WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett, who is currently working for the company as an agent, spoke on his My World podcast about his dispute with Vince McMahon in 1999.
WWE had let Jarrett’s contract run-down while he was still their intercontinental champion.
There have been reports since that time that Jarrett “held up” McMahon for big money on the day of the No Mercy pay-per-view where he was scheduled to defend his title against Chyna.
Jarrett figured out a way to have McMahon pay him the figure in order for him to drop the title to Chyna that night. Chyna and Hardcore Holly have claimed that the figure was around $300,000 at the time.
“[Jim] Ross asked Jarrett, ‘Where are we at?’ Jeff said, ‘Jim, I just want to say, I hate that this is where we’re at. I feel as a character, I’m about as hot as I’ve been since several years ago, but I got it. I understand that you have to make your decisions and Vince has to make his decision.’ Ross said, ‘I thought we had a deal.’ Jeff said, ‘I don’t know how you can say that. I’ve never signed anything. I’ve never saw a contract. There was nothing.’ Ross, ‘I thought we came to an agreement. Business is hot.’ It was pretty much, chit chat small talk, because at this point, he knew the ship had sailed. I said, ‘Jim, here’s the situation. I want to make everybody’s life easier from today moving forward. I want to get out of your hair. Not specifically you JIm, but WWF’s hair. I want there to be a nice parting of the ways. Let’s do our business today and move on. You guys have a lot on your horizon. You’re going public tomorrow…I said, you know the payoffs that I have coming to me. I really think it’s best for everybody, I want to get paid for all the money I have coming for me. He said, ‘You know what that is Jeff?’ I said, ‘As far as dates, I know my live events that I haven’t been paid for. I have the PPV’s and we have today to cover. I would like to clean all that up’ He said, ‘I don’t know if we can do that Jeff.’ I said, ‘Ok, I understand that. If you guys can’t meet that, I don’t really know why I’m here. I have zero leverage when I leave today. You’re an old timer like me. Once today is over, it’s over.’ It’s three or four house show runs and two or three PPVs. I knew the number in my head, but I put on the negotiation hat. I said, ‘In theory, can we get this done? Can I get my money today?’ He said, ‘It’s not up to me. It’s up to the old man.’ I said, ‘Ok, find out. I just have time today Jim.’ He got up and went back. I don’t know exactly, but I know that I made them go first. What is the number? I had so much time that day on my hands, that I had the match in my mind. Pat Patterson and Chyna were going over different ideas. They have fish, guitars, flour, powder, and the prep for the match. I’m sitting in the arena with my street clothes on talking to Jim Ross and Terry Taylor trying to figure this out. It’s an interesting set of circumstances going on. Jim came back. I said, ‘What’s the number? What are you paying me?’ He said, ‘I think we have a deal Jeff. Let’s get this done.’ Then the whole idea of cash, it gets preposterous of the stories that went down (of stories that have been reported over the years) of bank wiring and all that kind of stuff. How that story went from bank wiring and it’s a Sunday, does that even make sense to you?’ JIm came to me and he said, ‘We put pen to paper. We’re thinking $150,000.’ I said, ‘Ok. All right Jim. $150,00 is what you think the number is. Are you sure? You know Jim, let me think on this.’ He said, ‘I’ll be back and let’s close this deal up.’ When he came back and sat back down, I said, ‘Jim, remember how you changed the deal on me a year in? I understand all the reasons you did. I respect the hell out of it. But, we kind of agreed, but we didn’t really agree on $150,000. I don’t really agree with that right now. I’ve had time to reflect on my last two years. If we’re going to get a deal down, this place, Gund Arena, is sold out. We’re sure they have a lot of WWE’s money in their box office. So, let’s double that and get me to $300,000. Those are my payoffs, because I get a healthy payoff for tonight because I’m doing the honors, and give me the money out of Gund Arena’s bank, not WWE’s bank, and let’s go to work.’ He didn’t like it. He said, ‘Jeff, we can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Jim, look at me because I really want you to understand where I’m coming from. You’re absolutely right. You don’t have to do this. Vince doesn’t have to do this. Nobody has to do this. I’m wanting my money, and I’m talking about multiple PPV’s, the scenario that I’m not under contract, let’s just end this deal one way or another. You know as well as I do tomorrow, my value in payoffs are not even remotely important. They’re kind of important today. But it’s your decision on how important they are, not mine. It’s not my decision at all. He said, ‘Ok, I’ll go talk to the old man.’ Thirty minutes go by, or 45 minutes go by, whatever it may be and Jim and Terry walked up and said, ‘Go get your bag. Get dressed. We’ll have it for you before you get to the ring.’ I said ‘Ok.’ (After the match), when I came through Gorilla, I said, ‘Hey guys. I’m going to shower’ (he was covered in flour from his match with Chyna). I got cleaned up. I told everybody in that dressing room goodbye. There was another dressing room that I stuck my head in and said, ‘See ya guys down the road.’ I walked straight up to Gorilla and stood there, because Gorilla has lots of moving parts and all kinds of stuff going on. I waited for my moment. I sort of snuck around the table and tapped Vince on the shoulder. He looked over, took off his headset, got up, and we had a huge hug and embrace. I carried that emotion for 20 years and I had no idea. He gave me a hug, I gave him a hug, and I was very thankful that the day was over, and they got what they wanted, and I got what I wanted. I hugged Bruce goodbye and Pat goodbye. I thanked Pat for the match and I left.”
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