Vince McMahon is known to be a shrewd businessman who has made several decisions over the past few decades to expand the WWE and prevent his talent from leaving the company. Shawn Michaels was one of the biggest names in the late 90s, but the old HBK was not the same man as we know him today.
Shawn Michaels was a polarizing figure backstage during the early days of his career, and his attitude problems and erratic behavior are quite well-documented. Jim Ross revealed several details about Shawn Michaels' run in the WWE in the late 90s during the latest edition of his Grilling JR podcast with Conrad Thompson.
Jim Ross revealed that Vince McMahon was a big fan of Shawn Michaels. JR said that WWE paid Shawn Michaels $750,000 per year during HBK's four-year hiatus from 1998-2002. If you calculate it all and take everything into account, Vince McMahon paid Shawn Michaels almost $3 Million for four years, during which he didn't wrestle.
HBK was forced to retire after WrestleMania XIV, and while he did appear sporadically on WWE/F TV, Michaels never wrestled during his 4-year in-ring break. His contributions weren't as significant as it could have been, considering the money he was getting paid.
Here's what Jim Ross revealed:
"I don't know if it was pressure from Vince or not. Vince loved him. It's proven. We paid Shawn $750,000 a year for about four years to do nothing because he was Vince's guy. Every time we go over budgets and things, where are we at with the Shawn contract? Nothing, leave it alone. Ok"
All Shawn wanted to do was go work and go play with Kevin (Nash) and Scott Hall: Jim Ross on why Vince McMahon took good care of HBK
Shawn Michaels was not a happy employee during that phase, and he had the desire to move to WCW and work with his friends, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Vince McMahon didn't want that to happen, and Vince McMahon made sure that he took good care of Shawn Michaels.
"That's what I'm saying, Conrad. That's just Vince. Vince didn't have to do that. Here's the deal. All Shawn wanted to do was go work and go play with Kevin (Nash) and Scott Hall. So that would have been for WCW nice to get a gift of Shawn Michaels, wouldn't you think? So he took good care of him." H/t WrestlingNews.co
Shawn Michaels would end up returning to the ring in 2002, and he would go on to have a more mature and fruitful career as an in-ring performer in the years that followed.Published 26 Dec 2020, 11:56 IST