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Contracts in wrestling

Hey Scott,
I was wondering about contracts in wrestling, particularly in the WWF/WCW/ECW era where talent would jump ship at the end of their contracts and it would be big news. Has there ever been an instance where another promotion actually BOUGHT OUT a wrestler's contract in order to bring him to their promotion rather than wait for his contract to run out? It happens in soccer all the time and I'm guessing in other sports too. Did Vince/Bischoff/anyone else ever buy out a wrestler's contract? Does the option to do so exist? 

Also, has a wrestler even been so willing to leave a company before his contract runs out that he performed poorly on purpose so as to get his wish?


Well, in 1997 Shawn Michaels whined a LOT about wanting to go to WCW and join the nWo, but no matter how badly he tanked it and messed around he was never going to be let out.  Kevin Nash supposedly tried a similar tactic in 99 once he lost his job to Russo.  It doesn't seem like a very effective tactic.

As for buyouts, no.  Even if they could pay out the money end, standard contracts in both promotions had a 90-day no-compete clause anyway.  There have been cases of promotions letting people out of a contract, like Davey Boy and Neidhart after Montreal, but that's a rarity.  Plus TNA and WWE sharing contract information with each other turned into a lawsuit last time it happened, so I wouldn't hold your breath.  


  1. IIRC there's a video of Cornette telling a story about Taker supposedly parking his ass in the gorilla position with the monitors after his match in Wrestlemania XIV instead of hitting the showers, and he didn't leave until he had confirmed Shawn had dropped the title.

  2. I'm surprised HBK would want to jump to WCW. With Hogan there on top of everyone else (Hall Nash, Sting, Flair, Luger, etc.), he'd have to know he'd be fighting desperately for a top spot there. And even if he obtained it, he might not hold onto it long. Is it worth the money when he had it made in WWF?

    I also can't imagine how WWF would have suffered if the jump had happened in 1996, especially if Bret really HAD jumped that year as well like he could of.

  3. Pretty sure they never mentioned dropping the title.

    And what the fuck was Taker going to do? Kick Shawn's ass so hard he dropped the title BACK IN TIME?

    I can understand a concern about Shawn making Austin look bad, but I really don't think no dropping the title was ever a concern.

    I mean, this is Shawn Michaels with a fucked back, not Bruiser Brody or Andre the Giant. What the fuck was he going to do?

  4. Scream09_HartKillerJune 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Yeah, he should have been jobbing all the time like all the big stars of that era used to do.

  5. Exactly my point, Shawn's a pussy.

    HBK talked a bigger game but what the fuck did he actually ever do?


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