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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Austin/Hogan/Rock/Cena are the four megastars of pro wrestling,of course the latter falling into that realms or not is a matter of debate.
If you randomly ask anybody on the internet regarding merchandise sales,he will say Steve Austin sold most following Hulk Hogan and then John Cena and then The Rock.
source welovewrestling.net

TOP SELLING VIDEO GAME (ALL FORMATS)
1) SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2008 (PS2,PSP,PS3,360,WII,DS) - 6.78 MILLION SOLD
2) SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 (PS2,PSP,PS3,360,WII,DS) - 4.42 MILLION SOLD
3) SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 (PS2,PSP,PS3,360,WII,DS) - 3.13 MILLION SOLD
4) SMACKDOWN SHUT YOUR MOUTH (PS2) - 2.83 MILLION SOLD
5) SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2006 (PS2) - 2.66 MILLION SOLD

TOP SELLING HOME VIDEO
1) VIVA LA RAZA THE EDDIE GUERRERO STORY - 276,411 COPIES SOLD
2) BECAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO - 267,786 COPIES SOLD
3) THE RISE AND FALL OF ECW - 216,052 COPIES SOLD
4) HULK HOGAN REAL AMERICAN - 202,426 COPIES SOLD
5) HULK HOGAN THE ULTIMATE ANTHOLOGY - 190,407 COPIES SOLD

TOP WWE MERCHANDISE SELLERS

1) STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - No surprise to see The Rattlesnake at the top of the list. Any merchandise record before Austin 3:16 was smashed during the Austin era. The Austin 3:16 was the highest selling peice of Austin merchandise with sales currently at 2.3 million Units(yes it is still selling!)
2) HULK HOGAN - The power of Hulkamania remains powerful as the Hulkster sits at number two. During the early ninties, Hulk Hogan merchandise was all that mattered to wrestling fans with the Hulkamania t-shirt selling 1.9 million units
3) JOHN CENA - The Cenation is going from strenghth to strength as merchandise sales fly out for the master of thuganomics. With each version of Cena t-shirt means huge sales with Cena's Orange Never Give Up t-shirt being the most popular
4) THE ROCK - The great one remains electrifying as merchandise sales have picked up since his return. Despite many t-shirts from the great one it is the Brahma Bull t-shirt that sold the most
5) Triple H - It is a surprise to see The Game in the top 5 because of the many stints as a heel but he pipped Rey Mysterio into the top 5. Due to The Game's popularity his t-shirt sales far out strip the 619.
(not including DX merchandise)
This is completely fake.It fails to mention its source.You can also notice the grammatical errors.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/0322/6306216a.html

The article says that Austin sold 12 million T-Shirts and earned a salary of more than $5 million.
This premise is completely skewed.A superstar receives 20% cut-off of the his merchandise revenue,if Austin indeed sold 12 million T-Shirts in 1998 at $20 a pop,then he should have earned a salary of no less than 48 million and the total WWE merchandise revenue gross should have been at-least 240 million whereas WWE's total revenue itself in 1998 was 56 million.
It is impossible for Austin or any other superstar to sell 12 million T-Shirts in a single year and still make such a low revenue.

I came across a discussion in a forum linked to Dave Meltzer.
http://wrestlingclassics.com/cgi-bin/.ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=056698

The discussion is regarding 'Highest Paid Wrestlers'

Meltzer's post
Best years ever

Austin $13 million
Rock $10 million
Hogan $8 million (in WCW, best in WWF was $6 million)

Baba always took in most of his income as a promoter. Most I ever heard a Japanese pro wrestler earning was Ogawa at between $3.5 million and $4 million last year, but a lot of that was from fighting and merchandise. Then again, Austin, Rock & Hogan made a large percentage of their big years in merchandise as well.
He is talking about salaries of Rock,Austin and Hogan and not merchandise sales.

He also says
Hogan got 25% of the company's PPV gross (43% of the total gross) for every show that he appeared on. He didn't work every PPV.

He got $25,000 for every TV taping and 25% of every house show he worked.

He also had a favorable merchandise deal.

1998 would have been the company's best year so you could chart the buys and figure from there.

His percentages were far higher than Rock or Austin ever got, but their merchandise so far outsold his to the point it's not even in the same solar system.
So according to Meltzer,both Rock and Austin have clearly outsold Hogan by a wide margin.

So in this video,he is talking about salaries.

http://www.pwinsider.com/ViewArticle.php?id=26119
During their 3 year marriage she claimed that Austin earned as much as $12 million a year.
I will take the middle way and put Austin's 1998 salary as 12.5 million.

According to Meltzer,Rock's salary in 2000 was 10 million.

http://www.kehoe73.freeserve.co.uk/infoearnings.htm
These are the big money earners in wrestling. In this bracket are Big Show ($1 million per year until 2009; $20,000 (£13,000) per week), Triple H, Kurt Angle, Undertaker & Steve Austin. Also in this bracket is The Rock, whose earnings were around $10 million (£6 million) in 2001.
I don't know how accurate this is,but 2000 was Rock's peak year with peak ratings and buyrates,if Rock's salary in 2001 was 10 million then it would certainly be higher in 2000.

http://www.imageshack.com/i/0kb0pgp
Ebony reports that Rock earned a salary of 15 million in 2000.Still we don't know how accurate this is so I will take a fair way and put Rock's salary at 13 million.

Highest salary earners for a single year in my opinion.
1>The Rock-13 million(2000)
2>Steve Austin-12.5 million(1998)
3>Hulk Hogan-8 million(1997)
4>John Cena-5 million(date unknown)

Regarding merchandise revenue gross of 2000
http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Ge-La/Johnson-Dwayne-The-Rock.html
In addition, The Rock became a merchandising gold mine. His image appeared on T-shirts, posters, and Halloween masks; and there were Rock action figures and video games. By the 2000s, according to Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly, the WWF was bringing in $120 million in merchandise sales per year, thanks solely to Johnson.
That's a massive number.WWE doesn't even gross 100 million in merchandise today.

Regarding merchandise revenue gross of 1998
http://www.cpyu.org/Page.aspx?id=77000
The WWF sold over $1 billion(100 million)in merchandise during 1998.
So I think its really a matter of debate between Rock and Austin.WWE grossed about $120 million merchandise revenue when Rock was at his peak and grossed about $100 million merchandise revenue when Austin was at peak.Austin sold more T-Shirts than Rock but Rock covers up with video games and action figures.

I think Austin slightly edges Rock in merchandise sales but the difference is negligible.

http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/242982-exclusive-cena-no-longer-the-1-wwe-merch-seller-new-1
CM Punk's last quarter merchandise sales in 2011 were very impressive and superceded Cena's for the entire year.So I think he is up there in top 5 behind Cena.

Top merchandise sellers in my opinion.
1>Austin
2>The Rock(The difference between Austin and Rock is negligible)
3>Hulk Hogan
4>John Cena
5>CM Punk.
 

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While this somewhat holds true, did you factor things like inflation etc. If people bought merch out the ass in 1987 like they did in 2000, Hogan would've easily outsold his 1997 #'s.
 

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$6 million in the 80s would be 30 million today. Hogan got the ball rolling but Rock and Austin helped usher in another successful boom period for wrestling. What makes Hogan remarkable though was that he was able to do this twice, both in the 90s and 80s. That's almost like Rock coming back when he did and turning the company on its head and bringing WWE back into the mainstream. Hogan was behind this movement on two occasions.

I see how you attempted to rank them separately to see who drew more but ultimately I think it's more important to take note of the supporting characters, society's reaction towards the product, advancements in technological factors, etc. I ultimately think the 90s were the absolute best era in wrestling because you had the best wrestlers/entertainers from the 80s still going strong (Flair, Hogan, Savage, Sting) then you had the peak stars of the 90s (Austin, Rock, DDP, Sting, Goldberg, Hogan, Hart, Michaels, Undertaker) AND you also had the next generation fighting it out with one another (Jericho, Mysterio, RVD, Booker, Guerrero, Edge, Hardy, Angle). It was an absolutely ridiculous time where seemingly it was a fantasy football league with every player in history to choose from.

Wrestling is still recovering from this.

John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan would be a handy bunch if you could still include Austin and Rock on the list. Austin, Rock had Hogan, Savage, Sting against them on the other side. Wrestling was better for it.
 

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I'm a guy that is generally interested in facts and figures, but jesus this bored the crap out of me. All these stupid arguments about drawing, money merchandise. Stone Cold, Rock, Hogan, whoever, the sold a shit ton of stuff. Whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Rock's popularity is underrated.By 2000,he was one of the most popular sports entertainers,it wouldn't surprise me if he was the most popular person on planet for sometime in 2000.
 

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True but are Austin Cena Rock and Hogan bigger draws than my 4 year old brother?

My parents made about 250,000$ last year, after taxes. Now, my brother earns about 25% of that total. Over four years?? So I think it goes

>1Martin
>2Austin
>3Rock
>4Cena
>5Hogan

source: Forbes, Ass
 

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Like another poster said, things like inflation and more merchandise in general being available to buy needs to be taken into account here. (Not that I really care much about this stuff one way or another.)
 
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