4 wrestlers who made more money after being released by WWE

Numerous WWE Superstars have been released by the company over the years, and all of them have chosen different paths right after. While most of them remained in wrestling, others ventured into business. And a few proved that being fired from the Stamford-based promotion is not always the worst-case scenario


In this list, we will take a look at four former superstars who made more money after World Wrestling Entertainment released them.

#4. Zack Ryder is unrecognizable as Matt Cardona

Matt Cardona had a rocky run at the Stamford-based promotion. He began wrestling for the promotion in 2005 as Brett Major and was later renamed as Zack Ryder after moving to the main roster in 2007.

He gained a massive following in 2011 after starting a YouTube web series called Z! True Long Island Story. With his character’s rise, he began teaming with John Cena and later became the United States and Intercontinental Champion.

Despite having a loyal following, Ryder was not pushed to be a top star in the company and was eventually released in 2020. Following his release, he rebranded himself as Matt Cardona and became one of the most well-known Indy stars.

Cardona’s release was possibly one of the best things to happen to him, as his new character not only helped his wrestling career, but he did well financially, too. He has previously revealed that he made more money in 2022 than in any year at WWE.

#3. CJ Perry, formerly Lana, was better off financially due to her website

Lana began her WWE career in 2013 as Rusev’s (AKA Miro) manager. She had her in-ring debut in 2016, which continued until her release in June 2021. While her real-life partner moved to AEW after his release, CJ Perry had other things to do.

She began her subscription service on BrandArmy, where she posts exclusive videos and photos for fans. She reportedly earned $20,000 within 24 hours of the site going live.

#2. Sasha Banks became one of the most in-demand stars after her time in WWE

Sasha Banks was one of the most notable female superstars in WWE. She has wrestled in first-time matches, acquired all the gold the company had to offer, and garnered fans, whether as a face or heel.

Her more-than-a-decade run in the Stamford-based promotion ended in 2022 after she walked out of the company with Naomi. She returned to wrestling as Mercedes Mone, and is now working at NJPW/Stardom.

Reports then emerged that Mercedes was the highest-paid star in Bushiroad. Dave Meltzer says she earns more than Chris Jericho, who made $100,000 per appearance in Japan.

#1. Mandy Rose quickly became a self-made millionaire after her release from WWE

Mandy Rose became a huge success in WWE after returning to NXT and forming Toxic Attraction with Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne. She also gained praise for her run as the NXT Women’s Champion. Her reign ended in December last year and she was, shockingly, released the very next day.

Rose was allegedly released after her FanTime content was leaked on Twitter. After her departure, she focused on her exclusive content and quickly became a self-made millionaire before the end of 2022.

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