During an episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Jeff Jarrett’s claim that he was on the same level as Steve Austin. Jarrett had recently mentioned the angle with Stone Cold that resulted in him taking plenty of Stunners, but didn’t go anywhere beyond that. There was plenty of real life heat between Jarrett and Stone Cold, to the point where Austin refused to work with him. Jarrett decided to turn down a WWF contract and turn towards WCW because Jim Ross didn’t offer him “Stone Cold level money.”
Jim Ross explains that Jarrett likely would have made for more than his downside guarantee was worth had he stayed in WWF.
(18:45) It was an ego thing in my view. And I think, also, I disagree with Jeff that he would have stayed if he got a fair offer. Well, he got a fair offer. As you mentioned, Conrad, the downside guarantee was a number you wanted to have if you didn’t expect to out-earn your guarantee. In that era, just about everybody I could think of out-earned their downside guarantee. If you were booked regularly, and you were being used, and you were doing your job, and everything was in place, you far out earned your downside guarantee. That goes for guys like Jericho, Mysterio, and hell, even Austin. Austin had a downside guarantee of a million dollars. There was a handful of guys with million dollar deals. But he didn’t take his weekly checks, he took what he was earning as he went. I think one year he earned 13-million. I’d say that pretty much blows away your downside. I think Jeff had his mind made up that with Russo going to WCW, the fact that Russo was going to be in charge with creative, and the fact that Jeff and Vince [Russo] were buddies – nothing wrong with that – that he would have a better chance of being used higher on the card. Was he going to make more money based on his guarantee in WCW versus what he would have made staying with the [WWF]? Probably not, but that’s just my opinion.
Ross adds that, in his opinion, Jarrett’s downfall was his ego.
(20:28) But he had a very high opinion of himself. He thought he was a better worker than he was being paid for. That’s cool, but I didn’t agree with it. Cause no one wants to confront Vince [McMahon], he didn’t want to burn a bridge. By the way, look where he is. So, Vince established that number. I want you to get that deal done if you can, but this is where he are. If your boss tells you to do something, what do you do? The thing that we had going for us is that the money was rolling in, you’re going to do well, and you’re going to blow away the downside guarantees. We had year-after-year precedence of that happening.
Finally, Jim Ross weighs in on the comparison.
(22:15) For Jeff Jarrett to compare himself… to be on the same level as Stone Cold Steve Austin is somewhat ludicrous, in my opinion.
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