career, is a New York Times bestselling author, lead singer of the rock band ‘FOZZY’ host of the game show ‘Downfall’, and has appeared on ‘Dancing With the Stars’. Not bad for a guy in Spandex.
6. Kurt Angle – Net Worth: $20 million
Kurt Angle was already an established athlete before he signed with the WWE; he had been a gold medal athlete in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. In his first year with the WWE, he won every title the company had. Angle is currently the crown jewel of rival company TNA, though he only wrestles part time due to chronic injuries.
5. The Big Show – Net Worth: $20 million
Paul Wight really lives up to his nickname; he stands seven feet tall and weighs 440 pounds. He debuted in 1995 in the WCW, and has wrestled in WWE since 1999. He has also branched into movies such as Jingle All the Way, The Waterboy, and Knucklehead, among others.
4. Triple H – Net Worth: $25 million
Here’s a wrestler who knows how to run a business as well. He debuted in WCW in 1992, and debuted in WWE in 1996 as Hunter Hearst Helmsley. In 2003, after winning 13 World Championships, he married Stephanie McMahon, daughter of WWE head Vince McMahon, and is slated to be the next to take over the company. If he does inherit the majority of the WWE’s shares, he could potentially be worth hundreds of millions in the near-future.
3. John Cena – Net Worth: $35 million
He may be polarizing to wrestling fans, but there’s no doubt John Cena knows wrestling. Since his first Wrestlemania title in 2005, he has been a Wrestlemania headliner every year he’s been healthy. He’s earned more in his decade-plus career than some superstars made in their entire careers.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Net Worth: $45 million
Hulk Hogan may be the best known name is wrestling, but ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin comes in a close second. He’s broken many of the former’s records in the wrestling business, including pay-per-view buys and merchandise sales. He has been a six time champion of the WWE since his debut with them, and has also made a small name for himself in acting.
1. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – Net Worth: $70 million
Nowadays, it’s hard to think of wrestling and not think of The Rock. His fame has only grown since his retirement from the WWE in 2004; thanks to his acting career, more people know about him than ever. Since his wrestling debut in 1996, he won every major title multiple times, had the most catchphrases, sold the most merchandise, and became the most recognizable face of professional wrestling.