Earlier today, Chris Smith of Forbes.com posted the top 10 earners in the WWE in 2017. Forbes’s list seems to account for revenue sharing, merchandise cuts, and all the other ways WWE Superstars supplement their base salary. The most interesting aspect of the list is that John Cena surpassed Brock Lesnar as the man bringing home the most bacon. Let’s take a look at the Top 10. (2016 Salary, 2016 Rank in Parentheses)
- John Cena – $10 mil. ($8 mil., #2)
John Cena is a merchandise selling machine. He’s been hocking sweat bands and towels like Girl Scout cookies for over a decade. On top of pushing out more textiles than the loom, Cena’s movie career has been on the rise. Cena’s schedule may drop off as he transitions into a movie star, but a few matches a year and his merch sales should keep him at the top of this list for a few more years.
- Brock Lesnar – $6.5 mil. ($12 mil., #1)
Brock’s top spot from last year is a little deceptive as his UFC fight against Mark Hunt earned him about $6 million. Inside the WWE in 2016, Brock actually earned about $6 million as well. Since Cena’s numbers include his outside earnings it’s hard to say who actually made more in the WWE. Either way, the Beast has been dethroned and he moves to number #2 this year.
- Roman Reigns – $4.3 mil. ($3.5 mil., #4)
The Big Dog is slowly making his way up the list. For every smark that hates Reigns and doesn’t know why he’s pushed, this is why. While Roman doesn’t earn nearly as much as Cena, he also doesn’t have the same outside revenue streams. Maybe if Jason Momoa retires Hollywood will start calling the Big Dog for a few parts. I’d watch the Rundown 2 with the Rock and Roman. I mean I wouldn’t pay to see it in theaters, but I’d watch it on Netflix after enough scotch.
- AJ Styles – $3.5 mil. ($2.4 mil., #6)
The house that AJ Styles is building keeps getting bigger. That’s why this year he’s jumped up 2 spots to #4, and the Phenomenal One probably made it here on glove sales alone. 2017 was also Styles’ first full year with the company and he worked more dates than anyone on the roster. While being in the main event consistently has probably helped AJ’s profit sharing for PPVs, he still doesn’t push the merchandise like Reigns. Do you want your Indy darlings on this list? Buy more stuff than parents do. Good luck with that.
- Triple H – $3.2 mil. ($3.8 mil., #3)
Wow, doesn’t Triple H deserve more? The Game should be at the top of this list with all the hats he has to wear in the WWE. He’s still an amazing in-ring talent, he runs NXT, and has now taken 205 Live to new levels. Not to mention he was key in courting Ronda Rousey to the WWE. For everything he’s done, his bonus should just be a blank check with “THANK YOU” scrawled in the memo line.
- AJ Styles
- Triple H
- Brock Lesnar
- Seth Rollins
- Randy Orton
- Roman Reigns
- dean ambrose
- John Cena
- The Undertaker
- KEVIN OWENS
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