How much do referees earn in WWE?


Referees play a significant role in the pro-wrestling industry. So how much does a referee earn in WWE?

They do play a very crucial role in conducting all the matches. Whether deciding the winner or conducting the match as per guidelines. Referees call disqualification as well whenever it happens. Let us know more about the earnings of a referee.

Referee Earnings 

In an interview given in 2021, iconic WWE referee Mike Chioda revealed the amount of money a referee can make at a company like WWE. 

As per revelation, WWE allows referees to be a subcontractor and work with the ring crew. This means that whenever there is a steel cage match or elimination chamber, there is always a chance of making extra money.

Jesika Carr became the first female referee to conduct a match at WWE Crown Jewel 2021 in Saudi Arabia. Now we see quite a few female referees in the Stamford-based company.

Jessika Carr
Jessika Carr became the first woman referee to conduct a match in Saudi Arabia (Republic World)

Mike Chioda has been an iconic referee in WWE for generations. He was also the referee for the incredible Icon vs Icon fight between Hulk Hogan and The Rock at WrestleMania 18. 

He stated that he has been a WWE employee for 22 years and said he started off as a ring crew and became an employee for crew staff.

Chioda was quoted as saying, (h/t Inside The Ropes)

“Most referees are independent contractors, but some are employees. I was an employee for many years too. I was an employee for 22 years and a subcontractor. It was better just being a subcontractor. I was going to make more. If you worked in the office or worked in the ring crew, I started off on the ring crew and became an employee for crew staff.

“Plus, you still made cash on the side for doing individual jobs. If you did the steel cage that night, they would pay you an extra $350. I split that with Tony Chimel; we drove the cage and set it up. It was different jobs we would make extra on top of. When I was refereeing as a full-time ref in big cities, those were good paydays. You wanted to take a piece of the house that night. 

Chioda was released from WWE after 31 years with the company on April 15th, 2020. Since then, he had been working for AEW.

On July 31, 2022, Chioda officiated in the main event at Ric Flair’s Last Match between Ric Flair and Andrade El Idolo against Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett. One day before the match, Chioda stated in an interview with Battlefield Podcast that this match would be the “final chapter in my book” indicating his retirement from refereeing in professional wrestling.

In his podcast – Monday Mailbag with Mike Chioda in August 2022, he shed light on his WWE release.

“I was shocked more than bitter or whatever,” he said. “It sucked that I got let go during a pandemic when everything was closed in our profession … We couldn’t do anything for a while, that’s why I started up with the podcast.”

Referee Salary 2023

Most experienced referees of WWE get up to $500,000 as fixed annual salaries. The new referees get a contract of about $150,000 in fixed annual salaries. The fee/match ranges from $1,000 to $3,000

Chad Patton on an episode of RAW
RefereesAnnual SalaryFee/Match

List of Current WWE referees with their salaries

Name Join WWE Date Annual Contract Per Match Fee 
Chad Patton1999$500,000$3,000
Charles RobinsonMarch 2001$500,000$3,000
Darryl Sharma November 2016$500,000$3,000
Chris Sharpe$300,000$2,500
Antrone Brewer$300,000$2,500
Dan Engler 2013$300,000$2,500
Darrick Moore$300,000$2,500
Thomas Caster2015$300,000$2,500
Eddie Orengo$300,000$2,500
Jason AyersFebruary 2012$300,000$2,500
Thomas Scarborough$300,000$2,500
Robert Vista$300,000$2,500
Brian Nguyen$300,000$2,500
Richard Rutter$300,000$2,500
Danilo AnfibioJuly 2013$300,000$2,500
John Cone 2006$300,000$2,500
Matthew Bennet$300,000$1,000
Artemis $150,000$1,000
Artemis Ortygie$150,000$1,000
Aja Smith$150,000$1,000
Jessika CarrJuly 2019$150,000$1,000

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