What Randy Orton’s Salary Leaking Means For Future WWE Contract Negotiations

While I haven’t heard WWE’s reaction to TMZ leaking Randy Orton’s salary of $291,666 a month, I’m under the assumption they are none too pleased. The assumption from many backstage was that Orton was getting paid as a “top guy” but very few believed he was making close to $300,000 per month.

I asked one source about another top name in the company and was told they weren’t getting paid “anywhere near” that amount. WWE likes to keep salaries private because it hurts them when negotiating contracts. A situation WWE will have on their hands sooner than later will be that of CM Punk. Punk’s contract will be coming due over the course of the next several months and Orton’s salary leaking doesn’t exactly put the “ball in WWE’s court.” When negotiating a new deal with the company a couple years ago, Punk made strong demands and was willing to walk away if they were not met.

Given that Punk’s value has only increased since his latest WWE contract was signed in 2011, I’m under the impression he’ll be looking for an even more favorable deal this time around.

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  • Miikka

    WWE should give top guys better contracts. They are the reason why people watch WWE and why Vince makes money.

  • Justin Lal

    WWE would be better off not resigning CM Punk. He had a great run from 2011 to WM 30, but it’s not like he’s going to exceed what he did going further. Why give such a hefty contract with demands not in the company’s favor to a guy that thinks he’s above working for that very company? There are plenty of guys that could be built to take over his spot in the company. One guy in particular is Dean Ambrose. He’s so talented on the mic, and yet he doesn’t have to break kayfabe like Punk does (which gets tiring after a while). I’ve always thought highly of CM Punk’s work, but I’ve Cena nuff of him.

    • Nick K

      Yea Wwe would be better off not signing one of the most over if not the most over wrestler in the world…again you prove you cannot be taken seriously.

      • Justin Lal

        Read what I posted! This is a fucking business. Put yourselves in WWE’s position for a moment. Why give a wrestler a contract where that wrestler pretty much has WWE by the nuts? Unless that person is John Cena, Hulk Hogan, or Steve Austin that’s not a logical thing to do for a wrestling promotion. CM Punk is a great talent, no doubt. But does he grow business or just maintain business? He’s not any of those guys i mentioned above. That’s the reason WWE shouldn’t give him a contract that puts them in a vulnerable position. I’m sick of WWE giving into his demands. It’s not like his pimb bomb brought in another “boom” period…

      • Justin Lal

        Read what I posted! This is a business. Put yourselves in WWE’s position for a moment. Why give a wrestler a contract where that wrestler pretty much has WWE by the nuts? Unless that person is John Cena, Hulk Hogan, or Steve Austin that’s not a logical thing to do for a wrestling promotion. CM Punk is a great talent, no doubt. But does he grow business or just maintain business? He’s not any of those guys i mentioned above. That’s the reason WWE shouldn’t give him a contract that puts them in a vulnerable position. I’m sick of WWE giving into his demands. It’s not like his pimb bomb brought in another “boom” period…

        • Nick K

          It seems like you’re in denial about the level of talent punk is. He’s a top Guy on that level whether or not you accept. I always disliked Batista but I never argued that he was a top Guy because of my personal feelings. Gotta face reality.

          • Justin Lal

            Yes he’s a top guy. I’m not saying he’s not. But I’m talking about all these “demands” he has for his contract. If these demands put WWE in a bad spot it’s not worth it.

        • S.ColtonCC

          Maybe if you went to Chicago and heard the reaction he gets, then you’d realize. Never in Victoria, TX or West Newbury, or even in Tampa, the home of Hogan do you get a reception like you get from the Chicago crowd for heels and faces. He gets legitimate heat when he says certain things, just like those guys. Cena, on the other hand, uses corny jokes and one liners and everyone legitimately has a distain for him as a person and character. Want to talk about stale? and WWE by the nuts! He has you by the nuts.

          • Herman Tank

            So I guess that WWE should hold all their events in Chicago because that’s when Punk actually outsells Cena and Orton in t-shirts. And the only place the WWE feels comfortable having CM Bunk headline the show. Nah, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

      • Xavier

        Punk is not the most over wrestler in the world. Cena still tops that list in a big way. Check the merchandise sales, twitter/facebook followers, forbes list. People who don’t even follow wrestling know who Cena is. The same can’t be said for Punk.

        • Nick K

          Punk is getting bigger reactions than cena is right now, fact. Cenas time as the man is nearing its end he’s so beyond stale at this point that even the most casual fans are tiring of him.

          • Xavier

            LOL, too bad the merchandise sales, twiiter/facebook followers that double & triple Punk’s say otherwise. No one outside of wrestling knows who Punk is. Cena on the other hand is a household name, Cena’s even well known in the mainstream media. How is Cena near the end when he has the title?

        • Nick K

          Did you read today’s premium article? Cena is behind punk in merchant sales. I must admit that actually caught me by surprise.

    • TheBigKing1

      Lol @ Cena Nuff. I think they can have him do another 2 year/ 3 year contract…but that’s it. I can think of some fresh matches he can have. But he will have to be mainly heel for that whole contract until he retires in 2016.

    • Justin Lalzoooooo

      A Cena fan? Please. Go home! And breaking kayfaybe never gets tiring!

  • Xavier

    I don’t see what Orton’s contract has too do with Punk, other then you plugging your favorite wrestler. Once WWE turns Orton heel again (which is happening sooner rather then later) he’ll move ahead of Punk in the peaking order (that I have no doubt about). Punk is great and has had a great run the past couple years but we’ve seen Punk as a face/heel and now face again all within the span of a year, what more can he do that he already hasn’t done? It’s not like his reign at the top was the most profitable for the WWE. How many times can Punk oull this whole “I’m gonna throw a fit and threaten to quit if I don’t get what I want” before Vince gets tired of that routine and calls his bluff? You really think Punk can take his ball over to TNA and actually compete with the WWE? I think me & you both know the answer to that one.

    • Nick K

      That’s a pretty absurd post, if you want to be taken seriously you gotta stop being unintelligently bias.

      • Xavier

        Nothing absurd about it at all sir. Just because I don’t subscribe to your IWC handbook doesn’t make my opinion absurd. Facts are facts, Punk as champ didn’t do a increase in TV viewership at all. If ou don’t believe me then check the numbers for yourself. Punk on a few occasions has threatened to quit the company. He even mentions on his DVD that he almost walked out because the Miz headlined Mania with Cena, he almost quit again in the summer of 2011 and he almost quit again around Mania because he had to go under to the Undertaker. All of those stories were reported here on Richard’s side so how is what I’m saying absurd? If you wanna be taken seriously then I suggest you come at me with an valid opinion of substance before you try saying my opinion is absurd

        • Justin Lal

          Did he really threaten to quit because he had to go under Taker? What a crybaby.

          • Xavier

            Yeah, remember that story that Richard broke about how Punk was upset because he claims that Vince originally told him that the finish for Taker/Punk hadn’t been decided and that creative didn’t know who to put over. Then I guess days before Mania Punk says he found out that Taker was always scripted to over him at Mania 29 and he threatened to quit.

          • TheBigKing1

            Wow! I heard he threatened to quit at that time…but damn, that’s so lame. I was always trying to like Punk…and at times I did somewhat, right now I’m think I like him somewhat…and I respect his hardwork…but I already know and knew that a person like that, I can never be friends with PERIOD.

          • Xavier

            Like I said, I’m a fan of Punk’s in ring work and his mic work even though I think he’s gotten stale on the mic as of late I still think he’s great non the less. However, I hate this attitude that he walks around with. That whole chip on the shoulder, the world owes me something is tiresome. If this was anybody else doing this besides Punk I would bet that the same people who support Punk would be trashing whomever else who would conduct themselves like this.

          • TheBigKing1

            Those the exact same reasons why I respect Punk, but i don’t like him too much either. But Orton broke it down in a recent interview, he said that’s just who he is. He always have to have something to complain and whine about or blame…but he didn’t say it in a disrespectful way though.

          • Xavier

            I saw that interview, it was pretty insightful. Orton has come a long way in the maturity department.

          • DBed

            Yeah. Hopefully his days of crapping in divas gym bags are over. It was only two years ago when Randy had his 2nd Wellness Suspension. Please. I guess that makes you even more mature. Wait until the idiot does it again. Just because he says something about Punk and his mentality, doesn’t mean Randy Orton has matured. Punk and Orton both know the in and outs of the ring and i’m fairly sure they both know how to negotiate the way they want for a company who will give their top draws what they need.

          • Xavier

            And hopefully Punk’s days of hitting fans in the stands, or yelling gay slurs at them, telling them to drink poison and die, or picking on corny pop stars on twitter and saying you want to curb stomp (racial slur) them are over as well. How Punk has gotten away with such things without consequence is beyond me. Hopefully his days of bashing his ex’s (Maria & Beth Phoenix) on the internet are over as well. Guess that kind of makes them both douche bags, doesn’t it?

          • Xavier

            And hopefully Punk’s days of hitting fans in the stands, or yelling gay slurs at them, telling them to drink poison and die, or picking on corny pop stars on twitter and saying you want to curb stomp (racial slur) them are over as well. How Punk has gotten away with such things without consequence is beyond me. Hopefully his days of bashing his ex’s (Maria & Beth Phoenix) on the internet are over as well. Guess that kind of makes both Punk & Orton douche bags, doesn’t it?

          • TheBigKing1

            Hmm. Got him. People always so quick to point the finger and blame the 1 they hate and praise the 1 they love. But thanks for sticking it to that CM Punk mark. Lol. Because everything you said about both of them are facts. But sometimes people make mistakes, so I can’t blame Orton too hard. I believe he learned from it. But we will wait and see.

          • Ben

            That wasn’t why he almost walked out on the company. Richard put it in the first damn line of that article: Punk was pissed because he was told it was “up in the air” when, in reality, the plan the entire time was for Taker to go over. He felt that he was lied to and took it as disrespect. THAT is why Punk threatened to walk out, not because he had to go under. Heck, he put over The Rock at two straight PPVs despite likely animosity over Rock’s contract. I’m not pretending to be some huge supporter of Punk’s backstage behavior, but I haven’t seen him complain about going under or go out of his way to kill someone’s push (other than working with Cena to try to get Orton fired after his second strike, but that would just have been poetic justice for the scumbag). If anything he makes an effort to promote workers he feels deserve a push.

          • Xavier

            Read what I said carefully, I mentioned all of that.

            “Punk was upset because he claims that Vince originally told him that the finish for Taker/Punk HADN’T BEEN DECIDED and that creative DIDN’T know who to put over. Then I guess days before Mania Punk says he found out that Taker was always scripted to over him at Mania 29 and he threatened to quit”

        • Cubed56

          I agree with what you said, but the ratings argument is overplayed and IMO very wrong. During punks reign, he rarely was the main event of raw, and was hardly ever if ever the main event of a PPV, rather that was always filled by cena and whoever he was feuding with. If you want to get technical my man and say look at the numbers, you really need to go in depth, and you’ll see that during punks reign, he was usually the focal point during hour 2, which coincidentally was the highest rated hour the majority of weeks during his time as champ. On the other hand cena was the focal point of hour 3, which was the lowest rated hour of the show. Now I’m not bashing cena and I’m not saying your completely wrong on the ratings with punk, I just feel that if he would’ve been able to be the main event focus week in and week out like the champ should be, maybe ratings would’ve been able to increase.

          • Xavier

            I wasn’t in anyway try too use ratings to discredit, the only point I was trying to make was that the pipe bomb didn’t lead to new fans or another boom that so many people on this site predicted. I hate hourly breakdowns myself. Segment by segment breakdowns are a much better indication of who’s really drawing and who’s not if you ask me.

            My original point was about what Orton’s contract has to do with Punk’s. Punk just got a very lucrative contract a couple years that saw McMahon/HHH bend over backwards for him. Since that he had the longest title reign since Hogan did in late 87 and during that reign he went over every other top draw in the company, a private bus, he also got a lengthy break (something that other top guys have who are just as deserving have never gotten. So my question to Richard and all the other CM Punk fans out there is “What more could Punk possibly want”? What can be a more favorable deal then what he already has?

            It just gets to a point where you would think he’d be thankful/appreciative of everything he’s been given, but he still manages to find something to grab about, when is enough a enough?. And if isn’t then maybe Vince should reconsider bringing him back.

          • Cubed56

            I agree with all the contract stuff, he’s got everything he asked for, I’ve got no argument there, I was just countering your ratings portion of your post. To me it’s unfair that people blame punk for no ratings increase or decrease when the title wasn’t made the focal point of the program every week. It’s like people blaming Barrett for making the ic title irrelevant, it’s not his fault creative booked him to job to everybody while champ. If they want ratings to go up they need to realize what characters and storylines are being responded the most by fans and make them the focal point week in and week out. The only problem is I don’t think creative is talented enough to put together a multi layer storyline that can last over 2 months.

          • TheBigKing1

            I still say sign him for another 3 years. Give him something he really wants. TO MAINEVENT WRESTLEMANIA BY HIMSELF! After that, he’s definitely going to resign. Forget Austin and Punk for Wrestlemania 30. Give it to him at Wrestlemania 31. Next years wrestlemania, give him an opportunity to end somebodys career so he can brag about it.

            Look, I might not be his biggest fan, but I still do enjoy him in the WWE. And even though he whines and complains and b*tches a lot, He still works very hard…and I think he deserves it…somewhat. Lol.

    • Matt

      Would you and your skitzophrenic alter ego please get off the T.I.P on Ortons dick? And notice the hypocrisy in bashing Punk fanboys when youre a goddamn Orton fanboy!? And you’re commenting on wrestling. In an Internet community. YOU’RE IWC YOU RETARD! Stop bashing the IWC!!!

    • TheBigKing1

      Well Punk is a solidified maineventer right now, like Cena…like Orton was..and will be again very soon. Not sure if he’s going to pass Punk when that happens when he turns heel soon and has that world championship around his waste again…but he will still be up there. But we will see.

      • Smart Mark

        What do mean your not sure if he’s going to pass Punk? When Orton was heel he was above the standard of Punk. Orton as heel was untouchable and even face Orton is arguably the most popular guy on the roster.

        If you wanted to really debate about it then lets go deeper into crowd reactions. John Cena is the #1 guy but obviously not the biggest fan favorite, so eliminate him, and with the exception of Daniel Bryan, Orton the most cheered for guy and we know he still has the potential to be a great main eventer/champion.

        • TheBigKing1

          True

  • Justin Lal

    Read what I posted, Nick K.! This is a fucking business. Put yourselves in WWE’s position for a moment. Why give a wrestler a contract where that wrestler pretty much has WWE by the nuts? Unless that person is John Cena, Hulk Hogan, or Steve Austin that’s not a logical thing to do for a wrestling promotion. CM Punk is a great talent, no doubt. But does he grow business or just maintain business? He’s not any of those guys i mentioned above. That’s the reason WWE shouldn’t give him a contract that puts them in a vulnerable position. I’m sick of WWE giving into his demands. It’s not like his pimb bomb brought in another “boom” period…

  • jdl

    The sad part is that nothing Orton contributes of late makes such a ridiculous sum of money worth it.

    • TheBigKing1

      Ok. So what did you expect these hardworking performers that put their bodies on the line damn near every night, risk their families and personal lives to entertain us…makes then??? I want to know.

      Or are you just a jealous hater? Hmm.

  • Justin Daniels

    Our perceived value of CM Punk is largely irrelevant due to bias — if you’re a fan, you think it’s high, if you’re not, maybe lower — what does matter is what the WWE believes he’s worth over the next X years.

    I figure that payment also includes their royalties, as Randy Orton has been in a WWE Film, WWE games, has lots of action figures, etc. His guaranteed, written-in-contract draw is likely much lower than that, although still significant I’d say. You also have to factor in that deal was made when Randy was at the height of his popularity — he signed a 10-year deal, which means he probably had several guarantees and demands of his own in there.

    We also don’t know what CM Punk already makes. Between his own royalties and the contract he renewed a couple years ago, he could already make more than Randy. It’s really hard to say. It’s only natural to assume he’d want a pay raise, less dates, guaranteed championship reigns, etc — but in the same shoes, wouldn’t we all?

    So while the pay number is useful for CM Punk (and others) coming up for renewal, it’s still a very vague number. I have to believe he’s worth a bit — he can talk, work, and keeps away from things that would flag him for a wellness violation. His promos are getting stale, but I still enjoy his ring work. Just my 2c.

    • Smart Mark

      This is just one guys opinion but i have a pretty solid hunch that Punk is not making as much as Orton. I say this because, when Randy signed his 10 year deal for the amount of money listed above, he was the top heel in the company and the #2 guy. When Punk signed his deal in 2011 he was only on the path to being that guy.

  • Adam

    I don’t understand why people are getting mad at Punk for looking out for himself and having the courage to speak his mind and do what he needs to do for himself but then when it comes to Vince the same people say it’s a business and it’s what Vince has to do. It’s kind of contradictive. Everyone has the right to look out for themselves and put themselves in a better position

  • Hercules Rockerfeller

    No wonder Orton has been constantly “okay” with his role on TV and getting jobbed last year and just not in the main event. Hell, If I was getting paid that much montlhly, they could take my face and shove it in JR’s ass! I wouldn’t give a shit! That’s ALOT OF MONEY!!! This is another reason why Orton will probably be a WWE lifer. That is just so much money! I’m just dumb-founded!

    • TheBigKing1

      Well..what did you expect these hardworking performers to get paid? I mean, they work damn near 300 days a year, put their body on the line, risk their relationship with their family just t entertain us. What did you expect?? That they would be making close to what you’re making a month/year??? Cmon! This wasn’t suprising…AT ALL…NOT ONE BIT.

      Plus he signed that deal for 10 years. He was a solidified maineventer and was a huge draw. Sure his stock went down a little…but he’s ready to come up pretty soon. And he will pretty soon.

      • Hercules Rockerfeller

        I want you to go ask a Justin Gabriel or a Kofi Kingston, hell even a Dolph Ziggler how much they are making and it sure as hell is not close to 300 THOUSAND DOLLARS a month! Some of these guys who are on the road all year long, risking their bodies, risking their relationships with their spouses and kids or what have you, are not making nearly as much as Orton. Yes I am surprised, I am shocked even because if Orton makes that much, imagine a guy like Cena, or Triple H who by the way has two contracts, wrestling and office! They could be making a cool half a mil a month! I know it all comes down to the popularity and the position and all that, some ppl alluded to Cm Punk, I’m sure he’s not making that much just like Daniel Bryan isn’t making that much or Kane, or Alberto. And It’s not like Orton has been on a prominent role on television over the course of the last year. At one point Orton was jobbing left and right and I’m just saying he’s pretty much set if he can save his money and not blow it all like Flair has done or Hogan. Ppl like to say that wrestling doesn’t bring money but hell if you work hard enough and get the attention and have the it factor to be in the wwe you could be like Randy Orton one day!

        • TheBigKing1

          Not sure about those guys you mentioned in the first sentence, but Cena is rumored to make around 5 mil a year, Randy makes 3.5 mil a year for a 10 year deal, Mark Henry originally signed a 10 year 10 mil deal when he started. Now he’s doing yearly contracts and probably makes about 1.25 to 1.5 mil a year. If he was good at negotiations and proved that he’s a draw, it could be 2 million. I’m guessing CM Punk makes under or about 3 million a year. Had he signed a long term deal like Randy Orton when he solidified himself as a maineventer, he would’ve been making a little more than Randy guaranteed. Remember, when Randy signed that deal, he was a solidified maineventer already and a huge draw. And he signed a LONGTERM DEAL. In contract negotiations (if you didn’t know yet), the company pays you more if you sign a “longterm deal” (if you proved your worth and value already). So because CM Punk didn’t sign a “longterm deal” with WWE, he probably didn’t quite get 300K a month/ 3.5 a year like Orton did…because he doesn’t want to wrestle that long. But I’m positive that next year when he does sign that new contract, he will get that deal or a little more for signing another 3 year deal before he calls it quits.

        • Smart Mark

          I read one article that stated (still hard to believe because it sounds wrong) that when Wade Barrett first moved from NXT to the main roster, he was only making $25,000 a year.

    • Herman Tank

      He’s already making as much as he probably can in the WWE, not to mention royalties. Not to mention he’s like an 18 time world champ or something so he’s probably just bored with nothing left to aspire to…

      • Herman Tank

        Crap, I used “not to mention” twice in a short paragraph. I hate when I over use words/sayings/phrases/mutant powers…makes me feel dumb.

  • Smart Mark

    Now i’m curious to know how much John Cena makes lol

  • Philip Thompson

    He’s not worth anything close to 3.5million per year. WWE should have released him when they had the chance – TNA can’t afford to pay him anywhere near that amount. If that reflects his 10 year contract – that’s 35 million. There are a great many wrestlers who are far better who have not earned 35 million. I would not miss Orton if he were gone and I think he’s an expense that WWE could easily spare. Many entertaining wrestlers have been cut to save money who were on less than 10% of his salary.

  • Vanisha Kissun

    The irony of people on this website calling Punk a “whining crybaby” is hilarious. It’s the cool thing to do now, hate on Punk, while Cena and Randy get all the love. Newsflash: Punk contributes more to the business than anyone here knows. WWE hates him for that. They wanted him to be a flash in the pan, and when HHH tried to bury his momentum, and Punk still had the people (who actually pay for tickets and ppvs) on his side, they were forced to trust him. The internet hating him has no effect, because they never really liked him in the first place.
    And yes, he does make more than Randy thanks to the second highest merch sales, high profile match bonuses, etc.

    • Danny_Boy

      LOL at your post. Your a joke dude. Punk doesn’t do shiiiiittttt for the business. All Punk does is try to bury people. He pretends he’s for the little guy but he’s really only out for himself. He refused to work a feud with Daniel Bryan at WM27 and he’s a complete asshole in real life who doesn’t respect the business he works for. Quit sucking CM Punk’s diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick