WWE contracts are very interesting, and sometimes it means that a Superstar gets to sit at home without anything to do. In Shawn Michaels’ case, he was paid a huge amount of money for doing nothing.
Jim Ross was head of WWE’s talent relations department for a while. He knows first-hand how much The Heartbreak kid made to sit at home and not do anything. The Showstopper’s paychecks were $750,000 because Vince McMahon loved him.
During Grilling JR, the WWE Hall of Fame announcer revealed exactly what was going on to ensure that HBK received such handsome payment during his 1998 to 2002 hiatus.
“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”
When it came to why Vince McMahon cut such large checks for Shawn Michaels, the only explanation that could be given is “that’s just Vince.” It seems that is a frequent answer to explain why such decisions are made in the company.
“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.”
Shawn Michaels returned to the ring after his hiatus, and he wrestled for the company once again. That loyalty is still evident as HBK remains an incredibly influential force in NXT. That might not have been possible if Vince McMahon didn’t keep cutting all those checks.
Thanks to Wrestling News for the quote