John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns Lead Forbes' 2017 Highest-Paid WWE Stars

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2018

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - John Cena inducts Kurt Angle into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the WrestleMania 33 weekend during a ceremony on Friday, March 31, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images for WWE)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

John Cena may have lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 34 on Sunday, but the 16-time world champion still has plenty to cheer about.

Forbes' Chris Smith reported Cena is the highest-paid active wrestler in WWE, taking home an estimated $10 million in total earnings.

Universal champion Brock Lesnar, who had been No. 1 the previous year, slipped to No. 2, with $6.5 million in earnings. Roman Reigns ($4.3 million) came in third place.

Below is the full top-10 list from Forbes:

  • 1. John Cena ($10 million)
  • 2. Brock Lesnar ($6.5 million)
  • 3. Roman Reigns ($4.3 million)
  • 4. AJ Styles ($3.5 million)
  • 5. Triple H ($3.2 million)
  • 6. Randy Orton ($2.9 million)
  • 7. Seth Rollins ($2.7 million)
  • 8. The Undertaker ($2.5 million)
  • 9. Dean Ambrose ($2.2 million)
  • 10. Kevin Owens ($2 million)

Cena's total number is somewhat deceiving, as it also takes into account money he made from ventures outside of WWE, which Forbes estimated at as much as $2 million.

It's a similar situation to Lesnar, when Forbes noted a year ago Lesnar's total payout from his vacated win over Mark Hunt at UFC 200 "was worth as much as everything he did in WWE last year." That would account for why Lesnar's earnings were nearly halved from this point in 2017 ($12 million).

AJ Styles only climbed two spots from last year's list, but his earnings improved by $1.1 million, which is a testament to how much he has achieved in WWE. No in-ring performer has been more consistent than Styles, and his WWE Championship reign has reached 152 days and counting.

Kevin Owens also went from unranked to occupying the 10th spot in 2017. Although Owens was a world champion on Raw, moving to SmackDown Live allowed him to play a starring role every week on the blue brand, which in turn meant more opportunities to headline pay-per-views.

Hopefully, Owens saved his money, though, as he and Sami Zayn remain fired from WWE following their loss to Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 34.


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