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Becky Lynch says “WWE Should Pay Me More Than Vince McMahon”

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  • WWE Raw Women’s Champions Becky Lynch is known for being one of the most confident characters in all of WWE, and her latest self-applauding comments are causing quite the stir in the world of pro wrestling.

 

 

During a recent interview with TV Insider, here is what Lynch, who calls herself “The Man,” had to say about how much money she should be making in WWE:

“I should be making more in that whole company, everybody — Vince McMahon included. I want to change the game. I want to prove that it doesn’t matter your gender, your race, your background, if you are doing the job and keeping people invested, if you are keeping people interested, then you deserve to be paid at a level higher than anybody else.

Or as high as anybody else. As high as the best of them. I look around the arenas and the majority of the people are in my shirts. The majority of people hold signs for me, so pay me as such and that will be the way it will be.”

Although Lynch has publicly denied that she signed a new WWE contract last year, multiple reports state that she indeed inked a new deal that is worth at least $1 million annually and makes her one of the highest paid stars in the entire company.

Official WWE salaries are notoriously difficult to find, but a 2018 FORBES analysis pegged John Cena and Brock Lesnar, two part-time stars, as the highest earners in all of WWE.

Among full-timers, Roman Reigns was the highest paid at $4.3 million per year while AJ Styles was a distant second at $3.5 million. It stands to reason, however, that WWE’s biggest earners are making considerably more now than they were just two years ago.

WWE’s massive TV deals for Raw and SmackDown, along with its very profitable overseas shows in Saudi Arabia and Australia, have allowed the company to shell out monstrous paydays even for one-off matches and part-time contracts.

Names like Lesnar and Goldberg have paid as much as $2 million for bouts in Saudi Arabia while Edge, who recently ended a nine-year retirement, is reportedly making $3 million a year for a very limited workload, a figure that would likely give him one of the largest downside guarantees in pro wrestling history.

Surprisingly, that number is actually more than double what Vince McMahon made in base pay in 2019.


According to the SEC (h/t Wrestling Inc), McMahon’s base pay was “$1.4 million in 2019, equal with 2018 and 2017” while his total compensation in 2018 was $5,658,238.

It isn’t exactly clear how McMahon’s pay stacks up against Lynch when merchandise revenue, etc. is factored in, but as the chairman of WWE, McMahon has a net worth of approximately $2 billion, according to FORBES, which is a number that would dwarf that of Lynch.

 

Generally speaking, the earnings of WWE superstars pale comparison to professional sports like the NBA, where the average salary for the 2018-19 season was nearly $6.4 million. Even the biggest stars in WWE typically haven’t earned that much throughout the company’s history, but a number of top acts have been signing new deals over the past couple of years.

That includes stars like Reigns, Styles and Braun Strowman, and it’s widely believed that WWE—which has been offering huge contracts even to mid and lower card performers—has been giving superstars significant pay raises with these new contracts, at least in part due to the rise of a new WWE alternative in All Elite Wrestling. Lynch, of course, certainly has a case to be one of the highest paid superstars in WWE, but the highest paid? Well, that is a bit of stretch.

 

While Lynch’s popularity is undeniable and she made history when she became WWE’s top merchandise seller in late 2018, she’s been surpassed in that regard by Bray Wyatt and doesn’t appear to be the type of draw that warrants making more money than anyone in WWE, including McMahon.

In fact, WWE reportedly second guessed the entire push of the women’s division in early 2019—of which Lynch was at the forefront—due to “declining business” and disappointing TV ratings.

Indeed, WWE’s TV ratings tanked in 2019 as Raw generated its worst audience in company history on more than one occasions with Lynch as one of the show’s cornerstones. Indeed, 2019 was also a year defined, according to Wrestling Inc, by “a decline in WWE Network subscription revenue” and “lower consumer product sales across distribution channels.

The WWE Network lost an average of 166,000 paid subscribers over the course of the year, despite the presence of major stars like Lesnar and Ronda Rousey.

Lynch’s confident comments are more than fitting for a self-assured character that often borderlines on arrogance, but with no WWE stars proving capable of truly moving the needle the way that stars like Cena, Hulk Hogan and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin have in the past, there is little tangible evidence to suggest that Lynch should be WWE’s highest paid star or that anyone else in WWE should be making as much as McMahon himself.

Of course, Lynch should rank among the likes of WWE’s most popular and best performers—such as names like Styles, Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins—in terms of performer pay while WWE’s female stars should be paid in line with their male counterparts of similar positioning on the card.

But until WWE finds its next massive draw who revolutionizes pro wrestling and improves TV ratings, live event attendance, the WWE Network subscriber count, etc. on a consistent basis, no WWE star will have a justifiable claim to out-earning the WWE boss.

Whether it’s Lynch or someone else.

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