It’s been a dark week for professional wrestling.
On Wednesday night, WWE announced massive staff cuts, aiming to save substantial money during the coronavirus crisis.
As of writing, 26 superstars have been released – and more could follow.
They range from established main roster wrestlers like Rusev and EC3 to developmental talent like Deonna Purrazzo and Aleksandar Jaksic.
Some producers and other backstage employees have also lost their jobs or been furloughed and WWE’s decision to make massive layoffs has drawn criticism.
The controversial resolution looks even worse when the earnings of top stars are taken into account.
WWE’s 10 highest-earning employees made a combined £30.6m before taxes in 2019 and part-time performer Brock Lesnar leads the list by quite some distance.
Check out the earnings for all 10 of the company’s highest-paid stars, per Forbes, below:
10) Braun Strowman – $1.9m (£1.5m)
9) Stephanie McMahon – $2m (£1.6m)
8) Shane McMahon – $2.1 (£1.7m)
7) Goldberg – $3m (£2.4m)
6) Becky Lynch – $3.1m (£2.5m)
5) Triple H – $3.3m (£2.6m)
4) Seth Rollins – $4m (£3m)
3) Randy Orton – $4.1m (£3.3m)
2) Roman Reigns – $5m (£4m)
1) Brock Lesnar – $10m (£8m)
Lesnar, who has wrestled just NINE times in the last 12 months, is WWE’s highest-paid star by miles.
This week, multiple superstars have lost their livelihoods and incomes, so this list now looks even more striking than it ever has before.
A statement released on Wednesday claims that through a combination of releasing talent, furloughing staff and decreasing expenses, WWE hopes to save $4m per month amid the on-going coronavirus crisis.
As yet, there has been no official news that any of the company’s highest-paid stars are going to take a pay cut, so that just makes the news of mass cuts sting even more.