• Chris Jericho’s Starting Salary In The WWF
On a recent episode of his weekly ‘Grilling JR’ podcast, Old School WWF play-by-play commentator Jim Ross revealed the process of signing Chris Jericho to the World Wrestling Federation in 1999.
Ross also used to be the ‘Executive Vice President of Talent Relations’ during the Attitude Era.
Here’s what Good Ol’ J.R. said:
“It was a secret only from the standpoint that we wanted to keep the official romancing off the radar. If we can bring him in, and bring him in as a surprise, it would be even better for him, and that’s what happened in Chicago with that countdown clock.
I didn’t know what to expect when we met. I knew that the groundwork had been laid. Vince was just fine with the meeting we had in Tampa. I wanted to sit down and ask Chris, ‘What did you think of the meeting? How can we make this work? What can we do to get you on the team? What do you need, because I’ll tell you I can’t pay you what [WCW] is offering. There’s no way in hell. We can sit here and talk all day long. We can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, and it’s not going to change.’
The issue is that the offer we gave him was a lot of money. $450,000 is a good starting salary. I thought we were being very fair.
The key component of that was convincing him that our incentive program, in other words, getting paid on the house, old school, commission so to speak, payoff, was real. Without naming names, I gave him some illustrations of, this guy has a $300,000 downside, but last year, he made $1.8 million.
At one time, we had 20-something guys on our roster that were making over a million. That’s incredible. They got that million dollar number by productivity. They sold tickets, PPVs, and merchandise. I think that was part of the only hurdle we had to overcome that it was really a true payoff system.
We had a great meeting, he, Jerry (Brisco) and I. He was a fan of the Briscos and a student of the game. We both loved him. We both thought he can work heel or babyface. I love the fact that he was durable. It was a great meeting.
Soon thereafter, guess what? We signed him. When his contract was over, and he didn’t renew there at WCW, we closed the deal very quickly.”
Jericho wrestled for Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling from 1996 until he joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1999.
He stayed with them till 2005 and then returned several times until leaving in 2018 and joining AEW in 2019.
WATCH: Trish Stratus Pulls Her Pants Down:
• ON THIS DAY IN WWF HISTORY (October 6, 1984) – WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling
On this day in 1984, the World Wrestling Federation aired another episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF Maple Leaf Wrestling’.
This episode featured pre-taped matches & interviews on the road to the first ever WrestleMania event.
You can find the card below:
1. Junkyard Dog vs. Butcher Vachon
2. Bret Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs Rene Goulet & Mohammad Saad
3. Brutus Beefcake vs Mario Mancini
4. Sgt Slaughter vs Dave Barbie
5. Pipers Pit: David Schultz
6. Greg Valentine vs AJ Petruzzi
7. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs Nick DeCarlo & Salvatore Bellomo