During the Monday Night Wars, a lot of talent from WWE jumped ship to WCW, mainly for the increased pay in WCW. Stars like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall all left WWE to work less days and get paid more, opening the door for many others to follow their lead.
“I was so frustrated with our creative direction,” Undertaker said. “We had a bunch of really goofy characters and then WCW was down there doing real angles, and it was common knowledge that they basically opened up the checkbook. I had to hear guys talk about the money that they’re making and know you’d be able to write a pretty big check and stay at home most of the time. So, those thoughts were there, but when it really got down to it, I just can’t. Obviously I’m not the best business man, but something inside of me said ‘You can’t leave here.'”
Undertaker continued, “After him giving me an opportunity, and what the other guys had said to me, and Undertaker happened and was off and running, I can’t leave. My loyalty to him for giving me that opportunity was more than the short-term cash I could’ve [gotten] by going back down to WCW.”
Undertaker described a conversation he had with Jim Herd and Ole Anderson in WCW when he went to renew his contract with the company and tried to get more money. During the conversation, the WCW officials said that nobody would ever pay to see him wrestle, and that rubbed Taker the wrong way. Undertaker described the situation as being a hit to his pride and confidence, but made him focused on what was next.
“At that point I was locked in,” Taker said. “I knew this was what I was going to do and I knew my days there were numbered. I never second guessed myself and thought I needed to go get a different job or go back to school. I knew I needed to make some moves. It was always fuel, always fuel. I’ve never forgotten it. I keep bringing it up 30 years later, I’ve always had that in the back of my mind.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Notsam Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.