Is WWE real or fake? The Big Question
Is Wrestling Real? No. These men are not trying to kill each other, Braun Strowman can’t legit push an ambulance over, Kalisto can not jump a literal 7 feet in the air etc so he jumps over the top rope from the floor. The moves are performed to look painful while ensuring any given wrestler is save from harm. Promos are written and given to the wrestler to say (though there are exceptions, for example the CM Punk Pimpbomb, which I recommend watching). Also, Bray Wyatt doesn’t literally have supernatural powers, that would just be weird.
Is Wrestling Fake? No. They get hurt for real in that ring, the emotions both men or women have in the ring are real, and the people are real. They’ve had to go through surgery when it goes bad and are trained like athletes to try ensure it doesn’t go wrong.
Wrestling is scripted, like Game of Thrones or the Walking Dead is. It’s a show, something meant to entertain that mixes physical ability with personal feuds.
In terms of pay, since you’re asking about the WWE I’ll answer as such.
WWE Superstars are not employees, they’re contractors. Like in sports, wrestlers are free agents or signed under a certain brand. These performers are then offered contracts much like a All American College Linebacker is asked for contracts after he graduates high school. They travel and pay for food on their own, they exercise and make sure to follow company guide lines but it’s not all bad.
A Superstar is paid for his or his work based on where in the ‘card’ they are, or in other words how important they are. So, Seth Rollins for example will be paid more than Titus O’Neil because Seth is more important and is a main eventer while Titus works on the midcard.
They are given money if their merchandise sells, though it depends on the Superstar itself as too how much they get as merchandise is normally something that sells because it’s based on a particular wrestler. If you brought 1000 Asuka Masks, Asuka is going to get some of the money from the sales of said Masks.
Some companies do allow their talent to go and do Indie Shows, which normally are smaller companies like CZW, ROH, PWG and NJPW for examples who are big but don’t have the mainstream attention places like WWE or TNA/Impact/GFW do. The Hardys for example did in TNA/Impact/GFW when they competed in ROH, while WWE allowed the Hardys to go and do the rest of their dates. Another example is when ROH did a talent sharing deal with NJPW, which allowed it’s stars to compete in NJPW and earn a little more. People like the Briscoes and Jay Lethal for example benefit a lot from this deal.
How much you’re paid by show on a Indie show is based on what you did. Some guys get very little for the job, but it’s money. Some get a lot because they get people to watch the show. It’s all arranged in advance.