Former Intercontinental Champ Jeff Jarrett spoke with Hall of Famer Ric Flair on episode 22 of his podcast The Ric Flair Show, and he opened up about his controversial exit from WWE in 1999.
As the story goes, the WWE failed to recognize that Jarrett's contract was expiring. Jarrett was still the Intercontinental champion as his WWE contract was coming up. He reportedly utilized the situation to get himself a quick pay day, negotiating with the WWE for an undisclosed sum before finally agreeing to drop the championship to Chyna. Both Chyna and Hardcore Holly—in their respective biographies—valued the amount at $300,000. Jarrett, however, only ever admitted to receiving stock options, maintaining that negotiations with the WWE were friendly. He gave new details in the Flair interview.
"All the issue of I held Vince up, who in their right mind would believe that? Honestly." Jarrett said, adding ,"At that time, pay-per-views were monthly and you (got) paid about every 90 days. We had done a pay-per-view over in England, so I had about four or five pay-per-view payoffs coming. Obviously, Cleveland [Ohio] that night was coming. And then, I don't know, five, six, seven. house show runs, whatever the checks I hadn't been paid for. And I thought it was going to be real simple because I think Jim Ross didn't have a real happy day because of how all of that went down, (with) Vince McMahon, and to defend Ross and sort of defend the situation, Vince was traveling legitimately around the world, nonstop, because was taking his company public, and, so, when you take a company [public], IPOs and all that, you've got to go meet with all these investment bankers and presentations. So Vince didn't have his thumb on all the pulses, that was Jim's job, obviously, Jim and creative, and all that. So it sort of created a perfect storm or perfect situation, so I was working and doing the honors and never had any intention of not doing it."
Jarrett continued, "I knew once I walked out of that building that night, for all my payoffs of the last three or four months, I had zero leverage. And the guy who, Vince may sign off on it, but the guy who comes up with that number was J.R. and J.R. was in a unique situation, so I didn't want to leave anything to chance. I wanted to agree on a number and that's what we did. And I got my money that night and Vince, I can assure you this [and] Ric can attest to this: if Vince McMahon did not want to pay me, what in the hell was I going to do? He gladly paid me and did not hesitate."
Among other things, Jarrett also spoke about the controversial Survivor Series match and the ongoing feud between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg. "I think that was a piece of work. I think it was done magically," Jarrett said. "If they'd've gone 8 or 10 minutes, everybody would've had the rifles out, but wham, bam, thank you, ma'am. Holy crap! And to me, Brock just, as they said in the old days, 'he just backed up to the Brinks truck for a rematch.'"
No rematch has been formally announced between Lesnar and Goldberg, but both have been announced for the Royal Rumble match, and a Wrestlemania bout is expected to take place as well.
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