Robin Ramzinski from "The Wrestler" might have made roughly $182,000 per year as a professional wrestler in the 1980s. Mickey Rourke made less money to play him. According to Wrestling Inc., former professional wrestler Jim Brunzell stated that he and his fellow wrestlers were paid between $2,500 and $3,500 per week throughout the 1980s. This would make their annual salary around $180,000 or $210,000 with inflation. Brunzell also said they had no health insurance and no retirement plan other than taking care of their own injuries.
Roughly 15 years after playing the part of Ramzinski, Mickey Rourke landed a role in Russell Crowe's movie "Noah". He was not paid anything for this part but rather received credit and promotion. In return, he agreed to be listed in the film's credits.
In 2007, it was reported that Rourke was paid $1 million for making two appearances at the WrestleMania 23 event. The first was a backstage interview where he praised wrestling and announced that he was willing to wrestle anyone put in front of him. The second appearance was at the event itself where he interviewed Vince McMahon before wrestling The Rock.
Since then, there have been reports that Rourke has been paid huge sums of money for appearing at various events including sports leagues and television shows. However, these reports cannot be confirmed because wrestling companies do not release information about their contracts.
Wrestler Pay in Total 90 wrestlers earned $10,000 or more in 1996. In 1997, 125 wrestlers earned at least $10,000. In 1998, 124 wrestlers earned at least $10,000. In 1999, 157 wrestlers earned at least $10,000. In 2000, 178 wrestlers earned at least $10,000.
Here are the salaries of some well-known wrestlers during this time period:
Bret Hart - $125,000
Dwayne Johnson - $75,000
The Rock - $65,000
Stone Cold Steve Austin - $60,000
Triple H - $55,000
Vince McMahon - $50,000
Xavier - $45,000
Yokozuna Sabu - $40,000
Zeus - $35,000
The Great Khali - $30,000
Hakuo Enoki - $25,000
Mitsuharu Misawa - $20,000
Rikidōzan - $15,000
How Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Went From $40 Per Wrestling Match To $89 Million In One Year Dwayne Johnson has gone a long way in his career. The great actor typically earns more than $20 million each part, yet there was a period when he made nearly nothing from wrestling.
Johnson first came to attention as the star of Hollywood movies such as The Sandman and Death Stalkers, but it was his role as the red-hot wrestler DDP that put him on the map. Before becoming The Rock, Johnson was known as Rocky Maivia. He debuted in 2001 and quickly became one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. During his time in WWE (now called World Wrestling Entertainment), The Rock appeared in several television shows including Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live. He also did some voice work for various video games.
In addition to his acting career, The Rock has been involved in many other business ventures over the years. He is the owner of the Dwayne Johnson Foundation, which provides support to children's hospitals. The Rock also owns the Colorado Crush ice hockey team and had an appearance deal with Nike.
The Rock made his wrestling debut at the young age of 31 and within a few months was one of the top draw cards in the industry. In 2002, he signed a contract with World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was given the gimmick of "the character who would become The Rock".
For example, WWE's highest-paid star, Brock Lesnar, earned $12 million in 2020, ranking him among the top ten NHL salaries. Wrestlers' lifetime earnings are considered for this list. The biggest earner in professional wrestling is probably WWE's Brock Lesnar, who has won four championships across two different promotions (IMPACT! and UFC). His total earnings from January 2003 to December 2020 are $119 million.
After him comes Daniel Bryan, who made $10 million during his career. He was able to sell out venues all over the world with his wrestling matches, which made him very popular with fans. In 2014, he became the first wrestler to be voted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his peers.
Next on the list is The Rock, who made $80 million over his career. The Rock rose to fame in the 1990s when he starred in several movies such as "The Hero" and "No Way Out". His popularity only increased after that, so much so that he was eventually chosen by the public to be drafted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.
Other wrestlers who made more than $10 million include John Cena ($65 million), Hulk Hogan ($55 million), Bret Hart ($50 million), The Ultimate Warrior ($45 million), Ric Flair ($40 million), and The Undertaker ($35 million).
Wrestlers do not have a union, thus they negotiate contracts and salary with the WWE. As a result, the starting salary for each wrestler varies greatly. One of the lowest base wages stated by Forbes was $52,000 per year, while one of the highest was $5 million per year. It is estimated that today's top wrestlers make between $250,000 and $500,000 annually.
The main source of income for professional wrestlers is their contract with a specific promotion. The length of these contracts can vary from one show to another and even within the same match. Some wrestlers will make more during certain periods of time while others will make less. Regardless of how much they earn in any given week or month, pro wrestlers are not paid until the end of their contract. This could be at any point during its duration, depending on how well they are doing.
In addition to their contract income, wrestlers can also generate revenue through merchandise sales, sponsorships, and appearance fees. Some athletes become so popular that they eventually start their own wrestling league or company, which would then hire other people to work for them. These people would be responsible for booking matches and promoting events like wrestling shows.
Starting in the early 1990s, the WWF (now known as WWE) began offering its performers' names and photos on U.S. pay-per-view events for a fee.
How much did Goldberg earn in WCW? Goldberg allegedly made $2.5 million per year during the pinnacle of his WCW career.
His biggest paycheck was probably the one he received for beating The Rock at WrestleMania X8, which is said to have been for $250,000.
He also had a series of matches with Bret Hart at Halloween Havoc 1994, each worth $100,000 to $200,000. Those matches are considered some of the best in wrestling history and helped elevate both men's careers.
After leaving WCW, Goldberg signed on with WWE again. He went back to work for $1 million per year, which was similar to what he was making in WCW.
Goldberg left WWE after just one day because they didn't want him to work any more matches. He felt like he had done enough fighting to be paid well again.
After leaving WWE, Goldberg signed on with World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWF) once again. He went back to work for $10 million per year, which was similar to what he was making in WCW and WWE combined.