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Top 10 Best Paid WWE Wrestlers

Wrestling is an activity or sport in which two opponents try to throw or hold each other down on the ground, with moves like grappling, takedowns, joint locks, pins, and clinches. Wrestling can be purely competitive, like what you see in colleges or Olympic games, or it can be purely entertaining, theatrical, complete with costumes, music, and passionate fans. The WWE is the latter kind of wrestling.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) is an American company that produces professional wrestling entertainment. It is the largest wrestling promotion outfit in the world, no other company comes close. It has a global audience, 36 million strong, scattered in 150 countries all around the globe. WWE holds an average of 500 events every year. This is the soap opera, the daytime drama, of the common or average boy and man.

Here is a list of the ten highest-paid performers in the history of WWE. Strictly based on contracts and subject to other percentages like television Pay Per View share or royalties and bonuses. Runner-ups are the Big Show and Jinder Mahal with respective contracts of $850,000 (3 years) and $900,000 (5 years).

10. Sheamus and Jeff Hardy

2018 Contract: $1 million / $1 million
Current WWE Brand: Smackdown / Smackdown
Current Title: None / United States Champion

Sheamus and Jeff Hardy both have a contract worth exactly $1 million. They also have different specific bonuses and percentages from sales.
Sheamus started his WWE career in 2007 with the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). The FCW is a WWE developmental league training young wrestlers with the promise of a promotion if they do well in the program. This is how Sheamus started and he is now one of the ten highest-paid wrestlers in WWE.
Jeff Hardy had numerous posts before he landed in WWE, like TNA and ROH. He was first known as the other half of a tag team duo, the Hardy Boyz, fighting alongside his real-life brother Matt Hardy.

Jeff’s first gig was a jobber for WWF back in 2004. A jobber is a professional wrestling slang term for a wrestler who loses a match. Being a jobber is a good experience, Jeff fought the likes of Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid as a jobber. The tag team’s first achievement was a Tag Team championship win in July 1999 against The Acolytes. They went on to become one of the most famous tag teams in WWF until Jeff inked deals with ROH and TNA then returned to WWE in 2006, then back to TNA again in 2010. There was a lot of back and forth until 2017, where they both returned again to WWE.

9. Dolph Ziggler

2018 Contract: $1.4 million
Current WWE Brand: Raw
Current Title: None

Dolph Ziggler’s real name is Nicholas Theodore Nemeth. He started his WWE career in development leagues such as the FCW and Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He debuted in WWE as Nicky, a member of the tag team Spirit Squad, an all-male cheerleading group. Cute, right? He went back to FCW and then was rebranded as a singles competition wrestler as Dolph Ziggler. In his first ever match he lost to Batista, but won a week later against R-Truth. He went further and seemed determined to get it all.

His first belt was the WWE Intercontinental Championship, he won it against Kofi Kingston in 2010. He then went on to lose it and win it again in 2014 and 2016, mostly against The Miz. He became United States Champion by beating Kingston again in 2011. He won it again most recently in 2017 in a Triple Threat match against Bobby Corbin and Bobby Roode.
Dolph Ziggler’s contract this year is $1.4 million. He also earns 3.5 percent from merchandise sale and $250,000 max from pay-per-view earnings per the main event. His patented finishing moves are the Superkick and the Zig Zag, a jumping reverse bulldog.

8. Dean Ambrose

2018 Contract: $2 million
Current WWE Brand: Raw
Current Title: None

Jon Moxley started wrestling in independent circuits like Full impact Pro, Combat Zone Wrestling, ROH, Evolve, and Dragon Gate USA. He won the VZW World Heavyweight Championship and the FIP World Heavyweight Championship. He then started WWE in 2011 with FCW, then broke out of wrestling obscurity as a member of a 3-man tag team called The Shield. Why is that name so unfamiliar? It’s because Jon Moxley is Dean Ambrose. He became Dean Ambrose the moment he signed with WWE, his given name is Jonathan David Good, by the way.

The Shield consists of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose. They vowed to fight injustice in the ring and seemed to be working for CM Punk. He would go solo to win the United States Championship from Kofi Kingston in 2013. In WWE history, Ambrose holds the record for longest reign at 351 days. This record may never be broken as nobody even came close to 351 days after his reign. He then won the WWE Intercontinental Champion against Kevin Owens in 2015. He also won the WWE Championship in 2016 in an amazing Money in the Bank Ladder Match against five other wrestlers.
Dean is a private person in real life and does not take to any kind of social media. He is married to WWE announcer Renee Paquette. His famous finishing move is Dirty Deeds.

7. AJ Styles

2018 Contract: $2 million
Current WWE Brand: Smackdown
Current Title: WWE Championship

Allen Neal Jones is a forty-year-old American wrestler from Jacksonville, North Carolina. He is more famously known as AJ Styles, his ring name. AJ Styles has been wrestling since 1998, but he only joined WWE in 2016. He actually got an offer from WWE back in 2002 but he declined as he would have been assigned to a developmental league. It turned out to be a good move because when he signed with WWE in 2016, he quickly won the WWE Championship in September of the same year.

AJ Styles started his wrestling career in independent promotions more or less for the first four years. He landed stints in notable outfits such as ROH (Ring of Honor), signed with TNA Wrestling (Total Nonstop Action) where he was World Heavyweight Champion and X Division Champion. He even journeyed to the other side of the world and joined the New Japan Pro-Wrestling from 2014 to 2016.
AJ Styles is the current holder of the WWE Championship belt. He beat Jinder Mahal back in 2017. He was also WWE United States Champion earlier the same year. His finishing moves are the Calf Crusher and Phenomenal Forearm.

6. The Miz

2018 Contract: $2.5 million
Current WWE Brand: Smackdown
Current Title: None

Miz is short for Mizanin, that’s The Miz’s last name. His full name is Michael Gregory Mizanin. The Miz started his WWE career right after a short stint with indie pro wrestling company Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW). His WWE career boasts of winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship on eight separate occasions, the WWE United States Champion two times, and the WWE Championship back in 2010. The Miz has a contract of $2.5 million with WWE. His finishing moves are the Figure-four leg lock and the Skull-Crushing Finale.

The Miz can’t actually credit all of his fame to WWE. He was first known in the world of television as a contestant on MTV’s reality show The Real World. He was an MTV staple, as he stayed for the spin-offs and the new MTV shows like Battle of the Sexes. The Miz has a natural charisma that radiates on the TV screen.
The Miz is married to a French-Canadian woman named Maryse Ouellet. They have a daughter, Monroe Sky Mizanin. His wife is also a WWE wrestler, talk about destiny, huh! Their family actually has a reality show in the works that will hopefully air this year.

5. Seth Rollins

2018 Contract: $3 million
Current WWE Brand: Raw
Current Title: WWE Intercontinental Champion

Wherever Seth Rollins goes, he becomes a champion. His career in Ring Of Honor got him the ROH World Championship and the ROH Tag Team Championship. He was FIP World Heavyweight Champion with Full Impact Pro and was PWG World Tag Team Champion in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. These are the highlights of his professional wrestling career from 2005 to 2010. His current contract is $3 million.
He signed with WWE in 2010 and started in the developmental league in FCW where he became champion. He was the first FCW Grand Slam Champion. His WWE debut was with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns with The Shield. When their group broke up in 2014, he wreaked havoc as a solo wrestler. He got the following titles: WWE World Heavyweight Champion, current Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, and even Tag Team Champion.

In 2015, Seth Rollins got involved with an ugly nude photo scandal with his former girlfriend, wrestler Zahra Schreiber. Nude pics were posted on their social media accounts and on the WWE website. This caused a strain in his relationship with his fiancee Leighla Schultz. Seth Rollins appeared in a motion picture for the first time in the film Sharknado 4. His finishing move is the Curb Stomp.

4. Randy Orton

2018 Contract: $4.5 million
Current WWE Brand: Smackdown
Current Title: None

The contracts were just creeping from $1 million, but after Seth Rollins’ $2 million contract we see a jump to $4.5 million large. This is Randy Orton’s contract. Nice right?! One of the rare wrestlers who got to keep a semblance of their name, born Randal Keith Orton. He is a Knoxville, Tennessee native, and was genetically born into the sport. His grandfather, father, and uncle were all professional wrestlers. They were Bob Orton, Cowboy Orton, and Barry Orton. Randy Orton is the youngest ever WWE World Champion, he won the belt at only 24-years old. He defeated Chris Benoit in 2004. He was also one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion in 2003. Just this year, he defeated Bobby Roode to take the WWE United States Champion belt, only to have it taken away from him less than two months later. Jinder defeated him, Roode, and Rusev in a four-way match during Wrestlemania 34. Same story happened with the WWE Championship, he won it last April 2017 and lost it a month later by guess who, Jinder Mahal again!

Randy Orton’s finishing move is the famous RKO. He was married to Samantha Speno, they had a, daughter Alanna Marie Orton, but they divorced in 2013. Orton then married Kimberly Kessler, they have a daughter, Brooklyn Rose Orton.

3. Roman Reigns

2018 Contract: $5 million
Current WWE Brand: Raw
Current Title: None

What do you get when a Samoan and an Italian girl loves it up? You get the handsome and talented Roman Reigns. Roman Reigns is half-Samoan and half-Italian and he is the face of WWE. Before wrestling, Roman Reigns had a decent football career. He played in high school and in his senior year he was named Defensive Player of the Year by the Pensacola News Journal. At Georgia Institute of Technology, he became a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, was the team captain by his senior year and was named to the first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He got picked up and released by various teams in the NFL, namely the Vikings and the Jaguars. He got to play in the Canadian Football League, but soon realized that it just was not in the cards.

Roman Reigns is $5 million richer this season. He is a one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, a one-time United States Champion and three-time WWE Champion. His finishing move is the Spear. Roman Reigns, like Randy Orton, has professional wrestler relatives, his father and brother, and cousins Yokozuna, Rikishi, Umaga, and The Tonga Kid. Roman is married to Galina Joelle-Becker, they have three children, a daughter, and twin boys. I remember another great wrestler with Samoan descent and high-arching brows, maybe they are cousins too.

2. John Cena

2018 Contract: $8.5 million
Current WWE Brand: Free agent, both Smackdown & Raw
Current Title: None

Now we get to the lightning round, this is the big leagues, the top 2! The top two spots could have gone either way, but a line has to be drawn, and behind that line is John Cena. John Cena is more of an actor now than a professional wrestler. Some say he could be the next Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock). Some say he could even be better. His second-best $8.5 million contract is an amazing $3.5 million difference from the 3rd place. This is proof of how special John Cena is from the rest.
John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr. started his career in 1999 and signed with WWE in 2000. He was five-time United States Champion and a record-holding thirteen-time WWE Champion.

His film career outside WWE Studios is just starting to take off, but he already had great roles and was part of good movies in his young acting career. He was in Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2 with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. He was also hilarious in Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His biggest role so far was in the animated film Ferdinand, where he voiced Ferdinand the Bull, the lead character. He also has a new film, sure to be his best out of the lot, Blockers. Watch for his role as well in the Transformers reboot, Bumblebee The Movie.

1. Brock Lesnar

2018 Contract: $10 million
Current WWE Brand: Raw
Current Title: WWE Universal Champion

He is the leader of the pride, the head of the pack, the alpha, he is Brock Lesnar! With a $10 million contract, Lesnar is the highest paid WWE wrestler.
Brock Lesnar is the greatest and most successful WWE wrestler to ever transition into UFC. Brock is the only WWE wrestler who has ever won a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) title. And not just a title, it was THE title. The baddest man on the planet, it is the UFC Heavyweight title. He knocked down Randy Couture to take the belt and defended his title twice against hall-of-fame caliber players in Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. All bouts he finished with either a KO or submission. Brock Lesnar is simply unbelievable! He would have had a stellar career in the UFC if not for a medical condition that forced him to retire early.

There is always a silver lining thought, because his retirement in UFC marked the beginning of his return to WWE. His short, but legendary and epic career in UFC ended abruptly in 2011. On April 2, 2012, he returned to WWE and wasted no time by facing off with John Cena right away. He was a four-time WWE Champion and is the current WWE Universal Champion. Here’s to great health and a long career ahead in the WWE, to you Brock Lesnar!

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