30 Richest Characters in Wrestling

By: Stephen Randle
Two men wrestling.
Wrestling has made millionaires over the years. Adam Weiss / Getty Images

There is money in pro wrestling. Thanks to WWE becoming a world-spanning, multi-million dollar giant, there are more opportunities than ever to actually make some money in the business of wrestling. Of course, you’ll have to become a huge star, wrestle for a long time, save your money, or marry into the McMahon family, but a decent number of people in wrestling have managed to do just that and become fairly wealthy as a result.

All numbers are courtesy Celebrity Net Worth.


30. Vickie Guerrero

Net Worth: $8 Million

The widow of the legendary Eddie Guerrero, Vickie Guerrero became a star in WWE in her own right, and worked as on-screen General Manager for both Raw and Smackdown over career that spanned over seven years. She was a constant presence on both WWE television and Pay Per View in her role as authority figure, and had several high-profile feuds with some of WWE’s biggest stars. Since retiring from wrestling in 2014, she has stated a desire to find work in the field of medical administration.


29. Sting

Net Worth: $8 Million

Sting’s wrestling career has spanned decades, and he has been a big star in every company he has been a part of. Sting first burst onto prominence in the 80’s, and his feuds with Ric Flair and Vader were legendary bouts that drew huge gates all over North America. In the late 90’s, Sting re-invented himself as part of the New World Order angle that was running in WCW, adopting the now-familiar “Crow” persona that he would maintain for the rest of his career. His match with Hulk Hogan at Starrcade ’97 was the biggest and most profitable match in WCW’s history. A few years after WCW folded, Sting was one of smaller North American promotion TNA’s biggest signings ever, and he became one of their mainstays through the tumultuous years of the company’s existence, a constant presence at the top of the roster. In 2014, Sting made his debut in WWE, who he had never worked for before in his long career, and was a featured performer at WrestleMania 31, facing Triple H in a highly-anticipated match.


28. Kevin Nash

Net Worth: $8 Million

Kevin Nash is often credited with being one of the smartest people in wrestling, especially with how he handled his finances. Nash won World titles in both WWE and WCW, and was one of the original members of the New World Order, which changed pro wrestling forever. Perhaps more importantly, Nash was one of the first wrestlers to receive a guaranteed contract when he signed with WCW, ensuring that he would receive a certain amount of salary no matter what. Previously, wrestling companies had never guaranteed money for wrestlers, creating a tenuous existence for many of them. Nash’s ground-breaking contract created a new financial reality in wrestling, and they became a common practice in major wrestling companies going forward. Nash has also appeared in several movie roles, most recently in a supporting role in the surprise hit Magic Mike.


27. Diamond Dallas Page

Net Worth: $8 Million

Diamond Dallas Page became a wrestler relatively late in life, but stuck around long enough to become a multiple time WCW World Champion. During that time, he also starred in several smaller films and made a few appearances on various TV shows. However, Page, who has always credited his positive attitude with his success, found even more success once he retired from wrestling. Page created DDP Yoga, a diet and exercise regimen which has become incredibly popular with both professional athletes and regular people alike. He also started a rehabilitation program for former wrestlers who have battled substance abuse issues, with the goal of helping them fight their demons and live longer, healthier lives.


26. The Bella Twins

Net Worth: $8 Million

While Brie has officially retired from the ring, and Nikki is limited to a part-time performer at best after suffering a career-threatening neck injury, both remain a significant part of WWE programming thanks to their roles in the E! Network show Total Divas, which was a massive ratings winner for the network for several seasons, and spawned a spin-off called Total Bellas in the fall of 2016, which will exclusively follow the family of Brie and Nikki, including their parents and siblings, as well as Brie’s husband Daniel Bryan, and Nikki’s boyfriend, John Cena.


25. Rey Mysterio

Net Worth: $8.5 Million

WWE’s ultimate underdog, who is currently under contract with the independent promotion Lucha Underground, had a long career with stops in both WCW and WWE. In both companies, Mysterio was one of the company’s top draws, largely due to his extremely marketable masked costume and family-friendly character, which was a merchandising gold mine and led to him being one of WWE’s top earners for most of his time there. In fact, near the end of his WWE run, it was commonly believed that they were unwilling to let him go, even though injuries had kept him off television for months, due to his high merchandise sales. Mysterio continues to be one of wrestling’s biggest stars, and is expected to return to WWE when he finishes his commitments with Lucha Underground over the next year or so.


24. Randy Orton

Net Worth: $9 Million

A third-generation superstar from a family with close ties to WWE (his father, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, was part of the main event of the very first WrestleMania), Orton has been a big part of WWE’s main event scene since shortly after his debut in 2002. Over his WWE career, the only wrestling company he has ever worked for, Orton has won many championships, including 12 World titles, while wrestling in high profile feuds with all of the company’s biggest stars. Orton has also appeared in several films that were funded by WWE Studios, including 12 Rounds: Reloaded and The Condemned II. While he has not found as much success outside of wrestling as some of his contemporaries, he has certainly done well for himself inside the squared circle.


23. John Bradshaw Layfield

Net Worth: $9 Million

Currently part of WWE’s commentary team, John Bradshaw Layfield, or JBL, made much of his fortune by playing the stock market. Through smart investments, JBL took his earnings from a lengthy wrestling career and turned it into a decent nest egg. His stock market success actually led to the creation of the on-screen JBL character, and also resulted in the publication of a book, titled “Have More Money Now”, where Bradshaw gave tips for new investors. JBL occasionally serves as a financial analyst for Fox News, has appeared on CNBC in a similar role in the past, and is also senior vice president of Northeast Securities, an financial management firm.


22. David Otunga

Net Worth: $10 Million

Possibly the most surprising entry on this list, as Otunga’s wrestling career has largely been unimpressive, aside from some short reigns as WWE Tag Team Champion with various partners. However, outside the ring, Otunga, who is in a relationship with Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Hudson, is a full-fledged Harvard-educated lawyer who works behind the scenes in WWE as a legal counsel, and occasionally appears as an analyst on Pay Per View pre-shows. Otunga also appeared in the WWE Studios-produced film The Call in a supporting role.


21. Andre The Giant

Net Worth: $10 Million

Although he passed away in 1993, the estate of legendary Andre the Giant continues to be quite valuable. Considered one of the biggest draws in professional wrestling during his era, Andre turned his huge size and gentle demeanor into a successful film career, with his most famous role a supporting part in the classic movie The Princess Bride. Andre’s most memorable moment in wrestling was inn one of the biggest matches in wrestling history, in front of the largest audiences to ever watch a wrestling event, when the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Andre at WrestleMania III. Andre’s legacy has persisted after his death, through his inclusion in WWE’s series of video games and several documentaries on his life.

20. Jeff Hardy

Net Worth: $12 Million

Along with his brother, Jeff Hardy worked his way up from the lowest position in WWE to become a multiple time World Champion. During his wrestling career, Hardy was one of WWE’s top merchandise sellers, due to being incredibly popular with several key demographics. Despite several highly-publicized battles with substance abuse that led to legal issues, Hardy has remained a constantly popular wrestler, no matter where he works. Hardy has also released two albums as part of his band Peroxwhy?gen.

19. Eric Bischoff

Net Worth: $12.5 Million

The one-time President of World Championship Wrestling was one of the major creative forces behind wrestling’s biggest “boom” period in the late 90’s, and is credited with creating the New World Order angle, which dominated WCW for several years and gave the organization the most profitable period of its existence. Post-WCW, he worked in WWE for a long period as the on-screen General Manager of Raw, and also spent some time working with small North American promotion, TNA. Bischoff has also used the connections he built in WCW to become a fairly successful TV producer, specializing in reality television.

18. Batista

Net Worth: $13 Million

A late bloomer in pro wrestling (he didn’t debut in WWE until he was 33), Batista quickly rose through the ranks to become a multiple time World Champion. In 2010, he left WWE, and split his time between training for MMA and some small parts in movies, before hitting it big in the role of Drax in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, which was a surprise hit that amassed over $770 million worldwide, turning Batista into an actual movie star in the process. Since then, he has also appeared in a supporting role in the James Bond film Spectre, received the starring role as the villain in a remake of Bloodsport, and will return as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

17. Edge

Net Worth: $14 Million

Eleven-time World Champion (with an astounding 31 titles overall in his wrestling career) Edge has found almost as much success outside the ring as he did during his lengthy Hall of Fame career. Edge parlayed his movie star good lucks and charisma into a few smaller film and TV roles, including starring in his own WWE Studios-produced movie, eventually landing a regular role on the SyFy Original series Haven, which lasted for four of the show’s five seasons. Edge also made a guest appearance as the villain Atom Smasher on The Flash. Currently, Edge is involved in a sketch comedy show with his best friend and former tag team partner Christian, which airs on the WWE Network

16. Bret Hart

Net Worth: $14 million

Canadian wrestling legend Bret Hart is the most accomplished member of the Hart Family of pro wrestling, headed by his late father, Stu Hart, who was best known for owning and operating the Stampede Wrestling promotion that ran out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bret is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of his era, and was voted one of the 50 Greatest Canadians in history in 2004. Since his retirement in 2000, Hart has released a critically-acclaimed autobiography, become the founder and part-owner of the Calgary Hitman (a Canadian Hockey League franchise), and made several appearances on TV and film. He has also made occasional appearances for WWE under a Legends contract, since reconciling with the company in 2005.

15. Goldberg

Net Worth: $14 million

Bill Goldberg is a former NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons who transitioned into pro wrestling after an injury cut short his football career. During the late 90’s, Goldberg was one of WCW’s biggest stars, until the company folded in 2001. Goldberg also had a short, but well-compensated, run in WWE in 2003. Outside the ring, Goldberg has appeared in several motion pictures and television shows, including hosting a reality show called Bullrun, and appearing as a contestant on a season of Celebrity Apprentice. He owns a gym and training facility, as well as over 25 vintage automobiles.

14. Mick Foley

Net Worth: $15 million

A three-time WWE Champion and member of the Hall of Fame, Foley has found extensive success outside of wrestling. After becoming a #1 New York Times Bestselling author with his first autobiography, Foley has written several more books, including additional biographies, a few works of adult fiction, and children’s books. Foley is also involved in several charitable organizations, has a fledgling career as a stand-up comedian, and has made occasional appearances on television, including several guest spots on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

13. Jeff Jarrett

Net Worth: $15 million

Jarrett, a second generation talent from a respected wrestling family, had a long career spanning several decades, including runs in both WWE and WCW, where he was a multi-time champion. After WCW collapsed, Jarrett and his father started their own North American wrestling promotion, Total Non-Stop Action (TNA), where Jarrett also wrestled regularly. TNA was eventually sold to Panda Energy, but Jarrett remained on as a contracted talent and minority owner until 2015. Since leaving TNA behind, Jarrett has attempted to start another wrestling company, Global Force Wrestling, and has created business ties with New Japan Pro Wrestling to bring their shows to a North American audience.

12. The Undertaker

Net Worth: $16 million

One of the mainstays of WWE, The Undertaker has parlayed a near three-decade wrestling career into a fair-sized nest egg. Most of Undertaker’s net worth comes from his extremely lengthy career as a top star in WWE, as well as being one of their biggest movers of merchandise. Never one to break character, The Undertaker’s outside business interests have been few, although he has done some local advertisements for motorcycle-related interests, and reportedly invests in real estate on the side.

11. Shawn Michaels

Net Worth: $17 million

The Heartbreak Kid was arguably WWE’s biggest stars in the period leading up to the Attitude Era, at which point he was forced to retire due to a back injury. After a miraculous recovery, Michaels resurrected his career in 2002 and wrestled regularly for another decade at or near the top of WWE, before calling it quits for good. Since retirement, Michaels spends his time appearing on a hunting and fishing show for the Outdoor Network, while making occasional guest appearances for WWE as an ambassador.

10. Chris Jericho

Net Worth: $18 million

The man known as Y2J has made his share of money over a lengthy career, to the point where he now only makes sporadic appearances for WWE. Outside of wrestling, Jericho is probably best known for being the singer for the metal band Fozzy, which has been moderately successful over its existence. Jericho also has had many guest spots on television, including competing on Dancing With The Stars, and has appeared in a handful of films. Jericho was also the host of the short-lived television game show Downfall, and also Robot Combat League on the SyFy Network.

9. Kurt Angle

Net Worth: $20 million

The only non-WWE talent in the top ten, the former Olympic gold medallist basically wrote his own ticket when he decided to enter the world of pro wrestling, and was a monster success from his very first year. After leaving WWE, Angle continued his career in the smaller North American promotion TNA, where he was one of the centerpieces of the promotion before announcing his intent to retire in early 2016. Angle has also had some minor roles in TV and movies, and reportedly has signed a contract with Bellator MMA to act as an ambassador and analyst for the company.

8. The Big Show

Net Worth: $20 million

The Big Show parlayed his massive size into an equally huge ten-year guaranteed contract when he first signed with WWE in 1999, and continued to increase his wealth from there, with his WWE career approaching two decades at this point. As well as his successful wrestling career, Show has had many opportunities outside the ring, with consistent appearances in movie and TV roles, including USA Network hits Burn Notice and Psych, and a starring role in the WWE film Knucklehead.

7. Triple H

Net Worth: $25 million

Multiple-time World Champion and Executive VP of Talent & Live Events, Triple H is the other half of the true power couple of WWE, both in their on-screen role as The Authority, and as part of WWE’s corporate empire. Of course, at least a portion of his net worth comes from his shares of stock in WWE as part of the McMahon family. Along with Stephanie, Triple H is expected to be the driving force behind WWE’s future, and assume control of the company once Vince McMahon steps down (assuming he doesn’t just decide to live forever). To that end, Triple H was put in control of NXT, WWE’s developmental wrestling organization, to gain experience with running his own promotion, and has turned it into one of WWE’s most successful properties.

6. John Cena

Net Worth: $35 million

The top active full-time wrestler on this list, Cena has found success in everything he’s done both in and out of the ring. Aside from what must surely be a hefty paycheck for his merchandise, Cena has also had featured roles in several movies, both from WWE’s internal film division, and, more recently, actual Hollywood films. Cena also makes regular guest appearances on TV shows, including the E! Network’s Total Divas. Cena is also, of course, best known for his extensive charitable work with foundations such as Make A Wish, where he has granted the most wishes by any celebrity or athlete in history.

5. Stephanie McMahon

Net Worth: $45 million

Officially the Chief Brand Officer of WWE, responsible for WWE’s increasingly good relationships with various sponsors and charitable causes, the daughter of Vince McMahon is likely the second-most powerful person in the company, and heir apparent to the organization. She has also served as an on-screen character on WWE programming several times over the past two decades, most recently in a role as part of “The Authority”, the governing body of WWE in partnership with her husband, Triple H. The vast majority of Stephanie’s wealth is her ownership of a portion of WWE’s stock, as she holds a significant number of shares, and will inherit those owned by Vince McMahon in the (increasingly unlikely) event of his death.

4. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Net Worth: $45 million

The former biggest draw in professional wrestling and the man responsible for WWE’s rise to global entertainment megalith, Steve Austin has not stayed idle since his wrestling career ended in 2003. Austin has starred in several smaller budget films, including the first entry in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables franchise. He has also guest starred in the occasional TV show, and hosts a reality show called Broken Skull Challenge for CMT. Most recently, he also started his own microbrewery. Austin’s biggest project right now has to be critically acclaimed The Steve Austin Show podcast, which usually runs twice weekly, where he interviews people from the world of wrestling about a variety of topics.

3. Hulk Hogan

Net Worth: $60 Million

It should go without saying, but Hulk Hogan was one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling for many years. His featured role in Rocky III and the subsequent rise of Hulkamania in WWE made him the most bankable wrestler of his time, and when his WWE career tailed off and he left for WCW in the mid-90s, he reinvented himself as “Hollywood” Hogan and became the biggest star in the business a second time. During his Hall of Fame career, Hogan starred in several feature films and TV shows, and had many different business investments. Recent years have not been kind to Hogan, between failed business ventures, a bitter divorce, and family legal issues, which brought him to the brink of bankruptcy. However, Hogan’s brand has rebounded recently, including being awarded $140 million for winning a lawsuit against Gawker Media over leaking the contents of a sex tape, which was eventually settled for $31 million plus a percentage of Gawker’s bankruptcy sale to Univision.

2. The Rock

Net Worth: $190 million

Although mostly retired from the ring, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson still makes the occasional appearance to lay the smack down. In the meantime, he was named the #1 international box office star for 2015, and hasn’t slowed down for a second. Besides being attached to the Fast and Furious franchise of movies, The Rock also has another half-dozen movies in various stages of production. In 2016, he was named the highest-paid actor in the world, earning roughly $64 million for his roles. He also stars in the TV show Ballers for HBO, and has several other TV shows in the works for various networks through his production company. All this, and he also gets up at 4 am every day to work out! All that hard work has clearly paid off, though, as The Rock comes in at #2 by a fair margin.

1. Mr. McMahon

Net Worth: $750 million

Oh, don’t look so shocked. The patriarch and CEO of WWE, who still appears in his on-screen role even at the age of 70, comes in at the top spot, with a value that might fluctuate depending on the stock price, but generally hovers around three-quarters of a billion dollars. As you may already know, Vince McMahon took a small northeastern wrestling territory and expanded it to a national, then international behemoth, turning WWE into a publicly traded company in 2001. Over his lifetime, WWE has diversified into many different areas of the entertainment business, to varying degrees of success. The latest big undertaking for the company is the WWE Network, a combined live-streaming service and on-demand video archive that contains thousands of hours of footage from most of North American pro wrestling’s history, as well as new original content. The Network has also replaced Pay Per View as WWE’s method of broadcasting their big monthly shows, including WrestleMania, and reportedly began turning a profit in late 2015.