During his hiatus from wrestling between 1998-2002, it has emerged that two-time WWE Hall of Famer and former World Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels was pretty handsomely taken care of by the company.
On his Grillin’ JR podcast, AEW lead commentator Jim Ross revealed that WWE paid Jim Ross $750,000 per-year for four years to stay at home and not work. Here’s the full quote, courtesy of WrestlingNews.co:
“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”
Jim Ross later emphasised that the decision to pay Shawn Michaels $3,000,000 over that four-year period was one that was made by Vince McMahon, likely because he didn’t want HBK jumping to WCW:
“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.”
As we know, Shawn Michaels would return to the ring in 2002 for a brilliant SummerSlam match with Triple H. He would go on to wrestle for another eight years before retiring at WrestleMania 26.