MMA superstar Ronda Rousey left the UFC in 2017 to find greener pastures in the WWE. Although she was well-paid in the UFC, her new employer pays her well, too. Here’s how much money Rousey makes in the WWE.
How Ronda Rousey began
Rousey has always been a wrestling fan, so her move to the WWE was an expected one. Her nickname in the UFC was “Rowdy,” a reference to the famous wrestler, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. After Holly Holm knocked her out in 2015, many fans thought Rousey would retire and join the WWE. Then, after being knocked out in her next fight, Rousey did just that.
She’s been a martial artist for much of her life, and she’s also an Olympic judo medalist. Those credentials, along with her legendary UFC run, meant that the WWE wasn’t going to go easy on her for her debut. In just four fights, she became a WWE champion.
Rousey continued to win fights and eventually become the longest reigning women’s champion in WWE history. She had held the title for 232 days before she was beaten at WrestleMania 35. After that loss, she took a hiatus in order to start a family, according to The Independent. She’s expected to return to the ring soon.
How much does the WWE pay Rousey?
While it’s unknown how much she makes from her earnings, according to Republic World, Rousey has a $1.5 million salary. However, this figure is from 2018, so it could be higher now. Plus, the 32-year-old gets a share of sales from her branded merchandise — a number that hasn’t been shared with the public.
That’s a lot of money — far more than what most WWE women make. According to Republic World, the second-highest-paid woman on the WWE roster is Charlotte Flair with a salary of $550,000. This means Rousey’s salary is almost three times higher. But, the men in the WWE tend to be paid better than Rousey.
According to Forbes, the best-paid WWE athlete is John Cena, who earned $10 million for his work in 2018 alone. The second-highest-paid athlete is fellow UFC alumni, Brock Lesnar, who got $6.5 million.
The average wrestler had a salary of $500,000, so it’s reasonable to assume most women in the WWE are paid below the average. Although Rousey isn’t one of them, she’s still compensated considerably less than many of her male counterparts.
Was it worth it for Rousey?
In her last UFC fight, Rousey fought Amanda Nunes and got knocked out in less than a minute. For that fight, she was paid $3 million. It’s also possible that Rousey received a percentage of pay-per-view sales from the event. Even if she doesn’t get a cut of that, she still walked home with $3 million for less than a minute of fighting.
On that basis, it may seem like Rousey took a big pay cut by joining the WWE. However, in the WWE, while the athleticism is real, a lot of the fights aren’t. Rousey isn’t taking much damage in the WWE, and that’s good for her health. While $1.5 million is much less than $3 million, it’s still more than enough for Rousey.