During a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross spoke on the idea that Bret Hart might have left to become the third member of the nWo in 1996, and if he believes that WWE was concerned about it. Here’s what he had to say:
Well, sure. Anytime you got a star whose contract is, the exit, the end date is within eye sight, so to speak, within arm’s reach, yeah, you want to make sure that you have some leverage and some control over the situation. When I sign top guys, if they sign a three year deal, generally speaking, not all the time, but generally speaking, we were talking renewal, if we wanted to renew or extend, better deal, whatever, and a lot of guys had low side guarantees that had out earned it and had proven themselves to be more valuable than we had perceived originally, contracts were tore up, and new contracts were issued before the existing contract expired. That was a theory that I had, because I didn’t want to get caught with this Luger stuff. Even though Luger going to WCW didn’t kill us, he was their issue to deal with, we wanted to make sure we didn’t get caught with our pants down. So yeah, we talked about it.
I just never thought that at the end of the day, if Bret was being paid fairly in his mind, and he was earning big money, which he was, that he would stay because it was, WWE was his home base. That was always his goal, to get to WWF and become a star and become the main guy. So I thought, sentimentally, shame on me because that’s my naïveté, when people say it’s not about the money, bullshit, it’s all about the money.
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Credit: Grilling JR. H/T 411Mania.